Tokyo Olympics Karate: Iran's Sajad Ganjzadeh wins men's +75kg gold

Ganjzadeh was declared the winner after his opponent Tareg Hamedi was disqualified for kicking him hard in the upper body.

Iran's Sajad Ganjzadeh during the men's kumite +75kg medal ceremony at the Tokyo Olympics.   -  AP

Iran’s Sajad Ganjzadeh won the Olympic gold medal in men’s over-75 kilogram karate after final opponent Tareg Hamedi was given a disqualification penalty for kicking Ganjzadeh hard in the upper body or head.

Ganjzadeh left the Budokan tatami on a stretcher after falling motionless onto his back from the spectacular kick by Hamedi, who led the bout 4:1. Ganjzadeh moved his arms before he was carried away.

After the officials conferred, a hansoku penalty was issued to Hamedi and Ganjzadeh was declared the winner. Hamedi, who left the mat in tears, still won Saudi Arabia’s second-ever silver medal, but missed out on its first gold.

Hamedi’s amazing kick was the final strike of karate’s Olympic debut tournament. The sport is not on the program for Paris in 2024, and its long-term Olympic future is up in the air.

READ MORE: Tokyo Olympics Karate: Okinawa's Kiyuna mesmerises to win men's kata gold

Hamedi overcame Japan’s Ryutaro Araga in the semifinals. Araga’s bronze surprisingly was the host nation’s only kumite medal in Tokyo. Karate proliferated in Japan and spread throughout the globe during the 20th century.

Uğur Aktaş of Turkey won the other bronze.

In the women's +61kg, Feryal Abdelaziz of Egypt won gold beating Azerbaijan’s Iryna Zaretska to win Egypt’s second Olympic gold medal since 1948.

The 22-year-old Abdelaziz went ahead on a yuko with 28 seconds left in a cagey final bout. She scored again three seconds later and hung on for a 2:0 victory celebrated with a primal scream.

Egypt has been competing at the Olympics since 1912, but Greco-Roman wrestler Karem Gaber’s gold in Athens in 2004 was the nation’s only other gold in the past 73 years.

Gong Li of China and Sofya Berultseva of Kazakhstan won bronze.

Japan’s Ayumi Uekusa was eliminated before the finals, ending a rough Olympic year for the karate champion. Uekusa spoke out earlier this year against Japanese karate official Masao Kagawa, saying he had bullied her and injured her with a bamboo sword. Kagawa resigned.

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