August 23, 2008

Cuban Kicks Referee in Taekwondo

Dong Min Cha of South Korea and Maria del Rosario Espinoza of Mexico won the last two taekwondo gold medals awarded at the Beijing Olympics Saturday.

Cha scored three points in the first round to defeat Alexandros Nikolaidis of Greece in the over 80-kilogram weight class. Nikolaidis also won the silver medal in Athens.

The first of two bronze medal matches actually brought more action when Cuba's Angel Valodia Matos was disqualified for taking more than the allowed one minute of injury time.

Matos, champion of this weight class in Sydney, kicked the referee after the disqualification was announced.

"To me it was obvious he was unable to continue," said Arman Chilmanov, who won the bout with Matos and took home a bronze medal. "His toe on his left foot was broken."

Espinoza defeated Nina Solheim of Norway 4-1 in the over 67-kilogram class.

South Korea won half of the eight gold medals handed out in taekwondo at these Olympics.