Three-time Olympian Paige McPherson of Miami, known as “McFierce” around taekwondo circles, fell short of a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
McPherson won a bronze medal in 2012, finished 11th in Rio in 2016 and was seeded fifth in Tokyo. She got through the Round of 16 with an 8-5 win over Farida Azizova of Azerbaijan, then defeated Turkey’s Nur Tatar, 3-1 in the quarterfinals. A 15-4 loss to No. 1 Matea Jelic of Croatia in the semifinal sent her to the bronze medal match against Egypt’s Hedaya Wahba.
McPherson took a 5-3 lead, but Wahba then took an 11-5 lead and a head shot made it 17-6 to earn the Egyptian the bronze medal.
Meanwhile, at the sailing venue, Pedro Pascual of Miami remained in ninth place overall in the RS-X sail board class through six of 12 races.
The breezy conditions were tricky. Pascual finished No. 9, 5 and 15 in Monday’s three races.
“The conditions were interesting, to say the least,” said Pascual. “There were huge shifts and wind gusts, and it was all about staying in pressure. I managed to do pretty well, especially the first and second races, just feeling the pressure and playing out in the front of the pack.”
Athleticism was critical to battle the swells and strong gusts.
“RS:X racing is one of the most physical events here,” said Pascual. “You get huge speed changes between pumping or not pumping. With the big swells, the goal was to pump as much as possible. We could surf waves today on the upwind legs and staying on those waves as long as possible through pumping hard was key. On the downwinds, you’re able to go a little lower and faster if you’re pumping. So, it was a pretty physical day and working to manage those loads on the race was very important.”
In Judo, Angelica Delgado of Miami was eliminated in the Round of 16 in the 52 kg division.