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Lee Jaehyung finally breaks through with senior gold in Qingdao
19 Nov 2016 19:05
Former 2009 World Cadet Champion from Korea Kee Jaehyung was the hero for South Korea as he struck U81kg gold on day two in Qingdao. Lee arrived in China without any senior results but an accomplished record as a teenager including winning the 2010 Youth Olympics Games in Singapore.
The South Korean beat Rio 2016 Olympic champion Khasan Khalmurzaev (RUS) to win the YOG title while future world silver medallist Toth Krisztian (HUN) joined them on the podium as a bronze medallist. Lee faced two-time Grand Prix bronze medallist and -81kg newcomer Nick Delpopolo (USA) in the final today and took the contest to the American. A ko-uchi-gari from Lee scored a waza-ari and both judoka collected shidos as the tactically astute Asian fighter won his first IJF World Judo Tour final and will be one to look out for in this new Olympic cycle.
In the first semi-final Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner Nyamsuren Dagvasuren (MGL) surprisingly fell to 23-year-old Lee by a yuko score as the top seed was stopped in his pursuit of gold and turned his attention to bronze. In the second semi-final 21-year-old former Junior European Cup winner Elemer Szocs (ROU) was beaten by Delpopolo by a yuko after 20 seconds of golden score.
The first bronze medal was won by German European Cup bronze medallist Etienne Briand (CAN) as he saw off Szocs on shido penalties 1:2. The second bronze medal was won by top seed Nyamsuren who salvaged a medal for his country despite failing to invigorate the category as many expected. The Mongolian narrowly defeated 18-year-old rookie Su Rilige (CHN) by a yuko and held on after being under a torrent of pressure in the closing minute.
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