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Yu Song retains heavyweight gold for China
2 Sep 2017 19:10
Chinese heavyweight Yu Song retained her 2015 world title with a battling displaying on Saturday in Hungary. Yu, Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, was only competing for the second time since Rio 2016. She defeated 2014 Junior World Championships winner and world number three Asahina Sarah of Japan in the final for gold.
Asahina, 20, was supported from the stands by her parents, started judo at the Kodokan Judo Institute and still lives around the corner from the home of judo. The Tokai University student, whose dad Asahina Terry is a Kodokan 4th Dan, took the contest to the Chinese veteran in their first meeting.
Golden score was needed to separate Asia and the world’s premier heavyweights and it was Yu who triumphed to win her second world title when Asahina was penalised for being passive after two minutes of golden score.
In the first semi-final two-time Grand Slam bronze medallist Iryna Kindzerska (AZE) lost out to Yu by a waza-ari score as Europe failed to break the Asian monopoly of the heavyweight women’s category.
In the second semi-final Worlds debutant Asahina outfought former European champion Kayra Sayit (TUR). A waza-ari score for the Japanese was the difference after four minutes as the ashi-waza of the former wore down the Turkish judoka.
In the first bronze medal contest world number eight Kim Minjeong (KOR) defeated Sayit in golden score to win her first World Championships medal. A waza-ari score after 90 seconds of additional time provided South Korea with their third bronze medal of the competition when Sayit overstretched as she attempted a uchi-mata and was off balance and KIM took full advantage.
In the second bronze medal contest Kindzerska bested world number 11 Tessie Savelkouls (NED) by three waza-ari. The pick of the three came from an o-guruma and there could be more to follow from Azerbaijan’s women during the team competition on Sunday.
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Eunkyul Lee (KOR)
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