JudoInside – News – Favourites line up for IBSA gold in Fort Wayne USA

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 IBSA Sport  
 Ibsa Sport


A series of impressive ippons highlighted the first day of judo competition at the 2019 International Blind Sports Federation Judo International Qualifier in Fort Wayne, USA. The performances of some of the world’s best up-and-coming and more established athletes was a taste of things to come just over one year ahead of the next Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Romania’s Alex Bologa, the Paralympic bronze medallist, impressed with in the men’s up to 60kg.

Bologa, who at the age of just 22 has an incredibly bright future, faced Kazakhstan’s world champion Olzhas Orazalyuly. On paper Bologa was the underdog, but he expertly overhauled Orazalyuly to claim ippon.

“I was very happy to win here, especially after the World Championships (where I missed the podium) and I am happy to collect some points for Tokyo 2020,” Bologa said. “I am looking forward to go to Tokyo and get a better medal, if it’s possible. I would like to be the Paralympic champion but I would like one more medal whatever it is.”

In the bronze medal matches, China’s Xu Zhao and Kazakhstan’s Anuar Sariyev both won their fights to step onto the podium.

Kornhass takes gold for Germany

Germany’s Nikolai Kornhass built on his amazing bronze medal winning IBSA Judo World Championships debut from November in the men’s up to 73kg.

Kornhass executed what could have been the best throw of the day to achieve ippon against Kazakhstan’s Temirzhan Daulet.

“I had a good performance today, I think. I showed good judo and had no big mistakes. I think I did my best today,” Kornhass said.

Complimenting Daulet on his judo the German went on to say: “He (Daulet) is physically strong and he can change his way of fighting from right-handed to left-handed so it’s difficult.

At the beginning I – not really struggled – but had to come into the fight and then it went well!”

Spain’s Alvaro Gavilan Lorenzo and Ukraine’s Rufat Mahomedov rounded off the podium.

It was a battle of the Paralympic champions in the women’s up to 48kg gold medal match.

Martinet going strong

France’s Sandrine Martinet, continuing to compete in one weight category lower than Rio 2016 where she won gold, faced China’s Li Liqing.

The fight lived up to its billing as both women showed their quality. But it was Martinet who was back to her best having missed out on first place at the Worlds.

An exceptional throw from the Frenchwoman was met with gasps from the crowd and saw her gain an ippon score to overcome Paralympic title-holder Li.

The bronze medal match between Chinese Taipei’s Kai Lin Lee and Ukraine’s Rio 2016 bronze medallist Yuliya Halinska was an intense affair. But it was Halinska who emerged the victor with ippon.

Gold for Turkey

Turkey’s Ecem Tasin, also a third place finisher from Rio 2016, won her bronze medal fight against Japan’s Shizuka Hangai.

Ukraine’s world and Paralympic champion Inna Cherniak went toe-to-toe with Canada’s Worlds bronze medallist Priscilla Gagne in the women’s up to 52kg. It was Cherniak who was victorious.

Japan’s Yui Fujiwara and China’s Yanqing Lee left with bronze.

Turkish world champion Zeynep Celik met Japan’s Junko Hirose again in the women’s up to 57kg in a rematch of the World Championships final.

It was once again Celik who emerged on top as she managed an ippon against Hirose.

Brazilian teammates Lucia Araujo and Maria Dos Santos Lins completed the podium in third.

Mongolia’s Munkhbat Aaajim won gold against Spain’s Sergio Ibanez in the men’s up to 66kg.

Georgia’s Worlds bronze medallist Giorgi Gamjashvilli picked up the same colour again in Fort Wayne. Ukraine’s Davyd Khorava joined him on the podium.

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