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Jordanians elated as taekwondo champion wins gold in Rio

By JT - Aug 20,2016 - Last updated at Aug 20,2016

Ahmad Abu Ghaush shows off his gold medal in the men's -68kg taekwondo competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday/Friday Amman time (AP photo)

AMMAN — Jordanians from across the board have expressed their joy for the first official Olympic medal, a win that further “united” the people in the love of the country.

At dawn Amman time Friday, late Thursday Rio time, Ahmad Abu Ghaush won gold in the taekwondo -68kg event, after beating Russia’s Alexey Denisenko 10-6 in the Rio Olympics.

The 20-year-old business student, the youngest competitor in the division, had qualified to the final late Thursday after beating Spain’s 2012 London gold medallist Joel González 12-7.

His Majesty King Abdullah called the champion after the game and voiced his “happiness with the distinguished sports achievement, congratulating Abu Ghaush for the historic victory that raised the name of Jordan high in the Olympic games”, according to a Royal Court statement on Friday.

HRH Crown Prince Hussein also called the champion and congratulated him for the win.

Her Majesty Queen Rania took to social media platforms to share Jordanians her joy for the achievement.

The gold winner also received congratulatory calls from HRH Prince Feisal, president of the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC), HRH Prince Hassan, president of the Higher Council  for Self-Defence Sports and HRH Prince Rashid, president of the Jordanian Taekwondo Federation. 

“I can’t believe it,” Abu Ghaush told the JOC News Service. “I dedicate this medal to His Majesty King Abdullah II and all the people of Jordan. This is for you.”

Jordanians celebrated the gold medal back home awaiting the champ’s return, expected on Tuesday, calling for proper recognition and appreciation of his achievement and extensively sharing posts of his bout and medal ceremony on social media.

Celebrations in his neighbourhood in Amman’s Nasser area after Abu Ghaush made history was like “a huge wedding”, his brother Mohammad, a former taekwondo player, told The Jordan Times, which interviewed the family.

On social media platforms, excited Jordanians said Abu Ghaush united Arabs and Jordanians with pride and happiness.


Messages by Jordanians from all walks of life praised  the champion for making history and bringing joy to the country. 

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