Watson claims Aust first taekwondo medal

Janine Watson of Australia (red) claimed Australia's first Paralympic Taekwondo medal.
Janine Watson of Australia (red) claimed Australia's first Paralympic Taekwondo medal.

Janine Watson has won Australia's first Paralympic taekwondo medal, claiming bronze in the women's K44 +58kg.

Tokyo is taekwondo's debut at the Paralympics and Watson beat Ukraine's Yuliya Lypetska 63-0 in a bronze medal match.

Watson lost her round of 16 match to Morocco's Rajae Akermach 8-6.

But the Queenslander shrugged off her early loss to reel off three consecutive victories and earn a medal on debut.

Watson's round of 16 loss meant she had to go through the repechage quarter-final, where she was well on top of Turkey's Seyma Emeksiz Bacaksiz, leading 36-2 when their bout was stopped in the second of three rounds.

The 40-year-old then beat Japan's Shoko Ota 32-12 in the repechage semi-final to give herself a shot at a medal - which she ultimately claimed comprehensively.

Watson, who has multiple sclerosis, is Australia's first athlete in Para-taekwondo.

Australian Associated Press