The Sofia Open opened the 2021 taekwondo international calendar ©Sofia Open

The 2021 Sofia Open brought together almost 700 athletes from 50 countries for the opening taekwondo tournament of the 2021 season under COVID-19 measures in Bulgaria.

Held in three separate halls without spectators, there were more than 1,000 polymerase chain reaction tests done during the competition.

Sixteen athletes from 11 countries won gold medals, while nine nations won silver and 18 earned bronze.

In the men's 54 kilogram category, world junior champion Iran's Hossein Lotfi won the gold, while Jordan's Zaid Alhalawani dominated the men's 58kg to claim the title.

Local athlete Bozhidar Avramov staged one of the biggest upsets in the men's 63kg, defeating the reigning European champion Lovre Brečić of Croatia to win the bronze medal, while Belgium's Jaouad Achab won the final against Spain's Adrian Del Rio Guerrero.

Iran's Mohammad Bakhshi Amir won the men's 74kg, while Jordan's Saleh Elsharabaty won the men's 80kg rematch with Seif Eissa of Egypt to win gold.

Daniel Ros Gómez of Spain won the gold medal in the men's 87kg, while Turkey's Emre Kutalmış Ateşli surprised the field by defeating world silver medallist Mahama Cho of Britain and Olympic silver medallist Anthony Obame of Gabon in the men's +87kg.

In the women's competition, three-time African champion Nour Abdelsalam of Egypt won the 49kg, while Tijana Bogdanović of Serbia claimed gold in the 53kg.

Britain's Jade Jones' loss in the women's 57kg was the big shock of the Sofia Open ©Getty Images
Britain's Jade Jones' loss in the women's 57kg was the big shock of the Sofia Open ©Getty Images

Two-time Olympic champion Britain's Jade Jones was shocked in the women's 57kg following a semi-final defeat to Marija Štetić of Croatia.

Štetić then lost to Anastasija Zolotic of the United States in the final.

Britain's Chloe Roberts delivered in the women's 62kg by claiming gold, Julyana Al-Sadeq of Jordan won the 67kg, and three-time Olympic medallist Maria Espinoza of Mexico won the 73kg gold medal.

Three-time world champion Bianca Walkden of Britain won the +73kg title.

Jordan finished top of the medal standings with three gold, three silver and one bronze medal, ahead of Britain's three gold, one silver and two bronze medals.