Jordan-ALSHARQIYA July 26 : Jordan secured its first medal in the Tokyo Summer Olympics and the second in the history of the Games, after taekwondo player Saleh Al-Sharbati, ranked sixth in the world, qualified for the 80-kg final, after defeating the seventh Uzbekistani Nikita Ravalovich 13-11 Monday.
Al-Sharbati, the 2021 Asian champion and the 2018 Asian bronze medalist, will meet in the final later with the Russian world number one Maxim Khrushchev, who is participating under a neutral flag, who eliminated the Egyptian Seif Issa 13-1.
Al-Sharbati will give Jordan its second ever medal in the Olympics, after Ahmed Abu Al-Ghosh won its first in Taekwondo, when he won the gold in the -68 kg weight category in Rio 2016.
"The final match will be as difficult as the first matches, in the end we are in the Olympics, so everyone is present and ready. We will rest now and prepare for the final and we are optimistic," Al-Sharbati said after winning a statement to Agence France-Presse.
He added, "I thanked my Lord that these efforts were not in vain. I thought of my family because they worked hard with me and stood by me to get here."
Al-Sharbati, 23, from the city of Zarqa, began practicing taekwondo at the age of 7, specifically since 2006 in the Jabal Amman Center.
The Jordanian player obtained a first university degree in marketing from the University of Applied Sciences.
He won several medals during his sporting career, including the silver medal in the Taekwondo Grand Prix championship during the Moscow tour in 2018, and he also won silver and bronze medals in the Asian Championship in 2018 and the Asian Championship in 2016 and medals in other championships.