Iran’s Mir-Hashem Hosseini grabbed a gold medal at the 2019 World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Chiba, Japan, edging closer to secure a berth at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
On Friday, Hosseini, representing Iran at the men’s -68kg weight class, outclassed Britain’s Christian McNeish 36-20 in the final to take his personal tally at this year’s World Taekwondo GP to two golds – following a triumph at the opening round of the competitions in Rome, Italy, last June.
South Korean Dae-hoon Lee and Edival Pontes of Brazil – who was beaten by Hosseini in the semifinals – settled for the joint-bronze medals of the category.
En route to the final, Hosseini had overcome Mexican Ruben Nava and Javier Perez Polo of Spain before a victory over Soroush Ahmadi in an all-Iranian quarterfinal encounter.
The gold medal gave the 20-year-old Iranian 40 valuable Olympic ranking points less than a year before Tokyo Games.
The second round of the competitions takes place at the Chiba Port Arena – the host venue for the taekwondo contests at next year’s Olympics – on September 13-15.