Bahawi off to winning start at London Olympics
Bahawi gained a much-needed edge over his rival at the very outset of the match, kicking Chernoubi in the chest to earn a valuable point. The Afghan managed to have the better of his opponent in the next round as well.
Injured in the second round, Bahawi fell to the ground and Chernoubi kicked him in the head to score three points. Feeling unwell even in the third round, the Afghan equaled the points by throwing a kick at his foe.
Another point in the dying moments of the bout saw Bahawi dry and home against the Moroccan player, the African champion, who committed a series of fouls in the match.
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan’s taekwondo hero Roohullah Nikpai overpowered his British rival in the semifinal and won the bronze medal for his war-plagued country.
"Of course, winning a medal is very important to all the countries in the world, but it has special significance for Afghanistan," Nikpai said after beating Martin Stamper 5-3.
He also defeated David Boui of the Central African Republic 14-2. Last night, the 25-year-old was shocked in men's featherweight 58-68kg quarter-finals by Mohammad Bagheri Motamed of neighbouring in the golden round.
The player won Afghanistan’s first medal at the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, when he stunned world flyweight champion Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain to take bronze in men’s 58-kg category.
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