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Uchio Mako next former Junior World Champion to break through
1 Jul 2016 19:40
Japanese Former Junior World Championships bronze medallist Uchio Mako celebrated her first Grand Prix title on day one as she defeated former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Chintogtokh Azzaya (MGL) in the U52kg final.
The contest was even in regulation time and everyone was on the edge of their seats and especially the coaches and fans as the seconds ticked away in golden score. It took a further two and half minutes for the finalists to be separated when the Mongolian was penalised with a shido for passivity.
In the first semi-final Uchio bested three-time Grand Prix bronze medallist Baljinnyam Bat-Erdene (MGL) by trapping her in osaekomi for 20 seconds having already led by a yuko score. In the second semi-final Chintogtokh beat Podcetrtek European Cup winner Tena Sikic (CRO) by a waza-ari score.
The first bronze medal was clinched by 22-year-old beaten semi-finalist Sikic who had a Grand Prix debut to remember in Mongolia. Sikic, who will now expect to be included in the Croatian team at the Zagreb Grand Prix in September, faced Kwon Aerim (KOR) who was competing at an IJF event for only the second time with her sole previous appearance also coming in Mongolia a year ago. SIKIC was fifth at Junior World Championships in 2014 and is now starting her the transition to the senior stage. The Croatian scored first with a waza-ari from a uchi-mata and went back to the same technique again but with 36 seconds left the South Korean was thrown for ippon this time around as the crowd were left gasping such was the quality of the finish from the youngster. The second bronze medal was won by Baljinnyam who bounced back from her semi-final disappointment to defeat teenager Batsukh Altantsetseg (MGL) who has fought at all four editions of her home event as she aimed to improve on her best finish which was fifth in 2013. Baljinnyam shaped up for tai-otoshi and osoto-gari attacks with ease as she showed quick feet and a wide repertoire. It was the osoto-gari which finally caught Batsukh for a yuko and Baljinnyam moved straight into osaekomi with a kesa-gatame and the bronze medal.
Japanese Hiromi Endo, Nami Nabekura, Shohei Ono, Momo Tamaoki all won a Junior world title and a Grand Prix this year. Uchio Mako was World Junior Team Champion in Fort Lauderdale and she took bronze at the individual tournament, but again one of those new talents from Japan.
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