TAEKWONDO: Terrence Jennings ousted by world champion in round of 16 at World Olympic Qualifier
Bill Kellick
(719) 232-7792
July 01, 2011 4:04 PM
Terrence Jennings (Alexandria, Va.) went toe-to-toe with this year's world champion before being ruled out by a technical knockout on Friday at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Jennings, 24, opened the day in the men's under-68kg division with a 15-2 point-gap victory in round two over Mozambique's Nicolau Sambo and followed that up with a knockout win over Mohammed Younis of Palestine. Jennings caught Younis with a spin hook kick in round 2 while Jennings was leading 8-0.

That led to a round of 16 matchup with 2011 world champion Servet Tazegul of Turkey. With the score tied 8-8 in the second round, Tazegul caught Jennings with a back kick that sent Jennings to the mat and the referee started his eight count. Jennings got back to his feet at the count of eight but the referee declared him the loser by technical knockout. U.S. Coach Juan Moreno requested a video replay which was reviewed but the referee's decision was upheld.

Tazegul went on to place first and qualify for the London Games along with Iran's Mohammad Bagheri Motamed and Brazil's Silva Diogo. Friday's qualifiers in the women's over 67kg division were Gwladys Epangue of France, Sae-Bom An of Korea and Anastasila Baryshnikova of Russia.

Jennings will now try to qualify his -68kg division at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier later this year. A top-three finish at that event would qualify the weight division only and a series of trials early in 2012 would determine the American athlete to represent the U.S. in that weight division at the London Games.

Two more U.S. athletes will attempt to qualify for the London Games over the next two days. The daily schedule is as follows:
July 2 - Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) - male under 80kg
July 3 - Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) - female under57kg

Steven Lopez, 32, is a three-time Olympic medalist, winning gold in 2000 and 2004, and a bronze medal in 2008. His sister, Diana, 27, is also a 2008 bronze medalist.