The Azerbaijan national team has claimed the gold medal in the men’s division at the 2015 WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships in Mexico City.
In the final of the men’s category, Iran in white uniforms, did battle with Azerbaijan in blue.
The Azerbaijan national team was composed of Radik Isayev, Sina Bahrami, Aykhan Taghizade, Said Guliyev, Milad Beigi Harchegani and Mahammad Mammadov, while the Iranian national team comprised Armin Hadipour Seighalani, Mohammad Kazemi, Abolfazl Yaghoubijouybari, World Champion Masoud Hajizavareh, and Saeid Rajabi.
The match stared in tactical, stand-off style, before Azerbaijan seized a 3-1 lead, then gradually raised it, ending the round 8-6.
Round 2 started well for Azerbaijan, kicking off the Iranian fighter’s head guard . From then on, it was all downhill for Iran, unable to cope with the leg length and height of the Azeri players who were scoring with head shots from both long and close range. Despite some heroic play by the up-and-coming Abolfazl Yaghoubijouybari, Iran looked increasingly frustrated. The round ended 29-11 to Azerbaijan.
In the third, things continued to go Azerbaijan’s way .With just two minutes left, it was 38-16 to Azerbaijan. Iran desperately needed to pull something very special out of the bag – but the bag was empty. It ended 42-23 to Azerbaijan – a nation which has heavily invested in taekwondo in recent years. After the final bell, its embracing, dancing players looked absolutely delighted to have delivered a return on that investment.
On their way to the final, the Azerbaijan national team had overshadowed and overpowered the Korean national team, 48-30, while the Iranian national team had, in a tough but entertaining contest, dispatched the Russian national team, last year’s champions, 31-24
In a slew of special awards, Cote d’Ivoire won the Good Fighting Spirit award; the USA won the Active Participation award. Reza Mehmandoust of Azerbaijan won the Best Male Coach award, while Korean Kyo-sick Kim, who serves as the coach of the Chinese national female team, won the Best Female Coach award.
The male MVP honors when to Azerbaijan’s Milad Beigi Harchegani and China’s Shuyin Zheng was chosen as the female MVP.