Sunday, January 27, 2008

Texans Hasnain, Martinez Qualify for USA Taekwondo Olympic Trials Finals

By Robert H. Kelly
(Copyright 2008 TexSport Publications)

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (January 27, 2008) Anees Hasnain, of McKinney, Texas and Chris Martinez of Sugar Land, Texas fought their way into the April 5th Olympic Trials Finals by winning their respective divisions on Saturday at the USA Taekwondo Olympic Trials Fight-Off in Colorado Springs on Saturday. The 16-year old Hasnain captured the women's flyweight division and 24-year-old Martinez won the men's featherweight class.

Hasnain, who was undefeated in three fights, won his first round match 6-4 by defeating Mara Perscheid of Alexandria, Virginia. 6-4. Next she defeated Alexis Martinez (Pembroke Pines, Florida) by the score of 7-4.

She again beat Martinez beat Perscheid in the elimination bracket, 5-4, to set up a rematch with Hasnain in the finals.

Hasnain defeated her again, 4-3 to win the division. Hasnain will now move on to the Olympic Trials Finals on April 5 in Des Moines, Iowa on April 5.

There she will face top-seeded Charlotte Craig of Murrieta, California. Hasnain must defeat Craig twice in Des Moines, where a single win by Craig will deny Hasnain a bid to Beijing.

Chris Martinez also went undefeated on the day, winning four matches to secure his play in the finals. He scored a 5-2 win over Richard Lee of Granada Hills, California, a 3-2 victory over James Moontasri of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He next defeated David Bartlett of Colorado Springs, Colorado with a 1-0 overtime win and then scored another win over Bartlett in the finals by the score of 3-2.

Martinez will now face fellow Texan and 2005 World Champions Mark Lopez of Sugar Land the Olympic Trials Finals in Des Moines. Martinez must defeat Lopez twice to secure a spot on the Olympic Team.

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