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Naidan Tuvshinbayar still good enough for Asian title
16 Apr 2016 17:10
Mongolian judo hero Naidan Tuvshinbayar is still ambitious enough to reach new goals. For the first time in his career the 31-year Olympic champion of Beijing claimed the Asian title. At the Asian Championships in Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Naidan defeated home favourite Soyib Kurbonov in the final U100kg. Naidan won all his four matches including the semi final against strong Iranian medal hope Javad Mahjoub who finished fifth in the end.
Although the Championships is without the strongest Koreans and Japanese athletes, Japan was still able to capture four gold medals and eleven medals in total, just two more finallists than Mongolia.
Still it was Mongolia that started the second day well with gold for Dagvasuren Nyamsuren who captured his first Asian title. In this strong category Nacif Elias of Lebanon lost the final to Nyamsuren.
Surprising was the gold medal for Tajikistan, the first ever Asian title for the small nation achieved by Komronshokh Ustopiriyon as he defeated Yusuke Kobayashi of Japan. Ustopiriyon who won the Grand Prix of Tashkent two years ago has good memories to the Uzbek capital, although last year he lost the final in the Grand Prix. The final against Kobayashi wasn’t easy though and Ustopiriyon won by penalties.
Japan did win gold in the plus category by Kokoro Kageura. Another surprise in a category which wasn’t even so bad with Abdullo Tangriev who won silver for Uzbekistan and Iurii Krakovetskii (KGZ) who again proved to be in shape with bronze and Yerzhan Shynkeyev of Kazachstan taking bronze. Kageura is rather unknown and didn’t have a role in any Japanese championships. Last year he took bronze in the Kodokan Cup but wasn’t expected to capture the gold.
In Saturday’s women’s finals Yoko Ono won the first gold medal. Also Ono was Kodokan Cup winner last year and she took bronze at the All Japan two weeks ago. In the final U70kg she secured the gold when she bested Kim Seong-Yeon of Korea. In a previous meeting in 2013 it was Kim who won.
Almost each edition a Chinese woman grabs an Asian title. Last year China compensated 2014 with two titles and this year it was Zhang Zhehui who kept the Chinese tradition up. 28-year old Zhang defeated 21-year old Rika Takayama in the final U78kg. Zhang is ranked 31st in the World Ranking and will now jump in the ranking likely to reach the qualification zone. In 2000 and 2008 China had an Olympic champion in this category.
In the end Korea won a gold medal. Kim Min-Jeong secured gold in the women’s plus category. Kim defeated Gulzhan Issanova of Kazachstan. Kim hadn’t won a gold medal since the October 2015… in Tashkent at the Grand Prix. At the World Championships she lost in the 1/8 final.
Host Uzbekistan had to be satisfied with three finals, but all lost. Nonetheless a good practice for some Olympians. None of last years champions was able to prolong the title. Kazachstan won three gold medala compared to zero last year, they are coming!
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Tobias Mol (NED)