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Olympic revelation Cheng bids to become China’s first male world judo champion

10 Aug 2017 15:05

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    Klaus Müller / Watch:

China’s Cheng Xunzhao may have won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but he left Brazil as one of its biggest winners. The 26-year-old ippon-seoi-nage specialist was unseeded at the Games and took part with little in the way of expectations or fanfare from his country. Whether or not he will compete in Budapest is the big question; he is not on the registration list yet.

Not only did Cheng become the first male judoka from China to win an Olympic judo medal but he left the crowd in awe as he defeated all-time great Ilias Iliadis (GRE), World silver medallist Toth Krisztian (HUN) and the dangerous Marcus Nyman (SWE), all by ippon and all by his devastating seoi-nage.

After a last-minute semi-final loss to eventual Olympic champion Baker Mashu (JPN) the Chinese judoka bounced back to edge out Lkhagvasuren Otgonbaatar (MGL) for a historic medal.

Cheng’s sole outing since Rio saw him eclipse his peers in Paris to win his first Grand Slam and his ippon judo and untapped talent makes him one of the favourites for U90kg gold in Budapest.

Watch the most popular judo videos of Cheng.

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  • Xunzhao Cheng (CHN), World Judo Day 2017 COURAGE (IJF) - 2016 Olympic Games day 5 Judo U90kg & U70kg (2016, BRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Xunzhao Cheng (CHN) - Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro (2016, BRA) - © Paco Lozano, Judo y Otros
  • Xunzhao Cheng (CHN) - 2016 Olympic Games day 5 Judo U90kg & U70kg (2016, BRA) - © David Finch,

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5Düsseldorf22 Feb
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