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Romanian Eduard Serban takes his golden opportunity from Japanese hope
13 Aug 2017 03:10
Romanian celebrates the first male World title since 1994. Eduard Serban won Romania’s first medal of the competition and not only was it gold but it was also won against a Japanese judoka in the final. In 1994 Alexandru Lungu was the last man to win a world title, for Juniors.
Two Romanian women won the Junior world title, Alina Dumitru in 2000 and Carmen Bogdan in 2002. Since then, Romanian world was limited to world silver nine times. In Santiago de Chile, the guaranteed silver turned into world gold U90kg.
Serban and 15-year-old Mori Kenshin of Japan were scoreless after four minutes and golden score was required to determine a winner and a loser. Mori, who was one of the youngest judoka in the competition, launched an untidy attack and was caught off balance as Serban employed pure te-waza to throw his rival for ippon. The Romanian shocked his opponent by taking advantage of a rare mistake from a Japanese fighter and he was opportunistic enough to take it just seven seconds into added time.
MORI bowed not only to his opponent but also to his coach in a classy gesture to show his dissatisfaction and sorrow for his error as he showed the world the etiquette and manner in which to accept a defeat.
In the first semi-final Mori saw off 17-year-old two-time Cadet European Cup winner Emils Gerkens of Latvia by a waza-ari score for a place in the final. In the second semi-final Cadet Pan American Championships winner Benjamin Kendrick of Canada lost out to Serbam in golden score after receiving his third shido. The first bronze medal was clinched by Kendrick after Cadet European Championships bronze medallist Valeriy Endovitskiy (RUS) was reprimanded with a shido for the third and final time for passivity. “Benjamin had a really great day. He’s very strong physically, which I believe gave him a significant advantage today. His opponents tried to force him to make mistakes but he managed to avoid them. Although he was pitted against some very tough judokas, he stuck to his game plan,” said coach Jean-Pierre Cantin (CAN).
The second bronze medal was won by 17-year-old three-time Cadet European Cup medallist Said Gadzhiev (RUS) who bested Gerkens by a waza-ari for the remaining spot on the U90kg medal podium.
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Dmitri Lepp (EST)