RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - (November 27, 2021) Russia finished the first-ever World Taekwondo Women’s Open Championships in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with two gold medals while Great Britain, Iran, Korea, Brazil, Turkey and Côte d'Ivoire all secured one gold medal.
The final day of competition saw incredible action across all eight weight categories, with Russia securing the top spot at the first Taekwondo event hosted in Saudi Arabia with two gold medals, four silver and two bronze to bring their final medal tally to eight.
It was Galina Medvedeva who took home Russia’s first gold of the event after she won by superiority against fellow Russian Anna Kazarnovskaia in the women’s -49kg. Daniela Paola Souza of Mexico and Maddison Moore of Great Britain won the bronze medals on offer.
Russia’s second gold came in the -73kg, with Polina Khan also winning by superiority in her matchup against Althea Laurin of France. Iran’s Melika Mirhosseini and France’s Paule Marie Ble took the bronze medals.
In the women’s -46kg, Korea’s Mi-Reu Kang bested Russia’s Anastasiia Artamonova 29-28 in a fiercely close contest. Soukaina Sahib of Morocco and Michal Zrihen of Portugal won bronze.
Brazil’s Caroline Santos overcame the Czech Republic’s Petra Stolbova 11-5 to claim gold in the women’s -62kg. Meanwhile, Germany’s Anna-Lena Froemming and Iran’s Kosar Asaseh secured bronze.
Three-time World Champion Bianca Walkden of Great Britain won gold in the +73kg as she overcame Russia’s Kristina Adebaio 10-3 in the final. Tania Castineira of Spain and Lorena Brandl of Germany took bronze.
Following her victory, Bianca Walkden said:
“It has been unreal. It’s good that I’ve come back with a gold medal. I’m very proud of that, but to do it here in the first women’s championships in Saudi Arabia, it’s history. It’s starting the next generation off, the future off, and to be part of this first Open is unreal. And to come back with a gold medal I couldn’t be more grateful.
“The venue is unreal, they have definitely taken care of us and looked after us. Saudi Arabia has put on the best competition I’ve seen and I’m thankful and grateful to be here.”
The final of the women’s -57kg saw Iran’s Zahra Sheidaei come through a close, low-scoring contest to beat Russia’s Margarita Blizniakova 2-0. Aaliyah Powell of Great Britain and Patrycja Adamkiewicz of Poland took the bronze medals.
Merve Dincel of Turkey took gold in the women’s -53kg after overcoming Spain’s Alma Maria Perez Parrado with a 3-0 Golden Point Round victory. Russia’s Tatiana Minina and Margarita Alieva won bronze.
In the women’s -67kg, Olympic bronze medallist Ruth Gbagbi from Cote D’Ivoire bested France’s Magda Wiet Henin 11-5. Germany’s Vanessa Koerndl and Great Britain’s Lauren Williams won the bronze medals.
With Russia topping the medal table of the historic Women’s Open Championships in Riyadh, second place went to Great Britain and Iran finished third overall.
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