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An Ba-Ul makes successful warm-up for Budapest Worlds
22 Aug 2017 14:30
At the Universiade in Taipei An Ba-Ul captured the gold medal. The 2015 World Champion was unrivaled as expected. Within one week An will be at the start of the World Championships in Budapest, but won’t complain about match rhythm. He took the fourth gold for Korean this Universiade.
In the final U66kg An defeated Erkhembayar Battogtokh of Mongolia. It was fifth match for An. Since his Olympic silver medal in Rio An showed himself in Tokyo at the Grand Slam but finished seventh. As number one of the World Ranking list he started 2017 with a victory at the European Open in Rome and won the Asian title in Hong Kong in May. Japanese Yuuki Hashiguchi was the last man to beat him in Tokyo in December 2016. It would have been interesting to see An versus Abdula Abdulzhalilov of Russia who is considered a world class opponent. He could have been the alternative for Russia in Budapest, but the Russian managers chose Mikhail Pulyaev for the Worlds. Abdulzhalilov won bronze, he lost to Norihito Isoda (JPN) who won bronze as well against Mario Scheibel (GER). This Universiade has a strong field and some good winners.
The gold for men U73kg was for Arata Tatsukawa, the runner-up of the Japanese Championships and bronze winner at the Grand Slam in Tokyo. In the category U73kg there’s so much competition in Japan that Tatsukawa is a dark horse for many. He bested Frenchman Florent Urani in the final.
Tatsukawa’s sister Rina won the gold U52kg after she defeated Eleudis Valentim of Brazil. Strong Korean Park da Sol won bronze as well as 21-year old Giulia Pierucci of Italy who continues to win medals in a row.
French woman Lola Benarroche is a good alternative U57kg for Helene Receveaux who was sent to the World Championships. Benarroche books good results and won the African Open this year. On Tuesday she was the strongest in the final against Kwon You-Jeong of Korea. France brought a strong team to Taipei and may win more medals. In the medal table Korea and Japan lead with four gold medals, follow by Brazil, France, Italy and Azerbaijan all one gold medal. On Wednesday the last individual day in Taipei.
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