Jae-hee Mok and Jun-seo Bae secured a pair of gold medals for South Korea on the first day of competition at the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World Junior Championships in Burnaby in Canada today.
The Championships, for athletes aged between 15 and 17, is taking place at Burnaby’s Bill Copeland Sports Centre with 846 competitors and 458 officials registered to take part.
On the first of five days of competition, the lightest weight divisions competed with medals available in the women's under-42 kilogram, women's under 44kg, men's under 45kg and men's under 48kg categories.
The first South Korean success came in the men's under-45kg category.
Cheng Chun Chang of Chinese Taipei took on Bae in the final.
After a nervy opening round the score was level at 0-0 before Bae posted three points in the second with a fast and perfectly aimed combination of body kicks.
Bae then extended his lead in the third period, going four, then five points up handing him the gold medal and leaving Chang with silver.
The bronze medals were shared by Ayaz Ganbarli of Azerbaijan and Yutthaya Khongkraphan of Thailand.
Jae-hee Mok then went in search of a second South Korean gold medal as he faced Saran Tangchatkaew of Thailand in the final of the under 48kg event.
In round one, Mok scored to the body almost immediately, going one point up before doubling his lead to go two ahead.
The Korean then appeared to land a face kick and, following an appeal from his coach, was rewarded.
Tangchatkaew then fell twice giving Mok a 6-0 lead.
Following a scoreless second round, Mok went nine ahead before he landed another kick to Tangchatkaw’s face, ending the match 12-0 on point difference.
Georgios Ioannou of Greece and Ting Wei Tai of Chinese Taipei collected the bronze medals.
Elsewhere on the first day of action, gold medals were also awarded in two women's divisions.
In the women's under 42kg category Iran's Mobina Nejad Katesari defeated Spaniard Irene Laguna Perez 8-0 after she produced two stunning head kicks.
The bronze medals went to Sofia Zampetti of Italy and Karina Ushakova of Russia.
In the women's under 44kg category finals, Maria Calderon of Costa Rica took on Thi Kim Ngan Ho of Vietnam in the final.
Ho lost two points for falling twice in the dying seconds but the Vietnamese competitor still took the gold medal with a score of 5-2.
Turkey's Derya Esme and Abigail Faye Valdez of the Philippines claimed the two bronze medals.
Before the finals, there was an Opening Ceremony that featured an honour guard from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was themed after the "diversity and multiculturalism that defines both the city of Burnaby and the WTF".
It also featured a local choir, a native Canadian wolf dance group, highland pipes and drums, and a drum, dance and taekwondo performance.
WTF President Chungwon Choue also opened the "THF Challenge" designed to raise funds for the WTF’s humanitarian initiative, the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation.
The challenge, themed "Break Boards, Change Lives" involves breaking boards, pledging donations and then posting related videos online.