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Khalil's bronze hopes remain alive

18 August 2016

TAEKWONDO: Safwan Khalil's dream of an Olympic medal remains alive after Thailand's Tawin Hanprab won through to the final.

The result means that Khalil will contest the repechage for the bronze medal in the men's -58kg division where he will need to win two fights to stand on the Rio podium.

Khalil was knocked out of gold medal contention after he went down to Hanprab 11-9 in the quarter-finals. 

He will now face Korea's Taehun Kim and if he is successful he will take on Mexico's Carlos Navarro Valdez for bronze.

Khalil started the day by defeating Belgian Si Mohamed Ketbi 8-1 to move through to the quarter-finals.

It was there he met the Thai fighter. After a scoreless first round the fight really began to heat up in the second. Having secured the opening two points of the match, Khalil’s opponent quickly countered with a head kick that gave Hanprab the 3-2 lead.

Khalil was confident he returned the favour and after a successful challenge secured three points of his own before a body kick to it to 6-3 Khalil’s way. The round would end all level at 6-6 though when Hanprab scored another head kick.

Khalil again opened a two point gap as he looked to kill off the fight before the 18-year-old Thai secured a penalty point and another three point head kick to set up a strong 10-8 lead late on.

Khalil did his best to get the head kick he needed himself to keep his gold medal aspirations alive but Hanprab proved to elusive as the match ended 11-9 with both athletes having secured a penalty point late.

Earlier in the day Khalil defeated Belgian Si Mohamed Ketbi 8-1 to move through to the quarter-finals.

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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