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Japan’s world champion Funa Tonaki wins gold on her Masters debut
16 Dec 2017 16:20
World champion Tonaki Funa took the World Judo Masters title at her first attempt to strengthen her claim for being Japan’s number one in the U48kg category. In the absence of Tokyo Grand Slam winner and former world champion Kondo Ami, Tonaki showed her usual energetic and enthusiastic style.
Against a gutsy Irina Dolgova (RUS) who was looking for more honours after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in October. There was nothing to separate the two young talents in regulation time and a further five minutes was required in golden score to find a winner in the first final at the World Judo Masters 2017. While neither judoka was at their blistering best in added time, as they were both comfortable but still too cautious during their many ne-waza exchanges, Dolgova looked a spent force and become inefficient. Tonaki caught the Russian on the ground with a kesa-gatame hold and the home judoka tapped out after five seconds.
In the first semi-final world number one Munkhbat Urantsetseg (MLG) lost out to Dolgova when the former was penalised for the third time for passivity with 47 seconds left. In the second semi-final Tonaki held down European bronze medallist Csernoviczki Eva (HUN) for ippon with a mune-gatame to advance to the final having first produced a waza-ari score from a seoi-nage effort.
The first bronze medal contest saw Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Jeong Bokyeong (KOR) narrowly see off 2011 World Judo Masters bronze medallist Csernoviczki by a waza-ari.
The second bronze medal contest opposed Munkhbat and Baku Grand Slam winner Stefannie Arissa Koyama (BRA) and it was the vastly more experienced Mongolian who emerged with the first medal win in the final block. Munkhbat led with a waza-ari before submitting the Brazilian with a juji-gatame to add to her overflowing medal collection.
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Giulia Mongello (ITA)