Karate opponent gets knocked out and stretched off but wins gold medal

Iran’s Sajad Ganjzadeh won the gold medal in the men’s +75kg karate kumite competition at Tokyo 2020 despite being knocked out and being taken off on a stretcher.

Karate was one of four new sports added to the Olympic program specifically for the Tokyo Games.

There are two disciplines. Kumite is where competitors must amass eight points more than their opponent, or gain more points over an allotted three-minute period. Kata, meanwhile, is where performances are evaluated by judges, with each competitor given a score between 5.0 and 10.0 based on seven areas.

The men’s Kumite +75kg final on Saturday saw Iran’s Ganjzadeh take on Saudi Arabia’s Tareg Hamedi.

One minute into the final, Hamedi was leading 4-1 when he performed a high-kick to the neck of his opponent, which sent an unconscious Ganjzadeh crashing to the mat below.

Under karate Olympic rules, such a kick is not permitted. Hamedi was disqualified from the final, with Ganjzadeh declared as the winner.

The Iranian was escorted off on a stretcher but was able to make it to the medal ceremony that commenced afterwards.

Hamedi, who won the silver, embraced his opponent on the podium.

Ganjzadeh on gold medal success

Ganjzadeh said after his gold medal win (via Inside The Games): “I know that I was behind, and I was trying to catch up, and just by the end of it I remember that just after the hit, I was on the stretcher.

“When I woke up, when I was getting treated, I remember my coach telling me, ‘You won’. That’s all I remember.

“Overall my health is fine. I had very severe pain in my head, I had a very bad headache.

“I’m glad to win this medal, but I’m also sorry for my opponent for what happened.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty