Kurt Barbosa misses on Olympic medal as Jang Jun ousted in semis

Kurt Barbosa misses on Olympic medal as Jang Jun ousted in semis

Kurt Barbosa's Olympic quest officially comes to a close.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Kurt Barbosa's last hope to collect a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics was dashed on Saturday after top seed Jang Jun shockingly fell prey to Mohamed Jendoubi in the semifinals of the men's under-58-kilogram taekwondo event at the Makuhari Messe Hall in the Japanese capital.

Barbosa could have qualified for the repechage if Jang made it to the gold medal fight.

However, the 12th seeded Jendoubi, hailing from Tunisia, continued his giant slaying in the tournament after stunning South Korea's Jang.

Jang struck first with a kick to the head, but Jendoubi scored back-to-back kicks to take the lead before Jang tied the match at the end of Round 1.

Jang retook the lead to start Round 2 only for Jendoubi to score on back-to-back occasions again to restore order.

Jendoubi, however, was called for a violation late into the round, giving Jang an extra point to cut the lead to one, 9-8, entering Round 3.

Jendoubi then went on a body kicking clinic in the final round, tagging Jang with crucial shots that upped his lead to a more comfortable 24-15 scoreline with eight seconds left before settling for the 25-19 final margin.

Jendoubi will battle Vito Dell'Aquila of Italy, who beat Lucas Guzman of Argentina in the other semifinal, 29-10, for the gold later Saturday.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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