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Taekwondo: Safe passage for favourites

Sydney: The favourites made no mistakes on the second day of the inaugural Olympic taekwondo tournament on Thursday.

Triple world champion Hadi Saeibonehkohal of Iran eased into the men's under 68 kg semi-final with two competent victories in the preliminary stages.

He was never in any great danger against either Hsu Chi-Hung of Taiwan or Alejandro Fabian Hernando of Argentina and won on points by 5-2 and 3-0 respectively.

He faces Sin Joon-Sik of South Korea for a place in the final later on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Korean impressed in reaching the last four with two convincing victories.

He beat Tuncay Caliskan of Austria 8-3 before breezing past Aslan Dzitiev of Russia 9-1. The bout against Dzitiev was far closer than the scoreline suggests but the referees missed a couple of blatant early scores for the Russian that could have changed the course of the bout.

Dzitiev ended the first round 3-0 down and was never able to claw his way back into the fight.

In the women's under 57 kg category the two favourites marched into a crunch semi-final clash, although by very different means.

Jung Jae-Eun of South Korea was dominant against Cristiana Corsi of Italy and won easily with some spectacular high kicks to the head.

The other favourite, Hamide Bikcin of Turkey, was the beneficiary of more erratic refereeing against Hsu Chih-ling of Taiwan.

At times Bikcin seemed to be scoring the contest herself and her clenched fist salutes and cheers after some unsuccessful attacks convinced the judges she had scored.

Hsu was left seething after one kick, which landed just above her knee, a non-scoring area, was awarded a point.

Hsu shook her head in resignation as she left the mat after what looked like an unfair 6-3 defeat.

(c) Reuters Limited.

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    Read more about: olympics 2000 sports
    Story first published: Thursday, September 28, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
    Other articles published on Sep 28, 2000
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