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Funa Tonaki surprises with gold medal against Munkhbat
28 Aug 2017 17:05
Japanese Funa Tonaki became the surprise of the day giving Japan the gold medal U48kg.She gave japan the gold back after Ami Kondo won it for the last time. Tonaki defeated Mongolian Urantsetseg Munkhbat in the final in Budapest.
Tonaki quite a surprise as Ami Kondo was expected in the final. Tonaki who was World Junior champion in 2015 in Abu Dhabi is smaller than Munkhbat and gave her a good match and 24 seconds for the end, she scored wazari. In 2017 Tonaki won the Grand Prix Düsseldorf 2017 and gained points for the world ranking and was second at the All Japanese Championships in April and qualified. Each Japanese is a danger. Munkhbat was in 2013 the first woman to take the world title for Mongolia. Supported by many Mongolian fans in the stands, Munkhbat was the convincing but got surprised by the smaller Tonaki. Munkhbat who was 7th at the Olympic Games in London and fifth in Rio kept winning medals after the Olympic Games, but not gold and also in Budapest she couldn’t win the final.
Tonaki defeated Leyla Aliyeva (AZE) in her first match, Stefanie Koyama in her second match, a tough one against a same size judoka. Milica Nikolic was defeated in the quarter final and Tonaki was the second semi finalist for Japan.
In the first match for bronze Japanese Ami Kondo got Milica Nikolic of Serbia in oseikomi with one minute to go and secured her third World Championships medal, gold in 2014, bronze in 2015 and here in Budapest. Still a good performance by Serbian Nikolic with her best ever performance at such tournament. However for Kondo this bronze medal was not satisfying. She also won bronze at the Olympic Games.
Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh of Kazakhstan won bronze again, after she medalled in Rio, now she grabbed her first world medal. Today maybe not convincing enough as she certainly has the medal to win the world title. Dolgova is not an easy opponent. The Russian beat her in 2016 in Tbilisi, but this time Galbadrakh added her third win against the Russian, the previous two were in 2014 and Dolgova has grown to a world level athlete. After two minutes she secured the bronze after she launched Dolgova for ippon by Ura nage. Galbadrakh was emotional after she won the first World Championships medal for Kazakhstan ever by woman.
The semi final between Kondo and Munkhbat was a thriller. In regular time only the penalties were on the board, all in balance. 1:22min in the golden score Kondo received her third penalty and Munkhbat was in the final.
Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh defeated Funa Tonaki in the semi final, but it wasn’t an easy match. Also this match was equal for a long time and led to golden score where Tonaki was still one penalty behind. After 2:28 Galbadrakh received her third penalty. Galbadrakh who won her pool with Francesca Milani (ITA), European Champion Daria Bilodid (UKR) and Noa Minsker (ISR) was not yet convincing after her first three matches and with Tonaki in the semi final as opponent that turned out to be true.
Milica Nikolic who lost to Tonaki in the quarter final overcame Noa Minsker of Israel in the first repechage match, Dolgova bested Melanie Clement of France. Hungarian favourite Eva Csernoviczki couldn’t impress despite the warm cheers of the crowd.
Funa Tonaki and Naohisa Takato gave Japan a super start at these World Championships. Although the usually dominate the lightweights, they weren’t very spoiled over the last years in the major tournaments. It seems that Japan is back.
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Ruben Perrino (ESP)