Abilene-born Paige McPherson narrowly misses second Olympic medal

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 11:15 AM CDT
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TOKYO, Japan (KCBD) - With 45 seconds left to fight in Monday’s bronze medal taekwondo bout at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Paige McPherson (born in Abilene in 1990) had been protecting a 5-4 lead over Hedaya Wahba of Egypt.  That was until Wahba took control, returning five unanswered kicks en route to a 17-6 win in the women’s welterweight division.

McPherson was able to set the pace for most of the match, and took the lead halfway in the second period.  Whenever the two closed the space late in the contest, Wahba was able to capitalize by landing a scored punch, followed by four consecutive head kicks for the win.

The Abilene-native, who now resides in Sturgis, S.D. landed a cosmetic point with 11 seconds left as she forced Wahba out of bounds.  The Egyptian sparrer was able to maintain her distance in the closing moments, which locked up the bronze.

McPherson is no stranger to Olympic glory as she earned a bronze medal during the London 2012 Games in the same division.  A win in the match would’ve made her the first female taekwondoin to win more than one Olympic medal.

After the match, the NBC broadcast crew stated McPherson is likely to retire following these games.  She has sparred in a decorated 19-year career, which includes three Olympic appearances and a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games.

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