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Tokyo 2020: Karate Olympian loses gold medal match… because he knocked out his opponent

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Tareq Hamedi lost the gold medal bout at the Tokyo Olympics after KOings his opponent in the +75 kg kumite final.

Sajad Ganjzadeh (R) of Team Iran lays on the tatami after being struck by Tareg Hamedi of Team Saudi Arabia during the Men’s Karate Kumite +75kg Gold Medal Bout on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Nippon Budokan on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Sajad Ganjzadeh (R) of Team Iran lays on the tatami after being struck by Tareg Hamedi of Team Saudi Arabia during the Men’s Karate Kumite +75kg Gold Medal Bout on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Nippon Budokan on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Karate debuted at the Olympics this year in Tokyo. However, the fight sports first year on the ultimate world stage might be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Yesterday, at the historic Nippon Budoken, the gold medal in the +75 kg kumite competition was awarded to Iran’s Sajad Ganjzadeh... after he recovered from being knocked out cold by Saudi Arabia’s Tareg Ali Hamedi.

In the kumite category of competitive karate, damage is supposed to be inflicted in a ‘controlled’ manner. Under these rules, rendering someone unconscious or otherwise unable to continue the bout is grounds for disqualification.

Hamedi earned that DQ after, while leading on the scoreboard, landing a flush kick to Ganjzadeh’s head as the Iranian moved in for an attack. You can see video of that below, provided by Karate Combat president Adam S. Kovacs.

Kovacs is of course a big fan of KOs in karate (as evidenced by the highlights out of Karate Combat). In his tweet he said he would be extending a six-figure contract to Hamedi to compete in Karate Combat.

Ganjzadeh is currently under contract with Karate Combat,so Kovacs mused that his organization could run this bout back, this time with KO blows not only legal, but encouraged.

After he received his gold medal Ganjzadeh told reporters, per NBC, “I’m happy about the gold medal, but I’m said that I had to win like this.”