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Taiwanese taekwondo star qualifies for London Olympics

2011/07/03 14:26:44

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 2 (CNA) Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun finished third in a world qualifying competition Saturday to win a place in the 2012 London Olympics.

Yang was the first Taiwanese taekwondo player to qualify for the Olympics in the under-49 kg category.

According to the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) regulations, the top three athletes in each weight category in the qualifying tournament in Azerbaijan will secure a berth for their country in the Olympics.

Yang easily beat Raya Hatahet of Jordan 6-0 in the first bout and advanced to quarterfinals after trouncing Jyra Marie Lizardo of the Philippines in Round 2.

In the quarterfinals, Yang lost the first match to her Mexican opponent Jannet Alegria Pena but won the final bout, which put her through to the semifinals.

Yang lost to Wu Jingyu of China in the semifinals but secured a third place in the qualifier after defeating Yajaira Peguero of the Dominican Republic in a playoff.

"I'm very happy to help our team win a ticket to the London Olympic Games," Yang said after the competition.

On her loss to the Chinese player, Yang said Wu -- the 2009 and 2011 winner of the World Taekwondo Championships -- had learned new skills.

"When I return to Taipei, I need to practice even harder to improve my fast action skills before the London Olympics," she said.

Yang was disqualified at the 2010 Asian Games on Nov. 17 for allegedly wearing extra electronic sensors in her socks during a match, but replays of the bout showed that she had removed the two extra sensors before entering the ring, at the request of the referee.

The Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association filed an appeal with the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Dec. 8, 2010 after its appeal to the WTF failed.

The CAS is scheduled to hold an arbitration hearing on the Yang disqualification case Aug. 9-10 in Switzerland, according to Taiwan's Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council.

(By Lee Yu-cheng and Sofia Wu)
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