BEIJING (AP): Afghanistan won its first Olympic medal Wednesday, when Rohullah Nikpai defeated world champion Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain to take the bronze in the men’s under 58-kilogram taekwondo competition.
Nikpai, a flashy kicker who has been practicing the Korean martial art since he was 10, defeated Ramos easily in their bronze medal contest, outscoring the limping Spaniard.
Nikpai placed second in the World Taekwondo Federation’s world qualifying event in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam last year.
The win brings him a US$50,000 prize from a mobile phone company in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan will get another chance at a medal in taekwondo. Nesar Ahmad Bahave is competing in a heavier weight class.