Olympic bronze medallist KONDO Ami (JPN) topped a Grand Prix medal podium for the first time in her career by defeating Paris Grand Slam silver medallist KANG Yujeong (KOR).
KONDO, 23, has won the Worlds, a Masters and five Grand Slams and, at her fourth attempt, triumphed on the Grand Prix stage. Defending champion KANG, 21, had to settle for silver having been caught with 55 seconds left on the clock with a tomoe-nage for a waza-ari score and KONDO cleverly saw out the remaining time.
Both judoka have significant domestic rivals for the one respective place at Tokyo 2020 and today’s result suited both of the -48kg finalists in Hohhot as KANG is a new and emerging contender while KONDO has a resume which already has as many pages as a book.
In the first semi-final former Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist Sabina GILIAZOVA (RUS) fell to KANG in 19 seconds by ippon. In the second semi-final Cancun Grand Prix winner Gabriela CHIBANA (BRA) shipped a second waza-ari when she failed to escape a hold down from KONDO and the Japanese advanced to the final.
The first bronze medal contest was won by former world champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) who tapped out CHIBANA with her trademark juji-gatame in the first contest of the final block on day one. For Brazil it will be a three-way race for Tokyo 2020 with London 2012 Olympic champion Sarah MENEZES (BRA) and world number 17 KOYAMA Stefannie Arissa (BRA). MENEZES lost her opening contest against Julia FIGUEROA (ESP) by hansoku-make after three shidos.
The second bronze medal was won by world number 13 Shira RISHONY (ISR) as GILIAZOVA could not compete due to injury. RISHONY picked up her sixth Grand Prix medal to make a positive start to her Tokyo 2020 campaign.
Final: KONDO, Ami (JPN) vs KANG, Yujeong (KOR)
Bronze Medal Fights
CHIBANA, Gabriela (BRA) vs MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
RISHONY, Shira (ISR) vs GILIAZOVA, Sabina (RUS)
1. KONDO, Ami (JPN)
2. KANG, Yujeong (KOR)
3. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
3. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)
5. CHIBANA, Gabriela (BRA)
5. GILIAZOVA, Sabina (RUS)
7. LIU, Ting (CHN)
7. MINSKER, Noa (ISR)
-52kg: Teenage prodigy ABE Uta looks unstoppable with senior Worlds debut looming
Paris Grand Slam winner ABE Uta (JPN) won her fourth IJF World Judo Tour event in a row to extend her winning-streak to 24 contests. ABE, 17, held down former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist WU Shugen (CHN) for 20 seconds and ippon in the -52kg final. Japan’s latest starlet has now won her last 10 contests all by ippon and is becoming more and more dominant as she heads towards her first senior World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in September. Former -48kg competitor WU was only competing at -52kg for the second time and based on this showing will remain there for this Olympic cycle.
ABE (WHITE JUDOGI) v BISHRELT (MGL) – ROUND TWO
In the first semi-final Rome European Open silver medallist Ana PEREZ BOX (ESP) lost out by hansoku-make for three shidos against WU. In the second semi-final ABE defeated Pan American Championships silver medallist Angelica DELGADO (USA) by ippon after only 15 seconds.
The first bronze medal was awarded to 2013 Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner PARK Da Sol (KOR) who submitted DELGADO with a juji-gatame.
The second bronze medal was won by PEREZ BOX who beat Grand Prix debutant JANG Yejin (KOR) with a forceful ouchi-gari for ippon. Former Junior Asian Championships silver medallist JANG finished fifth but both judoka achieved their best results on the IJF World Judo Tour in Inner Mongolia today and still have a lot of room for improvement.
Final: WU, Shugen (CHN) vs ABE, Uta (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights:
DELGADO, Angelica (USA) vs PARK, Da Sol (KOR)
PEREZ BOX, Ana (ESP) vs JANG, Yejin (KOR)
1. ABE, Uta (JPN)
2. WU, Shugen (CHN)
3. PARK, Da Sol (KOR)
3. PEREZ BOX, Ana (ESP)
5. DELGADO, Angelica (USA)
5. JANG, Yejin (KOR)
7. KAZARINA, Yulia (RUS)
7. TEMELKOVA, Betina (ISR)
-57kg: Five contests, five ippons for Canada’s new champion Christa DEGUCHI
Paris Grand Slam winner Christa DEGUCHI (JPN) won her fourth event in 2018 as she defeated teammate and Pan American Championships bronze medallist Jessica KLIMKAIT (CAN) for -57kg gold. DEGUCHI, 22, won their one previous meeting in the Pan American Championships semi-finals in April, and has been in scintillating form since debuting for Canada late last year having formerly represented Japan. KLIMKAIT submitted to a strangle as Canada won their first and second medal of the competition in the same contest. Judo Canada have two world-class judoka at their disposal at -57kg and after scoring five ippons in five contests DEGUCHI finds herself in pole position in the race for Tokyo 2020.
In the first semi-final three-time Grand Slam bronze medallist TAMAOKI Momo (JPN) lost out to DEGUCHI by ippon. In the second semi-final KLIMKAIT defeated World Judo Masters bronze medallist KWON Youjeong (KOR) by ippon to book an all-Canadian final.
