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Italian judoka Manuel Lombardo celebrated Junior World gold with a thrilling display in the U66kg category. It was the second big title this year as he also won the Junior European title.
Number one seed Lombardo lived up to his billing by beating Junior Pan American Championships gold medallist Michael Marcelino (BRA) to make sure that Italy’s first medal in the Bahamas was gold. The Italian won by ippon after 71 seconds and fell down to his knees as the tears flowed and his teammates jumped for joy in the stands.
In the first semi-final of the day, Junior European Championships gold medallist Lombardo beat IJF newcomer Aida Yuji (JPN) by a waza-ari score. The Italian showed no fear going up against the Japanese and booked his place in the final with a modified kata-guruma for a waza-ari score which separated the young judoka after four minutes. In the second semi-final former Cadet Asian Championships winner Sunggat Zhubatkan (KAZ) was launched through the air by Marcelino with a majestic uchi-mata for ippon at the halfway point.
The first bronze medal was won by Junior European Championships silver medallist Murad Chopanov (RUS) who bested Zhubatkan by ippon after 80 seconds to claim Russia’s second medal in Nassau.
The second bronze medal was won by AIDA who sent Cadet World Championships gold medallist Kazbek Naguchev (RUS) over for ippon with an emphatic ko-uchi-gari after eight seconds of golden score that earned the applause of IJF Development Director and All Japan Judo Federation President Yamashita Yasuhiro.
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