USA’s McPherson falls to No. 1 seed Jelic, will fight for bronze


United States’s Paige McPherson, left, attacks Azerbaijan’s Farida Azizova during the taekwondo women’s 67kg match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

(NBC Olympics) — Paige McPherson’s quest to return to the podium hit an obstacle in the form of No. 1 seed Matea Jelic at the semifinal stage.

Now the American taekwondo competitor, 30, will look to match the bronze she won at London 2012.

McPherson, the No. 5 seeded welterweight, posted an 8-5 win over Azeribaijan’s Farida Azizova in the Round of 16, and then beat No. 4 competitor Nur Tatar of Turkey.

That quarterfinal was tight and low-scoring, a 3-1 win for McPherson to set up a semifinal berth and the guarantee of a medal match.

Jelic beat McPherson 15-4, though that margin is closer than Jelic’s previous two competitors stayed to the European champion, who won her quarterfinal by an astounding 30-9.

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