HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Korea won both the male and female team titles at the 6th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships, which wrapped up its five-day run here on July 30, 2006.

Korean male contestants clinched four gold medals and two bronze medals to top others in the overall medal tally, followed by Iran with two golds, one silver and two bronzes, Thailand with one gold, two silvers and one bronze. China and France shared fourth place with one gold, one silver and one bronze in the male divison.

In the female division, Korean female athletes won four golds, two silvers and two bronzes for the overall title, followed by Vietnam with three golds and two bronzes, Thailand with one gold and two silvers, China with one gold, one silver and two bronzes, and Turkey with one gold and two bronzes.

The World Junior championships, which took place at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, attracted 1,158 athletes and officials from 77 countries around the world.

On the final day of the championships, Korea clinched three golds and China won one gold medal.

In the male heavyweight (+78kg) final match, Korea’s Kim Dong-young fought his way to the sudden-death round to clinch the gold medal against France’s Carriere Romain.

The bronze medal in the same division went to the United States’ Cody Thayne Stanger and Iran’s Alireza Yousefi Falakdehi.

Korean An Sae-bom easily defeated Germany’s Wrobel Ramona 4 : -1 to win the gold medal in the female heavyweight (+68kg) category. The bronze medal went to Maia Eubanks of the United States and France’s Larcher Aurore.

In the male light heavyweight (-78kg) final match, China’s Tian Xueguang needed a sudden-death round to brush aside a stiff challenge from Russiaa Abumuslimov Gamzat to earn his country the second gold medal of the championships.
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The bronze went to Frances Payet Rodolphe and Iranian Payam Ghobadi Oghaz.

In the female light heavyweight final match, Korea’s Yu Eun-sim beat Italy’s Perugini Federica 7-3 to earn her country the eighth gold medal of the championships. The bronze went to Vietnam’s Tran Thi Ngoc Tram and Canada’s Courtney Condie.

The Good Fighting Spirit Prizes went to Vietnam, Turkey and China, while the Active Participation Prizes were given to Mexico, Egypt and Australia.

Korea’s Jeon Jin-su, the gold medalist in the male lightweight category of the just-ended championships, was chosen as the Best Male Athlete, while Thailand’s Buttree Puedpong, the gold medal winner in the female finweight class, was named the Best Female Athlete of the championships.

The Best Referee Awards were given to five international referees:
Chen Chun-feng of Chinese Taipei, Nazmdeh Mojtaba of Iran, Myung-ok Yu of Canada, Klay Thomas of Switzerland, and Benali Youssef of Morocco.

In the closing ceremony, WTF President Chungwon Choue thanked the Vietnamese organizers for the successful event.

“Through the course of the championships, we have confirmed once again that fair judgment is of the essence in the sport of taekwondo. For this reason, I wish to thank the referees for their hard work during what has been a difficult situation,” WTF President Choue said in his speech during the ceremony. “I trust your continued passion for and commitment to taekwondo.”

He continued to say, “I believe that our new Competition Rules at the World Juniors have contributed immensely to a more dynamic and exciting championships. I am especially excited to see matches won by point gap and point ceiling.”

The next WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships are scheduled to take place in Izmir, Turkey in 2008.