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Welterweight (≤80 kilograms), Men

Date19 – 20 August 2016
StatusOlympic
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.

The oldest contestant was legendary American athlete Steve Lopez, the 13 seed, who had five individual world titles to his name and three Olympic medals, going back to Sydney 2000, when he won the lightweight gold medal. He became the first exponent to compete in five Olympics and whilst he was not fancied to win a medal, one could never rule out a person of his experience. Two English-born athletes took part in this division – Lutalo Muhammad and Aaron Cook. Muhammad represented Great Britain while Cook represented Moldova after he fell out with the British team after failing to gain selection for the 2012 Games. Cook is the boyfriend of Bianca Walkden, the British 67kg world champion.

Crowd-pleaser Cook was seeded number two with the Ivory Coast’s Cheick Sallah Cissé third and Russia’s “Clown Prince of Taekwondo” Albert Gaun seeded four. The fifth seed was Britain’s Muhammad, the man who kept Cook out of the GB team in 2012 and went on to win bronze. A clash between Cook and Muhammed was eagerly anticipated in Rio. The top seed, Iran’s Mehdi “The Terminator” Khodabakhshi, however, had dominated this weight division since 2004 and, as the reigning world champion, was favourite for gold.

Everything went according to plan for most of the top seeds in the round of 16, except for Aaron Cook who was surprisingly beaten by the 15th seed Liu Wei-Ting of Chinese Taipei, and the number four seeded Russian Gaun went out to the 37-year-old Lopez. The American lost in the next round, however, to the fancied Muhammad whilst the top seed Khodabakhshi lost 17-5 to Milad Beigi Harçeqani of Azerbaijan on the 12 points lead rule. The Ivory Coast’s Cissé went through to the semi-final where he beat Oussama Oueslati of Tunisia 7-6 and set up a final meeting with Britain’s Muhammad, who beat Khodabakhshi’s conqueror Beigi 12-7, and what a final it turned out to be.

Muhammad connected with Cissé’s head to take a 3-0 lead in the first round. After both fighters received a penalty point, Cissé connected with the head for his own three-pointer and the two men were level at the end of round two. With less than a minute to go Muhammad scored with a body shot and then with a penalty point each the Briton was heading for the gold medal as the seconds counted down with him leading 6-5. With one second showing on the clock it was disaster for Muhammad as Cissé connected with a head kick in the very last action of the contest and he gave the Ivory Coast its first ever Olympic gold medal in any sport. Officials later confirmed that Cissé’s winning kick was one tenth of a second from the end of the contest. Tenth seed Oussama Oueslati and ninth seed Milad Beigi won their respective bronze medal matches.

PosNrFighterNOC
1603Cheick Sallah CisséCIVGold
2605Lutalo MuhammadGBRSilver
=3610Oussama OueslatiTUNBronze
=3609Milad BeigiAZEBronze
=5613Steven LopezUSA
=5614Piotr PazińskiPOL
=7612Hayder ShkaraAUS
=7606Tahir GülecGER
=9601Mahdi KhodabakhshiIRI
=9615Liu Wei-TingTPE
=11604Albert GaunRUS
=11608Ismaël CoulibalyMLI
=11616Miguel FerreraHON
=11602Aaron CookMDA
=11607Nikita RafalovichUZB
=11611Moisés HernándezDOM

Round One (19 August 2016 — 09:15)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Steven LopezUSA Albert GaunRUS Final Score (7 - 4)
Match #2 Lutalo MuhammadGBR Hayder ShkaraAUS Superiority (14 - 0)
Match #3 Milad BeigiAZE Ismaël CoulibalyMLI Final Score (13 - 6)
Match #4 Mahdi KhodabakhshiIRI Miguel FerreraHON Superiority (13 - 1)
Match #5 Liu Wei-TingTPE Aaron CookMDA Superiority (14 - 2)
Match #6 Oussama OueslatiTUN Nikita RafalovichUZB Sudden Death (Round 4, 0:50)
Match #7 Tahir GülecGER Moisés HernándezDOM Final Score (4 - 2)
Match #8 Cheick Sallah CisséCIV Piotr PazińskiPOL Final Score (8 - 2)

Quarter-Finals (19 August 2016 — 15:15)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Lutalo MuhammadGBR Steven LopezUSA Final Score (9 - 2)
Match #2 Milad BeigiAZE Mahdi KhodabakhshiIRI Superiority (17 - 5)
Match #3 Oussama OueslatiTUN Liu Wei-TingTPE Sudden Death (Round 4, 0:10)
Match #4 Cheick Sallah CisséCIV Tahir GülecGER Final Score (7 - 1)

Semi-Finals (19 August 2016 — 17:15)

Winner of each match advanced to the final round.

Match #1 Lutalo MuhammadGBR Milad BeigiAZE Final Score (12 - 7)
Match #2 Cheick Sallah CisséCIV Oussama OueslatiTUN Final Score (7 - 6)

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

Winner of each match advanced to the bronze medal match.

Match #1 Steven LopezUSA Hayder ShkaraAUS Superiority (0 - 0)
Match #2 Piotr PazińskiPOL Tahir GülecGER Sudden Death (Round 4, 0:08)

Bronze Medal Matches (20 August 2016 — 21:15)

Match #1 Oussama OueslatiTUN Steven LopezUSA Final Score (14 - 5)
Match #2 Milad BeigiAZE Piotr PazińskiPOL Superiority (12 - 0)

Final Round (20 August 2016 — 22:15)

Match 1/2 Cheick Sallah CisséCIV Lutalo MuhammadGBR Final Score (8 - 6)