Olympic flag-bearer Zhao defends taekwondo title at National Games


XI’AN, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Zhao Shuai, the Chinese delegation’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games, defended his title in the men’s 68kg taekwondo competition at China’s 14th National Games on Friday.

Zhao, representing Jiangsu, beat Jilin’s Chen Bolin 20-8 in the final.

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After the match, Zhao shouted loudly and stretched out three fingers to the audience to signify his third straight gold medal at the Games.

“I defended my opponent’s attack today,” said Zhao, adding that he was not at his best level.

Zhao made history by winning China’s first Olympic gold in men’s taekwondo at Rio 2016, and took bronze at the Tokyo Games.

“I just came out of quarantine to compete here after Tokyo,” he said. “The rhythm of the match is different at home and abroad. I was a little nervous, adapting to the event and looking for my own style of play.”

33 teams are participating in the taekwondo competition, which concludes on September 26.

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