No Male Olympic Champions Playing At 2009 World Taekwondo Championships

With the conclusion of the Beijing Olympic Games over a year ago team found it interesting to note that there were no Olympic male gold medal winners attending the recent 2009 World Taekwondo Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Olympic Champion in the male fly weight division Guillermo Perez of Mexico has had a successful competitive campaign after the Beijing Olympics with participation in the 2009 World Taekwondo Team Championships (World Cup) and has tallied medals on the European A-Class competition circuit.

However in the Mexican National Team qualifiers for the World Championships held in Guadalajara, Perez was beaten by Damian Villa (7-6 in the dying seconds of the match) who is trained by the veteran fighter Josef Salim.

Son Tae Jin of South Korea, Olympic Champion in the feather weight division has endured a tough time since the Beijing Olympic Games. His last second scoring kick against Mark Lopez of the USA put him into Olympic history with a heartfelt victory for the youngster who only 3 years ago, after his 1st round defeat in the 2007 World Taekwondo Championships, was considering quitting the sport.

Since Beijing, Son has been competing in the Korean Professional Taekwondo League as a member of the prestigious Samsung S1 team. Son lost in the Korean National Team qualifiers surprisingly without a top 3 placement putting him out of the Korean team for the World Championships. In the recent 44th Presidents Cup held in Korea, Son was knocked out by Park Hyoung Jin in the final game putting doubt on Son’s future for placement in the 2010 Korean National Team.

Hadi Saeibonehkohal, the Olympic Champion in the welter weight division retired shortly after his victory in Beijing. After the Olympic Games, Hadi played in a farewell match in Iran. He did not compete in the World Championships but was there in various official capacities. Since his retirement Hadi has been travelling around the globe doing various work and was even offered a job as an Iranian National Team coach. Hadi declined the offer because he felt he ‘wasn’t experienced enough for such a prestigious position’.

The Olympic heavyweight Champion Cha Dong Min of South Korea was defeated in the final of the Korean National team trails for the World Championships by the 2007 Korean National team representative Nam Yun Bae. Oddly enough both Cha and Nam both represent the KOGAS (Korea Gas Corporation) professional team and have both dominated the heavy weight division in Korea since the retirement of Samsung S1 team representative Moon Dae Sung.