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The Ukraine aiming for four judo finals at day 2 of Paralympics
9 Sep 2016 17:50
The Ukrainian judokas are the ones to beat when the second day of the Rio 2016 judo competition gets underway. The first of Ukraine’s gold medal hopes to fight will be Dmytro Solovey in the men’s up to 73 kg category who reached the final. Current world champion Solovey won gold at London 2012 and is looking to add another to his collection in Rio.
Solovey will meet Ramil Gasimov of Azerbaijan in the final. Doing everything he can to prevent a Solovey victory will be Azerbaijan’s Ramil Gasimov. Gasimov has shown that he can beat the Ukrainian when it matters, most recently in the final at the 2015 European Championships in Odivelas, Portugal.
Perhaps Ukraine’s best chance for a medal on Friday comes when Inna Cherniak competes in the women’s up to 57kg competition. The current World No.1 is looking for a gold medal on her Paralympic debut in Rio, having previously won two European titles and a World Championship gold in 2014. Again she reached the final, this against Lucia Araujo, supported by the huge homecrowd. In the semi final she defeated Junko Hirose.
Cherniak’s overcame her rinal of Korea Hana Seo in the semi. Seo is the reigning world champion, having defeated Cherniak on home soil in the final of the 2015 World Championships in Seoul, Korea, but in Rio it was Cherniak who qualified for the Paralympic final. Parapan American title holder Lucia Araujo has a chance with the crowd in Carioca Arena 3 sure to roar her on, Araujo will be looking to go one better than the silver she won at London 2012.
In the up to 63kg classification yet another Ukranian World No.1, Iryna Husieva, is a serious gold medal contender. The draw has set up the exciting prospect of a final match between Husieva and Cuba’s London 2012 gold medal winner Dalidaivis Rodriguez.
Ukraine’s fourth title hope of the day comes when reigning Paralympic Champion Olexandr Kosinov takes to the tatami in up to 81kg event and can still win bronze. Since taking gold at London 2012, Kosinov has gone from strength to strength, winning European titles in both 2013 and 2015. Kosinov lost in the semi final against Mexico’s Beijing 2008 gold medal winner Eduardo Avila Sanchez who qualified for the final. Outsider is Korea’s current world champion Jung Min Lee. Also Jonathan Drane of Great Britain reached the final stages and still battles for a medal.
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Oleksandr Gordiienko (UKR)