Tokyo 2020: Karate fighter wins Olympic gold despite being knocked out

Iran's Sajad Ganjzadeh wins karate gold at the Olympic Games after being knocked out by Saudi Arabia's Tareg Hamedi.

Saudi Arabia's Tareg Hamedi might have won an Olympic gold medal, but he was disqualified for use of 'excessive force' after he KNOCKED OUT Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran during their fight in Tokyo on Saturday. 

The 23-year-old karate fighter left Ganjzadeh lying flat on the mat with a huge head kick KO, but the referee deemed it to be an illegal kick, which left the crowd just as confused as the rest of us. 

With Ganjzadeh flat on his back, the Saudi Arabian wildly celebrated in scenes of utter jubilation - only for his hopes to be dashed shortly by the match officials.  

After a brief consultation with the medics, the referee then called the fight off, and then marched towards Hamedi to tell him of his fate. 

It handed Ganjzadeh his first Olympic gold, but it won't have been the way he will have wanted to win. 

Ganjzadeh found himself badly behind on the scorecards before his soul momentarily left his body, and was caught napping with an uppercut just moments before the dramatic finish. 

Sajad Ganjzadeh won by disqualification after getting knocked out cold

Sajad Ganjzadeh won by disqualification after getting knocked out cold 

Sajad Ganjzadeh was left flat on his back after an illegal kick from Tareg Hamedi

Sajad Ganjzadeh was left flat on his back after an illegal kick from Tareg Hamedi 

Tareg Hamedi was ahead on points by 4-1 when he was bizarrely disqualified by the referee

Tareg Hamedi was ahead on points by 4-1 when he was bizarrely disqualified by the referee 

And now a rematch could be on the cards after Karate Combat president Adam Kovacs offered them both the chance to run it back under full-contact rules. 

“Hamedi was ahead on points when he threw that beautifully-timed kick,” Kovacs said in a press release. "It should have won him the match.

"Instead he got disqualified because Olympic karate rules are semi-contact and you are penalized for using excessive force.

“I love amateur karate - I was a world-level competitor myself - but you don’t find this rule in other amateur combat sports like boxing, wrestling or judo.

"I think it’s bad for our sport, which is part of what drove us to create a full-contact professional karate league.

“I think Hamedi was robbed of a gold medal and I don’t think that’s how Ganjzadeh wanted to win either.

"So we’re offering both fighters a rematch in Karate Combat under full-contact rules before the end of the year.

"We’ve already got a contract signed with Ganjzadeh, now we’re reaching out to sign Hamedi and get this rematch made.”

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Jens Pulver

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