The Philippines and Korea strike gold at World Combat Games 2023


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Oct. 30, 2023) - The Taekwondo competition at the Riyadh 2023 World Combat Games wrapped up today with Korea striking gold in the Mixed Gender Team Kyorugi and women’s individual Freestyle Poomsae, while the Philippines claimed the title in the men’s individual Freestyle Poomsae, in a thrilling final day of action.


The Mixed Gender Team Kyorugi saw a fierce battle between Korea and Morocco. It was Korea who came out on top, overcoming Morocco 75-53 to claim gold in a thrilling contest. Türkiye bested Mexico 83-45 in the third-place match to earn bronze and complete the podium.


Korea made it to the final after mounting a comeback to defeat Türkiye 50-48 by the narrowest of margins in the semi-final. Morocco breezed past Mexico 85-52 in the other semi-final to book its place in the gold medal match.


In the men’s individual Freestyle Poomsae, Darius Venerable of the Philippines, who earned bronze at the Goyang 2022 World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships, took gold with an outstanding score of 9.28. He bested Goyang 2022 reigning world champion Namhoon Lee of Korea who closely followed with 9.20 for silver. Singapore’s Zong Han Darren Yap finished the competition with a score of 9.10 to claim bronze.


Meanwhile, in the women’s individual Freestyle Poomsae, an impressive score of 9.28 saw Ye eun Cha from Korea claim gold, adding to her trophy cabinet which also includes world championship gold from Goyang 2022. She was followed by Maria Alejandra Higueros Luna of Guatemala who took silver home after posting a score of 9.04. Bronze went to Chinese Taipei’s Hsin-Ya Chen after she earned a score of 8.80.


The finals took place on the closing day of the World Combat Games, which has brought together the world’s best athletes from across 16 Olympic and non-Olympic combat sports.