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Jordan gets second ever Olympic medal with silver in taekwondo

Silver medalist Jordan's Saleh Elsharabaty poses on the podium after the taekwondo men's -80kg bouts during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Tokyo on 26 July 2021. [JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images]
Silver medalist Jordan's Saleh Elsharabaty poses on the podium after the taekwondo men's -80kg bouts during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Makuhari Messe Hall in Tokyo on 26 July 2021. [JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images]

Jordan's Saleh Elsharabaty has won the kingdom its second Olympic medal in history after becoming the taekwondo silver medallist in Tokyo yesterday.

Elsharabaty was beaten by his "brother" Russian Maksim Khramtcov in their 80kg final match-up.

"He is so strong," the 22-year-old Jordanian who is of Palestinian origin said. "I've trained with him a lot in Jordan; we are like brothers."

"I am really happy for him and I am happy with the silver this time. In [the Paris Games in 2024] I want the gold," he said.

Elsharabaty's Olympic medal was only the second for his country after Ahmad Abughaush's gold in Rio, also in the Korean combat sport.

Khramtcov comfortably won the match 20-9 for the Russian Olympic Committee team.

As soon as the final buzzer sounded, the pair broke into a relaxed smile and held each other in a tight embrace, Reuters reports. After the requisite post-match fist-bump with the opposing teams' coaches, they returned to the mat to hug for a second time.

Top-ranked Khramtcov later said he looked into Elsharabaty's eyes moments before the match ended, concluded that his friend was tired and thought to himself "a silver was okay for him."

It was an especially emotional win for Khramtcov, whose mother died six months ago.

"I never thought of giving up," he said when asked how he coped with the loss.

"My mother wanted to see a gold medal in my hands so I had to come to get it. Now I have it round my neck for her."

READ: Sudan judoka fighter quits Olympic after avoiding Israel opponent

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