SUZHOU, China (July 4, 2014) - Host China clinched two gold medals and Gabon took one gold on the opening day of the 2014 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series 1 in Suzhou, China on July 4, 2014.
China's Wu Jingyu, a double Olympic gold medalist, defeated France's Yasmina Aziez 4-0 in the women's -49kg final match to earn her country the gold medal. She also won a prize money of $5,000. In the female division, the bronze went to Korea's So-hui Kim and Hungary's Ivett Gonda.
Another Chinese female athlete, Zheng Shuyin, beat Mexico's Briseida Acosta 5-2 in the women's +67kg final match for the second gold medal of the day. Great Britain's Bianca Walkden and Serbia's Milika Mandic, the gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympic Games, shared the bronze medal in the division.
In the men's +80kg final match, Gabon's Anthony Obame, the silver medalist at the 2012 London Olympic Games, crushed Korea's Dong-min Cha, the gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 17-9 to win the gold medal and a prize money of $5,000.
In the male category, the bronze went to Iran's Sajiad Mardani and Great Britain's Mahama Cho, the gold medalist at the inaugural 2013 World Taekwondo Grand Prix final in Manchester, the United Kingdom.
A total of 236 athletes from 57 countries are competing at the Suzhou Sports Center for top honors in the Suzhou Grand Prix event, which will continue until July 6.
In the afternoon, an opening ceremony of the 2014 Suzhou Grand Prix event was held at the venue.
The opening ceremony attracted WTF President Chungwon Choue, Chinese Taekwondo Association President Li Qiang, and Thailand IOC member Nat Indrapana, among others.
Taekwondo demonstrations were performed by Chinese and WTF taekwondo demonstration teams, drawing big applause from spectators.
In his opening remarks, WTF President Choue said, "Suzhou is renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in China and is also known as a sport city that has organized many international sports events." "In fact, the WTF held an International Referee and Coach joint training camp here in 2012, which was the key reasons for the success of taekwondo at the London 2012 Olympic Games."
"The Suzhou Grand Prix is an important step for athletes to take on the road to Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games. All athletes here today have undergone years of hard training and heated competition. I wish you luck and success," Choue said.
The second day of the competition, on July 5, will feature three weight divisions: the women's -67kg, the men's -58kg and the men's -80kg.