Karate: Iran's Sajad Ganjzadeh wins gold after Saudi Hamedi is disqualified

AP , Saturday 7 Aug 2021

Ganjzadeh left the Budokan tatami on a stretcher after falling motionless onto his back from the spectacular kick by Hamedi, who led the bout 4:1

Tareg Hamedi
Saudi Arabia s Tareg Hamedi (R) looks away as Iran s Sajad Ganjzadeh is surrounded by medics after an injury in the men s kumite 75kg final of the karate competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on August 7, 2021 (AFP)

Iran's Sajad Ganjzadeh has won the Olympic gold medal in men's over-75 kilogram karate after final opponent Tareg Hamedi was given a disqualification penalty for kicking Ganjzadeh hard in the upper body or head.

Ganjzadeh left the Budokan tatami on a stretcher after falling motionless onto his back from the spectacular kick by Hamedi, who led the bout 4:1. Ganjzadeh moved his arms before he was carried away.

After the officials conferred, a hansoku penalty was issued to Hamedi and Ganjzadeh was declared the winner. Hamedi, who left the mat in tears, still won Saudi Arabia's second-ever silver medal, but missed out on its first gold.

Hamedi's amazing kick was the final strike of karate's Olympic debut tournament. The sport is not on the program for Paris in 2024, and its long-term Olympic future is up in the air.

Hamedi overcame Japan's Ryutaro Araga in the semifinals. Araga's bronze surprisingly was the host nation's only kumite medal in Tokyo. Karate proliferated in Japan and spread throughout the globe during the 20th century.

Ugur Aktas of Turkey won the other bronze.

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