An Olympic karateka looked destined for gold but KO'd his opponent, got disqualified, and settled for silver

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An Olympic karateka looked destined for gold but KO'd his opponent, got disqualified, and settled for silver
Tareg Hamedi knocked Sajad Ganjzadeh out cold. Photos by Lu Lin/CHINASPORTS/VCG via Getty Images
  • An awesome karate knockout took place at the Olympic Games on Saturday.
  • The only problem was that it was illegal, and so the guy who threw the kick was disqualified.
  • He lost the Olympic final, and so the man who was unconscious got the gold medal instead.

A Saudi Arabian karateka called Tareg Hamedi looked destined for the Olympic title as he was cruising in the gold medal match against Sajad Ganizadeh, of Iran.

Hamedi, 23, was leading 4-1 in Saturday's high-stakes event at the Tokyo Games, and knocked Ganizadeh out cold with a brutal high kick to the neck after a minute of competition.

In many other combat sports, that would be it. Hamedi would win the championship, and perhaps go on to even bigger things.

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But in karate, at the Olympics, Hamedi got disqualified.

Ganjzadeh, who had been beaten to the floor, was motionless on the canvas. And so medical professionals rushed to the mat, placed him on a stretcher, and removed him from the main Nippon Budokan area.

Though Ganjzadeh was unconscious, he was adjudged to be the winner as officials decided Hamedi broke the rules of the game by inflicting an unchecked attack, injuring his opponent.

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An Olympic karateka looked destined for gold but KO'd his opponent, got disqualified, and settled for silver
Photo by Wei Zheng/CHINASPORTS/VCG via Getty Images

Ganjzadeh had made a sufficient recovery to return for the medal ceremony later Saturday, collecting the gold medal, even though he had been rendered unconscious in the match.

Hamedi received the silver medal.

Photos show that neither looked particularly pleased with the result.

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An Olympic karateka looked destined for gold but KO'd his opponent, got disqualified, and settled for silver
Photos by Getty Images

"I'm happy about the gold medal but I'm sad that I had to win it like this," Ganjzadeh said at a post-match press conference.

Ganjzadeh and Hamedi were competing in the men's kumite +75-kilogram event.

Ryutaro Araga of Japan and Ugur Aktas of Turkey won the bronze medals.

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