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Stevenson’s Hopes Revived Before Defeat


Sarah Stevenson’s bid for Olympic taekwondo gold was temporarily revived – before she lost her semi-final to Mexican Maria del Rosario Espinoza.

Earlier today (Saturday) the Team GB taekwondo player was judged to have lost her quarter-final contest against China’s double Olympic champion Chen Zhong.

Stevenson appeared to connect with a kick to Chen’s face in the dying seconds of their over-67kg contest earlier today, but judges didn’t award her any points for the attempt, leaving Chen with a 1-0 win.

But that decision was later overturned on appeal after the competition supervisory board reviewed the match footage and decided to reverse the result. That meant Stevenson was awarded the win to put her into a semi-final against Espinoza.

Shortly after that decision was announced Stevenson squared up against the 2007 67-72kg world champion – but the Mexican carved out a 4-0 advantage just over half way into the contest.

Stevenson, clearly troubled by a leg injury in the later stages of the contest, battled back to reduce the deficit to 4-1, but couldn’t connect with the big kick that would put her in the final.

Gary Hall, Team GB taekwondo Team Leader, paid tribute to the Chinese team officials who agreed Stevenson’s late kick against Chen should have scored.

He said: “Credit goes to World Taekwondo Federation, the Chinese Olympic organising body and the Chinese team for correcting this.

“We have to give credit to the Chinese, as they said this decision needed to be overturned,” he added.

Stevenson, who is competing in her third Olympic Games aged just 25, still has the chance of a bronze medal through the repechage.