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Korean lightweight Kang Yu-Jeong grabs first Grand Prix victory
30 Jun 2017 17:30
Korean Kang Yu-Jeong won her first Grand Prix gold medal as her country’s new batch of judoka made a promising start at the Grand Prix in Hohhot. Former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix silver medalist Kang defeated European Championships silver medallist Irina Dolgova (RUS) in the first final of the competition.
With five seconds remaining the South Korean scored a waza-ari with a yoko-sutemi-waza movement and jumped into the arms of her coach to celebrate after being awarded the contest.
In the first semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist Maryna Cherniak was edged out by Kang by a waza-ari. The second semi-final saw Dolgova throw Bucharest European Open silver medallist Francesca Milani (ITA) in added time for a waza-ari and a spot in the final.
The first bronze medal contest was won by world number 132 Jiang Yahong (CHN) against the shot-shy Milani. The Italian was fighting for an IJF medal for the first time and failed on this occasion as she received her third shido in golden score and was disqualified to hand the first medal of the competition to the home judoka.
The second bronze medal was won by European champion Daria Bilodid (UKR) who showered her character to come back from defeat to win a place on her first IJF World Judo Tour podium. Teenage star Bilodid, the daughter of former world bronze medallist Gennady Bilodid, faced the top seed and her compatriot in an IJF setting for the first time and came out on top by holding Cherniak down with a sankaku-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon.
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Andrea Fusco (ITA)
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