11 July 2024

On a day of many upsets, Thailand’s taekwondo flyweight queen Panipak Wongpattanakit did not disappoint in the end, winning her first Olympic gold by a hair on Saturday (July 24) to add to her two world championships.

In the final bout, Spanish 17-year-old Adriana Cerezo Iglesias was seven seconds away from gold when a 2-point body kick from Panipak reversed a 1-point lead, sending her crumpling on the mat in tears.

Panipak Wongphatthanakit, right, celebrates with coach after defatting Spain’s Adriana Cerezo to win a gold medal during the women’s 49kg taekwondo match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe).

Panipak dramatically won her first gold in the women’s 49-kilogram final, scoring two points on a body kick inside the final 10 seconds for an 11-10 victory over 17-year-old Adriana Cerezo of Spain. Her gold is only the 10th in Thailand’s entire Olympic history.

The nine gold medals won by the Kingdom – five from weightlifting and four from boxing – since its Olympic debut 69 years ago at the 1952 Helsinki Games.