Taiwan's defending Olympic champion Chu Mu-yen and world champion Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain stayed on course for a high-profile -58kg semi-final clash at the Beijing Games Wednesday.

Chu, 26, overwhelmed Kenya's Dickson Wamwiri 7-0 in his opening bout to face Yulis Gabriel Mercedes of the Dominican Republic in the quarter-finals on the first day of the four-day taekwondo competition.

Ramos, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Monday, beat Alfonso Martinez of Belize 2-1 to reach a quarter-final bout with 2005 world silver medallist Marcio Ferreira of Brazil.

In the women's -49kg contest, Chun's girlfriend Yang Shu-chun outpointed Colombia's Gladys Mora 1-0 in her opening bout.

She was to face world champion Wu Jingyu of China for a cross-Strait semi-final if the 22-year-old Taiwanese could clear Iranian Sara Khosh Jamal at the quarter-final stage.

Yang, the world bronze medallist, beat 21-year-old Wu in the 47-51kg final at the Asian championship in Zhengzhou, China, in April.

Chu lost to Ramos in the quarter-finals and finished fifth at the world championships here last year.

Ramos, also the 1997 world champion in the -50kg, finished fourth in Athens and bowed to Chu in the quarter-finals at the Olympic qualifying tournament last year.