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North Korea shows itself at Grand Prix Hohhot, world class players hide
30 Jun 2017 13:15
The Grand Prix in Hohhot in China attracted a number of top athletes such as Olympic champion Lukas Krpalek (CZE) who competes in the heavyweight category. Also present were Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Dorjsuren Sumiya (MGL) and former world champion Munkhbat Urantsetseg (MGL), as well as reigning world champion Haga Ryunosuke (JPN), who won bronze at the Olympics last year.
At the first day not all the favourites met expectations, but their appearances in Hohhoht could be considered as a comfortable warmup for the World Championships.
One of the best matches of the day was the final U57kg. Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Dorjsuren Sumiya (MGL) fought a tactical match against Momo Tamaoki, but had to change tactics during the match to make the best of it. The 26-year-old, who recently completed a training camp in Japan, has won bronze at the Tokyo Grand Slam and silver at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix since the Games and is now focused on winning gold in Hohhot ahead of the Worlds in August. However against Momo Tamaoki she was wazari behind and had to give it all. Three seconds for the end Dorjsuren scored the equalizer which led the match into golden score. Chances turned for Dorjsuren but the golden score was exciting but both athletes received a penalty after four minutes and eight minutes of fighting, and it was the third for Dorjsuren. Gold for the tiny Japanese.
Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Jessica Klimkait (CAN) grabbed a bronze medal and really found the right pace at world level. She bested North Korean Ri in the golden score. Viola Waechter now took the medal in Hohhot where she missed it out in Cancun. Now with a textbook uchimata against Margriet Bergstra (NED).
North Korea won its first IJF Tour gold medal since 2014 as former Asian Championships bronze medallist RIM Song Sim (PRK) dominated her category U52kg, always a strong category in North Korea. In the final she bested Ecaterina Guica who got in trouble from the start but gave good opposition later. Former world champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) took bronze in this higher class U52kg category. Qin Wang was the only Chinese to medal in this class.
Korean Yu Jeong Kang took the gold medal U48kg. The former Cadet Asian Champion now won her first gold medal in the senior category in the IJF Tour. In the final she defeated Irina Dolgova, the European Championships silver medallist who was be expected to return to an IJF podium for the first time since 2015. 16-Year-old sensation and European Championships winner Daria Bilodid (UKR) lost her first battle against Italian Francesca Milani, but Bilodid has all the time to take a few more important medals in her career. Nice success for Milani who lost the semi against Dolgova. The bronze went to Bilodid in the end against compatriot Maryna Cherniak (UKR) and Milani lost to Jiang (CHN).
Former Paris Grand Slam winner Shishime Toru (JPN) defeated World number eight Dashdavaa Amartuvshin (MGL) in the final of the U60kg category at the Grand Slam in Hohhot. Shishime won his fifth IJF Tour event. European champion Robert Mshvidobadze won the bronze medal today with Ganbat Boldbaatar of Mongolia.
Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Yakub Shamilov (RUS) bested European champion Georgii Zantaraia (UKR) in an exciting final. Yuuki Hashiguchi of Japan and surprising 23-year old Baskhuu Yondonperenlei were the bronze medallists in this category U66kg.
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Nestor Khergiani (GEO)