The first bronze medal was won by world number 10 KWON who scored twice to beat world number 225 ZHANG Wen (CHN). Home judoka ZHANG defeated KIM Jandi (KOR), LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE) and Timna NELSON LEVY (ISR) with a defeat to Christa DEGUCHI (CAN) sandwiched in the middle of her day. Once again the Chinese was very unlucky to finish outside of the medals as Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist KWON boosted her country’s growing medal haul in Hohhot.
The second bronze medal was won by TAMAOKI who saw off Düsseldorf Grand Slam silver medallist KARAKAS Hedvig (HUN) by ippon. TAMAOKI countered a sutemi-waza attempt from her Hungarian opponent for ippon in the penultimate contest on day one at the Hohhot Grand Prix 2018.
Final: KLIMKAIT, Jessica (CAN) vs DEGUCHI, Christa (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
KWON, Youjeong (KOR) vs ZHANG, Wen (CHN)
KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN) vs TAMAOKI, Momo (JPN)
1. DEGUCHI, Christa (JPN)
2. KLIMKAIT, Jessica (CAN)
3. KWON, Youjeong (KOR)
3. TAMAOKI, Momo (JPN)
5. ZHANG, Wen (CHN)
5. KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN)
7. NELSON LEVY, Timna (ISR)
7. ROPER, Miryam (PAN)
FINAL RESULTS: MEN
-60kg: Former world champ SMETOV wins all-Kazakh final for fourth Grand Prix gold
Former world champion Yeldos SMETOV (KAZ) had the measure of Agadir Grand Prix winner Gusman KYRGYZBAYEV (KAZ) as he won the first men’s gold medal in Hohhot. SMETOV was expected to be tested by KYRGYZBAYEV who has made his mark on the tour this year but the former showed his class as he won the -60kg title in just 31 seconds with a rapid seoi-nage earning ippon.
In the first semi-final SMETOV profited from the wastefulness of Cancun Grand Prix silver medallist Phelipe PELIM (BRA) who was disqualified after picking up three shidos. In the second semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) fell to KYRGYZBAYEV by ippon with a front uchi-mata which is actually the favoured technique of the Mongolian.
The first bronze medal was eventually won by DASHDAVAA after three minutes of golden score. World number three Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS) was penalised for a third time to finish fifth as Mongolia claimed their first medal of the competition. MSHVIDOBADZE received his third penalty for breaking off the grip off his opponent with both hands and his tactually astute foe claimed an important medal towards the next Olympiad having been overlooked for Rio 2016.
The second bronze medal went to Antalya Grand Prix winner Albert OGUZOV (RUS) who timed his score perfectly as he threw world number 14 PELIM with a tai-otoshi with only four seconds left on the clock.
Final: KYRGYZBAYEV, Gusman (KAZ) vs SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
Bronze Medal Fights:
DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL) vs MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)
PELIM, Phelipe (BRA) vs OGUZOV, Albert (RUS)
1. SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
2. KYRGYZBAYEV, Gusman (KAZ)
3. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
3. OGUZOV, Albert (RUS)
5. MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)
5. PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)
7. TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)
7. GANBAT, Boldbaatar (MGL)
-66kg: Japan’s MARUYAMA records his second Grand Prix win
Two-time Grand Slam silver medallist MARUYAMA Joshiro (JPN) struck Grand Prix gold for the second time as he went unbeaten in the -66kg category. Three-time world silver medallist Mikhail PULIAEV (RUS) offered a stern challenge for the Japan in a first time meeting on the IJF World Judo Tour. MARUYAMA is a protégé of 1984 Olympic champion HOSOKAWA Shinji at Tenri University where he trains alongside his brother MARUYAMA Goki and Olympic champion ONO Shohei. A third shido for PULIAEV handed the victory to his adversary as Japan finished the opening day with three gold medals.
MARUYAMA (BLUE JUDOGI) THROWS AN (KOR) – 66KG QUARTER FINAL
In the first semi-final MARUYAMA defeated three-time Grand Prix winner Abdula ABDULZHALILOV (RUS) by a waza-ari to march into the final after a blistering opening session. In the second semi-final Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Sebastian SEIDL (GER) was disqualified for three shidos against three-time world silver medallist Mikhail PULIAEV (RUS).
The first bronze medal was won by Olympic silver medallist and former world champion AN Baul (KOR) as SEIDL finished in fifth-place. AN lost out to MARUYAMA in the quarters in the reverse outcome of their Paris Grand Slam final – with a majestic sode-tsurikomi-goshi – but returned to winning ways in the final block as his German rival picked up a third and final shido in golden score.
The second bronze medal went to World Judo Masters silver medallist Yeldos ZHUMAKANOV (KAZ) who edged out three-time Grand Prix winner Abdula ABDULZHALILOV (RUS) to win Kazakhstan’s third medal on day one.
Final: PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS) vs MARUYAMA, Joshiro (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights:
SEIDL, Sebastian (GER) vs AN, Baul (KOR)
ABDULZHALILOV, Abdula (RUS) vs ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
1. MARUYAMA, Joshiro (JPN)
2. PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS)
3. AN, Baul (KOR)
3. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
5. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)
5. ABDULZHALILOV, Abdula (RUS)
7. KIM, Hyong Un (PRK)
7. SHI, Lang (CHN)
Saturday 26 May
Preliminary rounds – 10:00 (Three tatami)
Final block – 16:00 (One tatami)
Men: -73kg, -81kg
Women: -63kg, -70kg
Sunday 27 May
Preliminary rounds – 11:00 (Three tatami)
Final block – 16:00 (One tatami)
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg
Women: -78kg, +78kg