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7th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships Wrap Up in Izmir, Turkey
An awarding ceremony for the overall title in the men's division is under way during the closing ceremony of the 7th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships at the Halkapinar Sport Hall in Izmir, Turkey, on May 11, 2008. Korea clinched the men's team title, followed by Iran and Turkey.

The 7th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships concluded its five-day event in Izmir, Turkey on May 11, 2008, in a great success for good reasons.

The biennial event, which took place at the Halkapinar Sport Hall in downtown Izmir, attracted more than 1,000 athletes and officials from a record 80 countries.

The previous World Junior Taekwondo Championships were held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2006 to draw athletes from 77 countries.

The next World Junior Taekwondo Championships are scheduled to take place in Mexico in 2010, which will serve as the qualification tournament for the taekwondo competition at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games, which is promoted by the International Olympic Committee.

With 80 medals up for grabs in 10 weight divisions each for the men and women division, 19 countries won at least one medal in the men's category, and 21 countries earned at least one medal in the women's division, reflecting the universality of the sport of taekwondo.

Korea confirmed its supremacy in taekwondo as it clinched both of the men's and women's team titles.

In the men's team ranking by points, Korea topped other countries with 101 points, followed by Iran with 56 points and Turkey with 43 points. Russia and China came next with 38 points and 36 points, respectively.

Team ranking is decided by the accumulated points based on the following guidelines: basic one point per each contestant who entered the competition area, one point per each victory, and an additional seven points per one gold medal, an additional three points per one silver and an additional one point per one bronze medal.

In the women's team ranking by points, Korea ranked first with 75 points, followed by Turkey with 49 points, the United States with 45 points. Chinese Taipei and France came next with 40 points and 39 points, respectively.

In the overall medal tally, Korean male contestants ranked first with six gold medals, one silver and one bronze, followed by Iran with two golds and one silver. Jordan ranked third with one gold and one bronze. Great Britain came next with one gold, while Thailand won two silvers and one bronze to rank fifth in the medal tally.

In the overall medal tally for the women's division, Korea grabbed three golds, one silver and three bronzes for the first place, while the United States and Turkey followed with one gold, one silver and one bronze each. Chinese Taipei and France came next with one gold and one bronze.

During the closing ceremony of the 7th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships on May 11, five international referees were given the Best Referee Awards.

The awardees were Mr. Jeseph Elias Khoury of Great Britain, Mr. Denis Odjo of France, Mr. John Lee Holloway of the United States, Mr. Ahmed Hassan El Mofty of Egypt, and Mr. Rene Raymond Leveaux of Australia.

The Good Fighting Spirit Prizes went to Moldova, Puerto Rico and Senegal, while the Active Participation Prizes were given to Lebanon, Serbia and Congo.

Iran's Bekzad Eilkhani, the gold medalist in the men's -73kg category at the Izmir World Junior Championships, was chosen as the Best Male Athlete (Samsung Blue Passion Award); while Turkey's Hulya Kaya, the silver medalist in the women's -49kg division, was named the Best Female Athlete of the championships.






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