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Report World Championships Birmingham Day 1

7 Oct 1999 22:05

 TWOJ, the world of Judo, by Barnaby Chesterman    David Finch /

There were high hopes of a British medal on the first day with Karina Bryant and Chloe Cowan both competing. After a disappointing Europeans Karina was out to prove that she had re-gained her form of last year in the +78kg. In a small field Karina scored ippon with tani-otoshi against Francoise Harteveld (NED) before a shido proved enough to overcome Miho Ninomiya (JPN) to qualify for the semi-finals. There she met the imposing frame of the giant Pole Beata Maksymov.

Giving away potentially up to 50kg (Karina's estimate) to her opponent, Karina found the strength and weight barrier too much to overcome and was thrown for waza-ari before being pinned in a crushing yoko-shiho-gatame, out of which there was no escape. Maksymov went on to take gold leaving Karina to fight on for a podium finish. 
Karina sucked air back into her squashed lungs and came back to fight Brigit Olivier (BEL) for the bronze medal. Trailing by waza-ari Karina began trying to lure Olivier into attacks in an attempt to catch her with a swift counter. After one near miss she caught Olivier with a clever foot sweep for ippon to send the home faithful into rapturous applause. "I'm still in shock," she said afterwards. "The girls are a lot stronger, heavier and more physical at senior level so this is by far my best result. My aim was to qualify for the Olympics and I'm just glad to have fulfiled that." 
Unfortunately, earlier in the day there was disappointment for Britain's other two competitors. Chloe Cowan never seemed to get going in the -78kg and lost on a split points decision to San Miguel (ESP) in her first fight. It was a shame for Chloe who is a regular medallist at the European level, but has yet to do herself justice on the highest platform. Maybe her time will come at next year's Olympics. Also falling by the wayside was Keith Davis in the -100kg. Keith beat Time Peltola (FIN) before being dumped spectacularly with te-guruma by Bassel El Gharbawi (EGY). 
The Japanese dominated the first day taking three gold medals. Shinichi Shinohara reigned supreme in the +100kg with his uchi-mata beating the lively Estonian Indrek Pertelson in the final. Noriko Anno was also in fine form in the women's -78kg throwing Yufeng Yin (CHN) for ippon with o-uchi-gari in their final. The highlight of the day, however, was a truly sensational -100kg final between Kosei Inoue (JPN) and Sung-ho Jang (KOR). Some exquisite attacking was consistently nullified by outstanding defence as both fighters cavorted and twisted their bodies in mid-air to avoid being buried by throws that deserved ippons. Inoue just edged the bout on two yukos and a chui but both fighters received a warm standing ovation as they left the mat. 

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  • Kosei Inoue (JPN),  HONOUR (IJF) - World Championships Birmingham (1999, GBR) - © David Finch,
  • Shinichi Shinohara (JPN) - World Championships Birmingham (1999, GBR) - © David Finch,
  • Sung-Ho Jang (KOR) - World Championships Birmingham (1999, GBR) - © David Finch,

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