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Chinese taekwondoka Hou Yuzhuo falls short on history-making


09:20, August 10, 2012

LONDON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Twice world champion Hou Yuzhuo was one step from creating a new piece of history for Chinese taekwondo for being the first woman to win the -57kg title at an Olympics but nerves stopped her from being excellent to great.

In Thursday's final, Hou fell to host athlete Jade Jones 6-4 in their rematch after last year's world championship where injured Hou overcame Jones to become the first Chinese taekwondoka to defend a world title.

"It is the first time I competed at an Olympics so I was nervous. My coach arranged tactics for me but I only displayed half of it," Hou said.

"I think I need to change my style. I should learn from Xiao Yu," she added.

The person Hou referred to is Wu Jingyu who successfully defended her -49kg title on Wednesday. Wu was always on attack on her way to the final victory while Hou is more of a defence-and-counter-attack type in her game.

Chinese taekwondo team leader Cao Tao had the same opinion.

"She is not that active in attack. Sometimes you will have a little worry about that," said Cao.

As for Hou's performance on Thursday, Cao said she was on nerves.

"I think she was nervous before such a big and loud crowd. She did not bring her potential to a full display, not playing well in terms of pace, tactics and morale," said team leader Cao Tao.

Hou, 25, started the taekwondo training at nine when she registered for a summer vacation taekwondo class.

Her talent was soon sought out and it did not took the slender girl a very long time to stand out among her peers as she won the national junior title in -47kg category in 2001.

Hou then finished second in the youth world championships in 2004 and took a bronze in the National Games a year later.

Hou's career kept going uphill as she clinched the 2009 National Games title and became the winner at 2009 and 2011 world championships.


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