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Turkish lightweight Merve Azak takes it all in 2019
Turkish lightweight Merve Azak takes it all in 2019
25 Sep 2019 17:15
Pedro Lasuen - IJF and JudoInside
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

For the second time in a row Turkey celebrates a Cadet World Champion. Merve Azak captured the gold in her category U44kg in Kazakhstan. The tiny Turkish gave everything against her opponent of Venezuela, the current Youth Olympic Games champion María Giménez.

The final in this category was unpredictable with a clash between two sizes. On one side the tiny Turkish who is world number one and 2019 EYOF Champion. On the other side the tall Youth Olympic champion. The Venezuelan spent more time on the mat in her previous contests but both reached the final in an expeditious way. Azak was active the whole time and it turned out to be a very tight contest, both judoka trying to execute their judo. One minute before the end, Azak took the lead with a waza-ari and secured the title.

“I knew her strongest move is harai-makikomi. I was prepared to face her and did exactly what I have planned with my coach”, said Azak with a shining smile. She became the successor of Mihrac Akkus who won the title in 2017 U55kg. Azak is the first girl of her country to take the world title.

Laura Soken won the first medal for Brazil in Almaty by defeating Italy Asia Avanzato in the first bronze medal contest. The second bronze medal flew to Japan. Miyagi Ayuna defeated Bulgaria Anastasiia Balaban by ippon.