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Asia vs the rest of the world 5-0
19 Feb 2016 19:30
At the opening day of the Grand Prix of Düsseldorf the Asian athletes showed judo which continents is leading. With two All Asian finals, two confrontations between Korea and Kazachstan, and two finals between Japan and France and Korea vs France, Japan won two gold medals, Korea even three.
It’s not a surprise that Korea is now among the world’s leading nations. With its successful young staff the Koreans are extremely dominant in the men’s categories, but today also Jeong Bo Kyeong surprised with gold U48kg. In the final Kazahstan’s promise Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh lost the final. Galbadrakh had beaten her former teammate Urantsetseg Munkhbat during the tournament in a nail biting quarter final. Munkhbat and Mestre took bronze after all.
Priscilla Gneto was a surprising finalist U52kg, but also Ai Shishime from Japan wasn’t expected to win in Düsseldorf.Gulbadam Babamuratova of Turkmenistan is doing well and won bronze, but not all top seeds were present in this category. One of them was Andreea Chitu who lost to Gneto but took bronze in the end.
The top favourite U57kg was World and Olympic champion Kaori Matsumoto. She cashed in the high expectations and claimed the gold medal by defeating Helene Receveaux of France for the third time. Nonetheless Receveaux’s silver is good business and she built out her leap on Automne Pavia in the World Ranking. Two silver medals for France, but not bad at all of both ‘second choices’ for France, or is there still a shift possible U57kg?
Korean strong men Kim Won Jin and An Baul took the gold medal in their categories U60kg and U66kg. An will be the next Korean World leader. Kim already took that position weeks ago. With An Chang-Rim and Gwak Dong-Han it’s clear that Korea is the most dominant nation of this moment, but the real confrontation with the Japanese might follow at the Masters in Guadalajara, held in 100 days exactly. Kim defeated World Champion Yeldos Smetov (KAZ) in the final and An was able to overcome tall Golan Pollack in the final U66kg. Top Russians Mudranov (U60) and Pulyaev (U66) won bronze. Turkey won a medal afterall, not by the girls this time, but Bekir Ozlu was proud to convince everyone he should be at his second Olympic Games. Georgia won its only medal U66kg as Papinashvili lost the bronze bout against Mudranov, but Vazha Margvelashvili defeated Last year’s winner Kengo Takaichi (JPN).
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Alessandro Bergamo (ITA)
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