Iran's Ganjzadeh awarded gold as opponent disqualified

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Tareg Hamedi (R) of Team Saudi Arabia reacts after loosing to Sajad Ganjzadeh of Team Iran during the Mens Karate Kumite +75kg Gold Medal Bout on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Nippon Budokan on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Harry How/Getty Images)

TOKYO - The final bout of karate's historic debut at the Olympics ended in uproar on Saturday when Saudi Arabian Tareg Hamedi's high-kick to Sajad Ganjzadeh's neck saw him disqualified and his motionless Iranian opponent awarded the gold medal.

Hardly a minute in, Hamedi looked the dominant one, having scored a three-point "ippon" in the ninth second and leading 4-1 before the bout came to an abrupt end.

Hamedi's kick to Ganjzadeh's neck sent him to the tatami and the Saudi into celebration mode before the mood in the Nippon Budokan arena turned as medics rushed to Ganjzadeh's side, placing an oxygen mask on the Iranian and removing him on a stretcher.

After a few minutes of discussion among the officials on the sidelines, the referee called the match for Ganjzadeh by disqualifying Hamedi.

It was not clear exactly what the offence was.