November 22 - Lisa Standeven, a 45-year-old Canadian, held onto her world champion title as she beat Amy Truesdale of Great Britain in a powerful spar at the third World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World Para-Taekwondo Championships tonight here at the Centro Deportivo.
The one-day event featured 53 athletes, 10 male and four female categories, with upper limb amputations competing in Olympic weight divisions modified to either, amputation with both limbs above elbows (A5), amputation of one limb above the elbow (A6), amputation of both limbs below the elbows (A7), and amputation of one limb below the elbow (A8).
The A8 +67kg game, which received the highest score of the tournament's finals, got off to a quick lead by Standeven (pictured top, in red) as she finished the first round with an 8-2 stretch.
Although Truesdale (pictured top, in blue) came back fighting in the second round, pulling the game back to 9-4, Lisa's frequent and dominating kicks showcased why she is world number world, to end the match at 14-4.
"She was very strong – a lot stronger than the last time I sparred her – her kicks hurt," Standeven told insidethegames.
"It was good though I did a lot of training and thought I was ready.
"Although there was a long delay [in between the semi-final and finals taking place], it didn't seem to go against me."
As the only Briton in the competition, 23-year-old Truesdale, who won bronze in 2009 at the first Championships in Baku, and then silver in the next held in Russia, said she was disappointed not to have won gold.
Mother-of-three Standeven commented on her future competing plans.
"There is the Canadian nationals coming up, which I may go to, I have spent a lot of time training and I don't want to let that drop off but at the same time I have three kids at home and a job and so it can be quite difficult," she said.
Meanwhile, the women's A5 -49kg witnessed Ukraine's Viktorila Marchuk, who has been learning the sport for just nine months, win her first medal after beating Russia's Dilyara Sheykhakhmedova 4-1.
WTF President Chungwon Choue told insidethegames he was "very satisfied" with how the championships had gone.
"Especially to see someone who has only been training in the sport for nine months and now win a gold medal at a world championships is amazing," he added.
"More and more Para-taekwondo is becoming more popular in different regions.
"I hope that one day Para-taekwondo will be in the Paralympics – and then my dreams will have come true.
Elsewhere in the men's sparring, Nijat Muslumov of Azerbaijan managed to strike one more kick over Finland's Matti Sairanen in order to gain victory by 2-1 in the men's A6 -68kg category.
While Iran's Mahmoud Jafarzadeh won his first world title since winning silver in the last two world Para-taekwondo events, following an impressive final round against Australia's Steven Currie which ended the bout 8-2.
But it was Azerbaijan who defended their overall title, collecting six gold, six silver and three bronze medals from the day.
Russia finished second with two golds, four silvers and five bronze, followed by Spain in overall third place who claimed two gold and one bronze medal.
The competition used a Daedo Protector and Scoring System (PSS) and an instant video replay system which were also used for the first time during an Olympic Games this summer.
Modified competition rules applied to the championships as attacks to the head were banned and the duration of the contest was three rounds of one minute each with a one-minute break between rounds.
The tournament took place in Aruba for the first time and coincides with the 2012 WTF World Cup Team Championships getting underway tomorrow.
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