For the first time in history the National Judo Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic celebrated a continental champion after Vladimir Zoloev captured the gold medal U81kg at the Asia-Oceania Senior Championships in Bishkek. The home country had already secured a bronze medal on Tuesday. A beautiful gift for his 28th birthday.
At the second Day of the Championships that is a shared event with the Oceania continental championships, the middle weights had to fight and the home nation had its hopes on the only left athlete in the quarter finals Vladimir Zoloev. Zoloev defeated Lee Sung-Ho in the quarter and was opposed to the whole team of Mongolia, which consists of Saeid Mollaei only, and was able to defeat the 2018 World Champion. In the final Zoloev also defeated the second Korean Lee Moon-Jin, the reigning Asian Champion.
Zoloev improved his previous performance taking bronze in 2017.
Despite the loss U81kg the Korean team did capture two gold medals. An Chang-Rim became the expected winner of the U73kg division. In the final the 2018 World Champion overcame Somon Makhmadbekov of Tajikistan.
Han Hee-Ju of Korea took gold U63kg against Australia’s Katherina Haecker in the final. Cho Monk-Hee claimed the bronze and second medal in this weight category. In the women’s U70kg it was Uzbekistan that won its second gold medal at this championships. Gulnoza Matniyazova defeated Kim Seong-Yeon in the final which brought the total of Korean medals on Wednesday to five.
Korea now captured three gold medals, four silver and three bronze medals and is now leading the medal table followed by Uzbekistan and China with both two titles.