WATCH! Vicious Knockout Leads to Disqualification at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Karate Championship

Published 08/08/2021, 2:15 AM EDT


Karate’s historic Olympic debut at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 did not go to plan for a Saudi Arabian Karateka. Tareg Hamedi looked like he was in the form of his life and started off dominantly in the final match.

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He fought former two-time world champion and Asian Games champion Sajad Ganjzadeh. Ganjzadeh became the first Iranian Karateka to win Olympic gold. He won the gold in a not-so-ideal manner.

Tareg Hamedi disqualification at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

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The Saudi started off the match looking strong. He looked like he was cruising to the gold medal. Within 9 seconds, he scored a three-point “ippon” and was leading 4-1 till the match came to an abrupt end.

Hamedi caught his opponent with a swift leg kicked straight to the neck. Ganjzadeh buckled and fell to the floor or the ‘tatami’. Hamedi started celebrating and screaming, thinking he won the gold medal.

In most combat sports, that would be it. They would declare Hamedi the winner and go home with the gold medal around his neck. Hamedi instead got disqualified, and they awarded his opponent the gold medal. In karate, the rules differ for knockouts.

After the kick, Ganjzadeh was motionless on the tatami, and medical professionals had to take him out of the arena on a stretcher. They adjudged Ganjzadeh to be the winner. Officials decided that Tareg Hamedi broke the rules of the game, inflicting an unchecked attack on Ganjzadeh.

An emotionless medal ceremony

Tareg Hamedi was emotionless during the medal ceremony. He came off looking visibly upset during the match. Both karatekas hugged and posed for photographs with each other. They had no hard feelings against each other.

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Tareg Hamedi had to settle for a silver medal. Hamedi told reporters he was happy with his performance. The Saudi Arabian wasn’t happy with the judge’s decision. Photos from the medal ceremony show that neither of the two fighters looked pleased with the results.

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“I’m happy about the gold medal but I’m sad that I had to win it like this,” Ganjzadeh told a news conference. The two-time World Champion added Olympic gold to his medal collection.

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Allan Binoy

211 articles

Allan Binoy is a Combat Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Allan is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC.

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