The WTF Taekwondo Association of Canada presents the results of Team Canada’s final Taekwondo athlete to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games, Francois Coulombe-Fortier. Competing in Men’s +80kg in front of a capacity 6,000 crowd at the ExCeL Center, the #4 world-ranked Canadian represented Canada’s third and final opportunity to reach the podium in Taekwondo.
In Coulombe-Fortier’s opening preliminary match, he faced Gadzhi Umarov of the Russian Federation. Coulombe-Fortier jumped out to an earlier 2-0 lead with two kicks to the body before Coach Alain Bernier contested a head shot against his athlete at the end of the round; Bernier’s contestation was upheld and subsequently saw the score remain at 2-0 after the opening round.
In round two, Coulombe-Fortier landed an impressive head shot to increase his lead to 5 points with only 20 seconds remaining in the round. Heading into the third with a 5-point gap, Coulombe-Fortier stayed relaxed and kept his composure in order to inflict more damage against his counterpart. The Canadian heavyweight successfully closed out the match 7-3 with a spinning back kick to the body to ensure the victory and progression to the quarterfinals.
Coulombe-Fortier’s quarterfinal matchup saw him do battle with Daba Modibo Keita of Mali, a 6’8″ athlete with a commanding physical presence. With points quickly on the board, Keita took an early 3-1 lead over the Canadian. The first round would finish 4-1 in favour of Keita with Coulombe-Fortier narrowly missing a head shot at the conclusion of the round.
In the second round, Coulombe-Fortier executed a beautiful headshot to take the first lead of the game at 5-4. Mail was able to score a quick two points to regain the lead at 6-5 after two rounds. With the Mali lead increased to 7-5, a headshot was successfully contested by Coach Bernier to keep the score at a 2-point gap. With one minute to go and Coulombe-Fortier fighting extremely well, Keita jumped out to a 10-5 lead before finishing at 11-6 in favour of the Mail competitor.
After defeat Coulombe-Fortier still had a potential opportunity to fight in the repechage round for an eventual bronze medal if Keita of Mali was able to win his semi-final matchup. Unfortunately, it was not to be for our final Canadian competitor as Keita suffered defeat in the last seconds of his semi-final.
Coulombe-Fortier delivered two inspirational performances today, not only displaying the talent of Team Canada, but also the character and dedication of a true Olympian.
Taekwondo Canada CEO Eva Havaris speaks to Coulombe-Fortier’s Olympic performance and that of the entire Taekwondo Team representing our nation at these Games:
“Francois fought really well today for Canada. He came up just short against the 2007 and 2009 World Champion. Our athletes and coach have done the entire Canadian taekwondo community proud this week in London and have inspired the next generation of Canadian taekwondo Olympians with their performances.”
“A sincere congratulations to all Canadian athletes and coaches at these Games,” adds Havaris.
“Lastly, Taekwondo Canada would like to thank its key partners Sport Canada, OTP and COC for their support of our athletes and our Federation over the last four years and. As we look forward to the future, Taekwondo Canada will continue to build upon these relationships in our pursuit of being the world and industry leading National Sport Organization for Canadian Taekwondo,” Havaris concludes.