Russia’s Alexey Denisenko delighted the home crowd by claiming the men’s under-68 kilograms gold medal on the first day of action at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix series leg in Moscow.
The Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist, the runner-up at last year’s equivalent event, beat Great Britain’s Bradly Sinden in the final at the USK CSKA Basketball Arena.
After a frantic final 30 seconds, the score ended 22-12 in Denisenko's favour.
Rounding out the podium were Brazil’s Edival Pontes and Iran’s Abolfazl Yaghoubi Jouybari.
Also tasting victory today in men’s competition was South Korea’s In Kyo-don, who defeated Slovenia’s Ivan Konrad Trajkovic 13-5 in the over-80kg gold medal match.
Gabon’s Anthony Mylann Obame and Russia’s Oleg Kuznetcov were the bronze medallists.
Today’s one other gold medallist was Croatia’s Matea Jelić thanks to her 20-17 win over Britain’s Lauren Williams in the women’s under-67kg final.
The bronze medals went to South Korea’s Oh Hyeri and Jordan’s Julyana Al-Sadeq.
Earlier today, World Taekwondo held a press conference at Tass News Agency's headquarters in Moscow.
During the press conference, World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue and secretary general Hoss Rafaty praised the rising level of Russian taekwondo, noting that the strength of the country means that South Korea is no longer the dominant force it used to be.
Action in Moscow is due to continue tomorrow when the men’s under-58kg category and the women’s under-57kg and over-67kg divisions will take centre stage.
The event in Russia's capital is the second leg of the elite-level, invitational Grand Prix series, following the season opener in Rome.