Tunisia’s Mohammed Khalil Jendoubi became the first African to win a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, after he lost to Italy’s Vito Dell’ Aquila in the final of the men’s taekwondo 58kg category.
Jendoubi bagged a silver medal on Saturday, July 24, in after taking on Aquila, who secured gold.
The match was balanced, as the two tied 10-10 before Dell’Aquila scored decisively in the final 15 seconds to cart home the gold.
Jendoubi had made an early statement when he stunned Ethiopia’s Solomon Dense in the quarters to book a semi-final meeting with Hang Jun of South Korea.
While many thought Hang Jun posed the biggest threat to Jendoubi, the Tunisian beat all the odds to secure a win over the South Korean who was favourite to win the gold.
Jendoubi now becomes only the second Tunisian to win silver at the Olympics after long-distance runner Mohammed Gammoudi.
The very first of those came in Tokyo as well, back in 1964, and contributed – like Jendoubi’s in the Japanese capital on Saturday – to Tunisia’s overall tally of 14 Olympic medals.