Jordanian Taekwondo champion takes gold at #Rio2016

Jordanian Taekwondo champion takes gold at #Rio2016
Jordan has won its first Olympic medal, after Ahmad Abughaush beat his rival in the Rio 2016 Taekwondo finals to get a gold.
2 min read
19 Aug, 2016
The Jordanian royal family congratulated Abughaush on his win [Getty]
Jordan's Ahmad Abughaush gave his country its first medal with a surprising run to the gold at Rio 2016 Olympics.

The 20-year-old Abughaush won in the men's 68-kilogram Taekwando division, defeating Russia's Alexey Denisenko. Abughaush's victory wrapped up a surprising day of upsets.

In a nail-biting final, Abughaush landed several jumping head shots that elicited gasps from the audience. The Jordanian beat Denisenko by a score of 10 to 6.

Abughaush's success was closely watched back home - much of Jordan's royal family stayed up to watch his historic run at the Olympics.

Soon after he received his medal, he got a telephone call from the King's brother, Prince Faisal al-Hussein, president of the country's Olympic Committee.

"He told me that the people of Jordan are very happy and crying tears of joy for me," he said. Abughaush said he was very happy to be able to win Jordan's first Olympic medal.

He acknowledged his rather unorthodox style, saying that while he and his coach had plotted out how to fight certain opponents, certain moments on the mat were "improvised."

He said he would celebrate his gold medal by going out with other Jordanians in Rio and by singing with them.

Earlier in the day, the 10th-ranked Abughaush knocked out second-seeded Lee Dae-Hoon of South Korea before eliminating Olympic champion Joel Bonilla Gonzalez of Spain, who won the 58-kilogram division at the London Games.

Lee applauded Abughaush's performance after being beaten by him, raising the Jordanian's arm in victory when he was announced the winner.

Agencies contributed to this report.