Reigning Olympic bronze medalist Ruth Gbagbi from Ivory Coast won gold medal over the weekend at the World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series currently underway in Wuxi in China.
The 23-year-old defeated China’s Guo Yunfei (10-6) in the women’s under-67kg division to become the first female athlete to clinch gold in the maiden edition of the competition.
Prior to the final, Gbagbi prevailed over Korean representative So-Young Seo (11-10) in the quarterfinal and crushed Mengyu Zhang from China (13-28) in the semi-final. It was a sweet revenge for Gbagbi who lost to Yunfei at the 2017 Taekwondo World Grand Prix Final held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The Grand Slam is a new competition meant to rank the best athletes from across the globe in different categories. Gbagbi recorded 80 points following her triumph.
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Her compatriot and Olympic gold medalist Cheick Cissé finished 5th in the men’s category (80kg) after losing to Hwan Namgoong from South Korea (8-11) in the quarterfinal.
Cissé won Ivory Coast’s first ever Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The success of both athletes has been a source of inspiration to many youths who are now practicing Taekwondo – a sport that is becoming popular in the West African country.