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Pita Taufatofua defeated by Taekwondo World Champion

Tokyo, Japan

Pita Taufatofua gets ready for his match at the Makuhari Messe Hall A, Tokyo. 27 July 2021. Photo: Master Paul Sitapa facebook

Pita Taufatofua (37) was defeated by World Champion, Vladislav Larin (25) in his first Olympic match yesterday in the 80+kg / 176+lbs division, going down 24 - 3 in Tokyo last night, in the Makuhari Messe Hall A.

Pita went three rounds with Vladislav Larin, scoring points in the second round with body punches to the Russian.

But Vladislav was too strong in all rounds, landing points with kicks to the head and body, as well as body punches.

Vladislav made the finals, which meant Pita advanced to the repechage match facing Slovenia’s Ivan Trajkovic (29) for the bronze medal competition last night.

The Slovenian also proved too strong over two rounds of the match, winning points with head kicks, 22 – 1.

Vladislav, who is a World and European Champion and Grand Prix series Taekwondo winner, went on to win gold in the taekwondo final.

The silver medal was won by Dejan Georgievski from North Macedonia, and Ivan (from Slovania) made it as far as the Bronze medal final match, losing to Asian champion South Korea’s Kyo Don.

Master Paul Sitapa (coach) with Malia Paseka and Pita Taufatofua, Tokyo Olympics. 27 July 2021. Photo: Master Paul Sitapa facebook

After the matches, Pita thanked everyone for messages of support.

“Today wasn’t my day team. Blocked some solid kicks with my face, still standing, still pushing forward.”

“To challenge myself at the highest level is an honour. The wins and the lessons, I embrace it all. Wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll continue to push forward with a smile,” he said.

Pita qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by winning gold in the M+80kg event at a taekwondo tournament in Australia on 29 February 2020.

The updated schedule for upcoming Team Tonga events:





Japan Time

Tongan time

Friday, 30 July


Noelani Day

50m Freestyle

(Heat 4)

19:25 (7:25pm)


Saturday, 31 July


Ronald Fotofili

100m sprint

11:35am – 11:59pm

3:35pm – 3:59pm

Monday, 2 August


Kuinini Manumu’a


(Group A)

19:50 (7:50pm)