Teenager ends Russia’s Olympic taekwondo drought

Aleksey Denisenko (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)
Eighteen-year-old Aleksey Denisenko has clinched a narrow win over Australia's Safwan Khalil to claim Olympic bronze in the men's flyweight taekwondo competition.

A first-round advantage was enough for Denisenko to secure the victory. The 18-year-old attacked effectively to take a 3-1 lead in the bout, and then defended perfectly to win it. Denisenko’s achievement put an end to Russia’s 12-year Olympic taekwondo drought.

Spain’s Joel Gonzalez Bonilla beat South Korea’s Lee Daehoon in the final.

Another Russian bronze of the day came at the hands of female freestyle wrestler Lyubov Volosova. Volosova, three times runner-up at the world championships, defeated Poland’s Monika Ewa Michalik in a clinch at the end of the third period to win 3-1 on points.

Kaori Icho of Japan won her third consecutive Olympic gold medal against China’s Jing Ruixue with a 3-0 win in the final of the women’s 63 kilogram freestyle wrestling class.

Elsewhere, the Russian men’s volleyball squad sugared the pill of the Russian women’s loss to Brazil in the quarter-finals. Vladimir Alekhno’s charges thrashed reigning World League holders Poland to set up a semi-final encounter with Bulgaria. Brazil and Italy contest the other semi-final.

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