| Event type

Featherweight (≤68 kilograms), Men

Date18 – 19 August 2016
LocationArena Carioca 3, Parque Olímpico da Barra, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Participants16 from 16 countries
FormatSingle-elimination tournament. All fighters losing to the finalists in each pool advance to repêchage tournament for the bronze medal.

Joel González of Spain had stepped up a division since winning the flyweight gold medal at London 2012 and was optimistic about winning a second gold, particularly after winning silver in the 63kg class at the 2015 World Championships. A strong favourite for the featherweight title, however, was Turkey’s Servet “The Cheetah” Tazegül, who won in 2012 and was the reigning European and World 68kg Champion, but there were plenty of others to pick from. Seeded one place above Tazegül, in fourth place, was Russia’s Aleksey Denisenko, who the Turk beat in the 2015 world final in what was described as one of the all-time great taekwondo matches and one many would like to see repeated as the 2016 Olympic final.

The number one seed, and 2015 63kg world champion, was Belgium’s Jaouad Achab, a flamboyant fighter who was great to watch despite being a bit too light in this 68kg category. The experienced South Korean Lee Dae-Hun was number two seed and was a silver medallist in 2012 behind the Spaniard González. The third seed Saúl Gutiérrez of Mexico was a 63kg bronze medallist at the 2015 worlds and he was tall, which is a big advantage for attempting head kicks.

Unlike the first day of completion, when the favourites fell by the wayside in the early part of competition, the 68kg class went much to form with Gutiérrez being the only one of the top six seeds to fall in the first round. The fans got the re-run of the Tazegül – Denisenko contest in the quarter-final but, unlike the World Championship final, it was far from a classic as the Russian ran out a 19-6 winner on the points gap rule in the second round.

In the first repêchage, Tazegül, the now deposed defending champion and number five seed, was defeated by 13th seed Edgar Contreras of Venezuela in the golden point sudden-death after a 4-4 tie. The first of the bronze medal matches saw Contreras against González hold out for a 4-3 win. The other bronze medal match was between the number one and two seeds, Jaouad Achab and Lee Dae-Hun, and it was a great contest which Lee won 11-7, but the scoreline does not tell the full story of a match that saw the lead change hands several times in the first two rounds.

In the gold medal match, the fourth seed Denisenko had impressed all day with his wide array of skills, whilst the tenth seed Jordanian Ahmad Abughaush had become a favourite of the fans with his footwork and variety of kicks; thus the final was between two men of different contrasts. The Jordanian opened up a one point lead in round two after a scoreless opening round, but that one point was all that separated the two men at the end of the round. Abughaush built up a lead of 7-2 and then 10-2 in the third round by which time it looked over and despite a late flourish from the Russian, Jordan won their first ever Olympic medal in any sport, thanks to Abughaush’s 10-6 win.

1410Ahmad AbughaushJORGold
2406Aleksey DenisenkoRUSSilver
=3406Joel GonzálezESPBronze
=3402Lee Dae-HunKORBronze
=5413Edgar ContrerasVEN
=5401Jaouad AchabBEL
=7405Servet TazegülTUR
=7407Ghofran ZakiEGY
=9414Pürevjavyn TemüüjinMGL
=9408Karol RobakPOL
=11409Balla DièyeSEN
=11416Maxemillion KassmanPNG
=11415Patrick BouiCAF
=11411Filip GrgićCRO
=11403Saúl GutiérrezMEX
=11412Ignacio MoralesCHI

Round One (18 August 2016 — 09:15)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Aleksey DenisenkoRUS Edgar ContrerasVEN Final Score (12 - 2)
Match #2 Servet TazegülTUR Ignacio MoralesCHI Superiority (14 - 1)
Match #3 Karol RobakPOL Balla DièyeSEN Final Score (15 - 12)
Match #4 Jaouad AchabBEL Maxemillion KassmanPNG Superiority (15 - 1)
Match #5 Lee Dae-HunKOR Patrick BouiCAF Retired (Round 1, 2:00)
Match #6 Ahmad AbughaushJOR Ghofran ZakiEGY Final Score (9 - 1)
Match #7 Joel GonzálezESP Filip GrgićCRO Final Score (4 - 3)
Match #8 Pürevjavyn TemüüjinMGL Saúl GutiérrezMEX Final Score (12 - 11)

Quarter-Finals (18 August 2016 — 15:15)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Aleksey DenisenkoRUS Servet TazegülTUR Superiority (19 - 6)
Match #2 Jaouad AchabBEL Karol RobakPOL Final Score (9 - 7)
Match #3 Ahmad AbughaushJOR Lee Dae-HunKOR Final Score (11 - 8)
Match #4 Joel GonzálezESP Pürevjavyn TemüüjinMGL Final Score (7 - 4)

Semi-Finals (18 August 2016 — 17:15)

Winner of each match advanced to the final round.

Match #1 Aleksey DenisenkoRUS Jaouad AchabBEL Final Score (6 - 1)
Match #2 Ahmad AbughaushJOR Joel GonzálezESP Final Score (12 - 7)

Repêchage Round One (19 August 2016 — 20:15)

Winner of each match advanced to the bronze medal match.

Match #1 Edgar ContrerasVEN Servet TazegülTUR Sudden Death (Round 4, 1:57)
Match #2 Lee Dae-HunKOR Ghofran ZakiEGY Final Score (14 - 6)

Bronze Medal Matches (19 August 2016 — 21:15)

Match #1 Joel GonzálezESP Edgar ContrerasVEN Final Score (4 - 3)
Match #2 Lee Dae-HunKOR Jaouad AchabBEL Final Score (11 - 7)

Final Round (19 August 2016 — 22:15)

Match 1/2 Ahmad AbughaushJOR Aleksey DenisenkoRUS Final Score (10 - 6)