Mexico wins its first gold medal in Beijing

Guillermo Pérez is to take home the first gold medal for Mexico from the Olympics in Beijing this year, after winning a four-round taekwondo match against Gabriel Mercedes of the Dominican Republic.
“Perez won a decision over Dominican Republic’s Yulis Gabriel Mercedes by scoring early. Mercedes was unable to come back until just seconds before the bell, when he connected with a back kick.
“The two went into overtime, but neither scored. The judges declared Perez the winner,” writes the Associated Press.
The win for Pérez, who according to the Mexico City newspaper El Universal is inspired by martial arts film-star Bruce Lee, is prompting celebrations across Mexico, which until today has had a rather lackluster performance at the Olympics. Pérez is the first Mexican man to win gold at an Olympics since 1984.
TV hosts on Televisa’s morning show Wednesday showered themselves in confetti and waved the Mexican flag in jubilation over the win for Pérez, who is from the state of Michoacan, as is Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
– Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: Guillermo Pérez celebrates victory in the 58-kilogram taekwondo event in Beijing. Credit: Marcelo Sayao / EFE