Olympic champion Ahmed Abu Ghaush has taken the 24th World Taekwondo Championships by storm after stepping up in weight to reach the final of the -74kg class in Manchester.
The Rio -68kg gold medallist was in unbeatable form as he blazed his way into Saturday night’s final with five victories over quality fighters to take on Italy’s Simone Alessio for the gold medal.
Abu Ghaush opened his account with a comfortable win over Slovakian Giovanni Slanec before a dazzling performance saw off Greek fighter, Georgios Roditis.
Next up was World No 2 and Asian Games gold medallist Nikita Rafalovic, who provided a stern challenge but Abu Ghaush edged through 18-16 to reach the quarter-final where he beat Turkey’s Baris Dag for a place in the last four and a guaranteed bronze medal.
But the determined Jordanian was not done yet, and he ensured that he will be back on Saturday night to fight for gold by defeating Kazakhstan’s Kairat Sarymsakov.
This is the second time that Abu Ghaush will have won a medal at the World Championships, but he has guaranteed already that he will go at least one better than his bronze medal two years ago in the -68kg class.
Meanwhile, Zaid Al Hilwani will face Mexican rival Carlos Navarro in the -63kg weight on Saturday and Saleh Al-Sharabati will open his -80kg campaign against Chinese Taipei’s Ting If.
In the women’s, Luna Abu Eisha will face her Brazilian counterpart Natalia Lima and Juliana AlSadiq will face Czech, Ivita Girankova, in the -67kg category.