Korean teen Min-Jong Kim in dream final against legend
Former Cadet World Championships winner and teenage prodigy Kim Minjong of Korea pulled out all the stops as he beat Mongolian hero Naidan Tuvshinbayar (MGL) to register his first IJF World Judo Tour victory. Mongolia had sent a big team of 25 athletes and only Mongolian legend Naidan was able to reach the final.
Asian-Pacific Championships bronze medallist Kim, 18, threw the 2008 Olympic champion and London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Naidan, who turns 35 next week, with a uchi-mata for ippon with 24 seconds left on the clock. Kim sent his country top of the medal table with their fourth gold medal from the weekend as Naidan was denied a fairytale repeat of his 2018 win in Inner Mongolia.
In the first semi-final Olympic champion Lukas Krpalek (CZE) was shocked by Kim by a waza-ari score with three seconds left while in the other semi-final with Johannes Frey (GER) fell to local hero and living legend Naidan.
The first bronze medal was won by Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Levani Matiashvili (GEO) who beat Frey with a picturesque throw for ippon.
The second bronze medal went to Krpalek who outfoxed Portugal European Open bronze medallist Alen Tskhovrebov (RUS) in golden score. Krpalek tried to employ his usually potent sutemi-waza but Tskhovrebov stayed firm before tiring in added time and was penalised for a false attack to send the favourite onto the podium.