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Otgonbaatar Uuganbaatar on top for Mongolia to close in on the leading pack
3 Dec 2017 09:45
Mongolian Otgonbaatar Uuganbaatar closed the gap at the summit of the U81kg weight category with a typically tenacious performance which was full of heart and skill. Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Otgonbaatar was able to break the Japanese monopoly on the top spot on the medal podium despite not facing any Japanese judoka as he beat two South Korean’s, a fellow Mongolian and a Brazilian in a vigorous but rewarding day’s work.
World number seven Otgonbaatar defeated former Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Lee Sungho (KOR) in the final with an juji-gatame. Lee looked like a seasoned IJF World Judo Tour competitor but was making his Grand Slam debut and the 25-year-old will be an athlete to look for out next year.
In the first semi-final Lee overpowered world number one Frank De Wit (NED) to win by a waza-ari score in a one-sided contest. In the second semi-final Otgonbaatar defeated eight-time Grand Prix medallist Nyamsuren Dagvasuren (MGL) in golden score when the latter picked up a second shido after three minutes of added time.
The first bronze medal was clinched by Nyamsuren when former Junior European Championships silver medallist Anri Egutidze (POR) launched a tame ashi-waza attack and the Mongolian used his upper body to drive his opponent over onto his back, albeit without any speed, for a contest-winning waza-ari score.
The second bronze medal was won by De Wit who beat Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Jonathan Allardon (FRA) by ippon with a yoko-tomoe-nage with 17 seconds left in the contest.
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