ASTANA, Kazakhstan (August 29, 2014) - Croatia, the United States and France took one gold medal each on the opening day of the 2014 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series 2 in Astana, Kazakhstan on Aug. 29, 2014.
Croatia's Lucija Zaninovic brushed aside a stiff challenge from Korea's Jaeah Kim to win the women's -49kg final match 1-0 for the gold medal. Zaninovic also won a prize money of $5,000. In the female division, Chinese Taipei's Lin Wan-Ting and Ukraine's Ganna Soroka had to settle for the bronze medal.
The United States' Jacqueline Rose Galloway Sanchez defeated China's Donghua Li 5-0 in the women's +67kg final match to earn her country the gold medal. The bronze medal went to Korea's In-jong Lee and Spain's Rosana Simon Alamo in the same female division.
In the men's +80kg final match, France's M'bar N'Diaye needed a fourth golden-point round against Great Britain's Mahama Abdoufatah Cho to clinch the gold medal with a 3-2 score and a prize money of $5,000. In the male category, the bronze went to Belarus' Arman Marshall Silla and Uzbekistan's Jasur Baykuziyev.
A total of 206 athletes from 50 countries are competing at the Sport Center Daulet for top honors in the Astana Grand Prix event, which will continue until Aug. 31.
All semifinal and final matches were broadcast live by the Kaz Sport television.
In the afternoon, an opening ceremony of the 2014 Astana Grand Prix event was held at the venue.
The opening ceremony attracted WTF President Chungwon Choue; Arystanbek Muhamediuly, new minister of culture and sport of Kazakhstan; Joohyeon Baik, Korean Ambassador to Kazakhstan, and Kim Vyacheslav, president of the Kazakhstan Taekwondo Federation, among others.
The second day of the competition, on Aug. 30, will feature three weight divisions: the women's -67kg, the men's -58kg and the men's -80kg.