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Taekwondo: Wu Wins First Gold for China at Worlds
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Wu Jingyu of China was in party mode after picking up a number of first-time wins for China and herself at the World Taekwondo Championships in Beijing on Friday.

The 20-year-old Doha Asian Games Champion won hosts the first gold on the opening day of her first world championship, as her opponent Yaowapa Boorapolchai from Thailand withdrew in the second round, trailing a massive score 0-5.

It was also Wu's first victory over a formidable rival, who kept a 100 percent record in their last two meetings, both in the finals of world cup and Asian Championships.

"I started slowly in the first match today. But I was getting better and better. It was the most exciting moment for me so far in my career," A jubilant Wu said.

"Actually I was little bit nervous at the start of the final because it was a rival I have never won against before. Now, the feeling is so strong especially because the win is on home soil."

The moment when Yaowapa called it quits, Wu kneeled down in tears, raised hands and then jumped toward her coach, hugging and celebrating.

"I was motivated by the support of home fans and also the determination to beat her," she said.

In the first day's other two competitions, Jung Jin-hee from South Korea beat Yang Shu-Chun of Chinese Taipei 6-4 to take the title of the women's 55kg while Gessler Viera Abreu of Cuba needed extra time to defeat Iranian Omid Gholam Zedeh 5-4 to win the men's 67kg.

Mark Lopez of US was the biggest upset of the day.

The reigning champion in the 67kg came to a halt in the fourth round and saw his hope of repeating a family hat trick of the last world championships with his brother and sister, crushed.

Wu was the winner from a 3-1 semi-final victory over Yang Shu-Chun from Chinese Taipei

The Beijing Olympic title hopeful also clinched the women's 47kg taekwondo gold medal to win China's first gold medal of the sport at the Asian Games last year in Doha, also beating Yang 2-1 in the final.

Apart from Wu, there are two local athletes in the first day of the competition, only to crash out in early round.

Wu's fellow Zhang Biyu in the women's 55kg became the casualty in the second round, losing to Tseng Yi-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei 8-9.

The three-time national champion had been tipped to be a title contender before the tournament but appeared out of pace in front of the determined opponent.

Men's medal hopeful Li Lai failed to live up to expectation when he was eliminated by Omar Badia from Spain in the second round of 67kg competition.

(China Daily May 19, 2007)

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