China's Zhao Shuai poses during the medal ceremony after the men's -63kg final at the World Taekwondo Championships 2019 in Manchester, Britain on May 19, 2019. Zhao won 27-7. (Xinhua/Jon Super)
MANCHESTER, May 19 (Xinhua) -- China's Olympic champion Zhao Shuai retained the men's 63kg title at the world taekwondo championships, beating Iran's Soroush Ahmadi here on Sunday.
Zhao, who in 2016 became the first men's taekwondo Olympic champion from China, led Sunday's final all the way, defeating Ahmadi 27-7.
"I am happy to win honor for China. This gold medal belongs to everybody in the national team. Everybody is behind me and has been working so hard," he said.
China's first gold medal at the 2019 world championships might have arrived earlier, but Zhao's girlfriend and fellow Olympic champion Zheng Shuyin was controversially disqualified by Moroccan referee Tarik Benradi on Friday when she was leading 20-10 over local competitor Bianca Walkden.
"I think every referee should be fair because the athletes have been working so hard, and it is not easy for them to have a chance to compete at the world championships," Zhao said.
Zhang Mengyu added a second gold medal for China in the women's 67kg after defeating Turkey's Nur Tatar Askari 18-9.
China's haul of two gold, two silver and three bronze medals represents the country's best result in world taekwondo championships history. The country finished third in the medal standings behind South Korea and Britain.
The next world championships will be held in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province in 2021.