VERACRUZ, Mexico (Sep 22, 2023) - Mexican Jessica Garcia Quijano’s long wait for a major title was finally over.
Garcia Quijano announced her arrival on the big stage with her first World Championships in Veracruz as the Para Kyorugi events kicked off at the World Trade Centre on Friday.
Garcia Quijano defeated Egyptian Salma Ali Abd Al Moneem Hassan, who has made history in the Veracruz 2023 GP winning the first gold medal for her nation, 3-1 in front of a vociferous crowd.
The Mexican in fact couldn’t have chosen a better place than Veracruz to clinch her first Worlds title as her family and friends joined her in her celebration that was highlighted by emotions and team spirit.
“Today all my years of hard work finally paid off. I couldn’t be happier than this. This is my biggest medal ever and winning it in Mexico with all my loved ones and fans cheering for me made it even more special,” Garcia Quijano told World Para Taekwondo as she shares that her big dream of Paralympic medal.
There were some upsets too en route the finals. The Egyptian had earlier got the better of top ranked and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Meryem Betul Cavdar in an upset 8-1 win.
Espinoza Carranza’s run halted
In the other women’s final of the day – K44 women’s - 47kg final – Uzbekistan’s second ranked Ziyodakhon Isakova halted Peru’s golden girl Leonor Angelica Espinoza Carranza’s winning run to take her first World Championships title.
In a match which saw the fighters displaying strong defensive technique and blocking styles, the second ranked Uzbek won against the Tokyo 2020 champion by superiority after scores were 0-0 in the regulation time.
For Isakova, this was her first title of the season winning it less than one year until the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. “I am very happy to win the gold medal here. It’s a dream come true, and I want to keep working hard to qualify for the Paralympic Games. I am also focused to win medals at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games,” said Isakova, who had four second place finishes this year
Wen Xiao inspires despite defeat
Meanwhile, Israel’s top fighter Asaf Yasur retained his Worlds title with a 13-8 defeat of Chinese Taipei's Xiang Wen Xiao in a high-intensity K44 men’s – 58kg finals.
Despite the final loss, Wen Xiao could return home with a big positive – he caused the biggest upset of the day shocking world no. 1 Ali Can Ozcan in the semi-finals by final score 31-18.
A thrilled Yasur later told World Para Taekwondo: “It was a difficult final. It was the last fight of the day after four matches. I am second title world champion; I have no words. It’s such a wonderful feeling. I love it.”
“It’s everything that I wanted and everything that I am training for.
‘Big dream is Paris 2024’
“Of course, the next goal and big one is Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. I will try my best to repeat this day in Paralympics, it’s a big dream for me and I will do everything to achieve the gold medal,” said Yasur who won his third gold in 2023 and is expected to jump to top of rankings.
Earlier the day kicked off with inspiring shows in K41 men’s – 58 kg. Georgia’s third ranked George Hizanishvili defeated compatriot Goga Khakhalashvili 31-24 to take the gold medal and is expected to rise in the rankings following his success in Veracruz.