The first time’s a charm for teen taekwondo sensation Oscar Muñoz Oviedo at the 2012 Olympic Games
Following a tough loss to eventual champion Joel González of Spain, the 19-year-old Colombian fighter—competing in his first Olympics—beat Thailand’s Pen-Ek Karaket on Wednesday to take home the bronze medal in the men’s under-58kg taekwondo final at the London Games.
Muñoz and Karaket closed out the first round tied at zero, but the Colombiano closed the second round by a score of 3-1.
And Muñoz came away with the victory after he successfully challenged a last second three-point kick. The judges penalized the Thai fighter for an illegal blow in the third round, which helped seal Muñoz 6-4 win.
“It was a very difficult fight; at the end I was able to solve it,” said Muñoz, insisting that he never lost confidence that “everything was going to come out fine.”
Muñoz’s medal sets Colombia’s medal count at the 2012 Olympic Games at five, two silver and three bronze. That improves on the country’s all-time record for most medals in a single Games that was already set after Caterine Ibarguen medal-winning performance in the triple jump on Sunday.
“Thanks to God I have been able to obtain this victory, a medal I have wanted for Colombia so long,” said Muñoz after the fight.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos congratulated his country’s latest Olympic victor on Twitter. “What pride for Valledupar!” said the president.