Ahmad Abu Ghaush has not only become the first ever Jordanian to win an Olympic medal, he has done it in style by winning gold in the taekwondo -68kg event in Rio de Janeiro.
The heroic 20-year-old student recorded a stunning 10-6 win against Russia’s Alexey Dinisenko to complete one of the most remarkable achievements in Jordanian sporting history.
After a tense first round, Abu Ghaush scored the first point in another very tight second round. With all to play in the third round, points were traded early with the Jordanian holding a narrow 2-1 lead before Abu Ghaush landed two head kicks to put the result beyond doubt.
“I can’t believe it,” said Abu Ghaush. “I dedicate this medal to His Majesty King Abdullah II and all the people of Jordan. This is for you.
“I faced a very hard draw and had to beat the World and Olympic champions along the way. I am so pleased with everything. I want to thank my coach Faris Al Assaf who has been with me all the way on this journey. He is like a brother. To make history for Jordan is something special. I want all of Jordan to celebrate this medal.”
Abu Ghaush, a university student, was the youngest competitor in the draw but it didn’t stop him beating World Champion Daehoon Lee in the quarter-final and then 2012 Olympic gold medallist Joel Gonzalez, to book his historic final spot. Earlier, in his first fight, he beat Egyptian champion Ahmed Ghorfan.
“It is what dreams are made of,” said Abu Ghaush. “Coming to an Olympics is something special so to come here and win a medal like this is indescribable.
“Thank you to all those who believed in me including of course my family. This medal is for you all.”
Very tense opening round with neither player wanting to commit. Not surprisingly no points scored by either fighter.
Abu Ghaush scores the first point of the match, but again both fighters reluctant to commit. Abu Ghaush showing excellent movement making him a tough target for the Russian to hit.
Points traded early in the round before Abu Ghaush landed two head kicks to put the result beyond doubt