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Miki Ungvari becomes oldest IJF World Judo Tour winner
11 Aug 2018 20:05
Hungarian judo legend Ungvari Miklos ruled the U73kg category on home soil as the Hungarian ace defeated three-time world champion and double Olympic bronze medallist Ebinuma Masashi (JPN) at the Grand Prix in Budapest. London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Ungvari, who turns 38 in October, stood on the London 2012 Olympic podium at U66kg with Ebinuma as the latter took bronze.
Since then Ungvari promptly moved up to U73kg while the Japanese moved up a weight category at the end of 2017. In a thrilling final, the home star countered Ebinuma with 43 seconds left on the clock as he took control and drove over the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist with te-waza for ippon. Ungvari extended his head-to-head record to 2-0 against Japan’s all-time great having won their one and only previous clash in 2010 in Moscow. Ungvari lapped up the adulation of the home fans before showing his respect to his opponent Ebinuma who will be relieved to have captured his first international medal at U73kg.
In the first semi-final Ebinuma threw world bronze medallist Ganbaatar Odbayar (MGL) with his seoi-nage in the closing seconds for ippon and a place in the final. In the second semi-final Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Arthur Margelidon (CAN) fell to Ungvari by a waza-ari score.
The first bronze medal was won by Margelidon who bested Oberwart European Open bronze medallist Giovanni Esposito (ITA). Margelidon opened the scoring with a waza-ari from a ko-uchi-gake and wrapped up the victory with a seoi-nage as Canada swiftly made their presence felt on day two.
The second bronze medal went to former Sarajevo European Cup bronze medallist Szabo Frigyes (HUN) who had a dream day as he won his first IJF World Judo Tour medal at the expense of Ganbaatar. The world number 322 comes from a judo family with both of his sisters also having represented their country on the tatami and he brought the Hungarian crowd to their feet with a heroic display. Szabo held down the Mongolian who was surprisingly overpowered on the ground with osaekomi-waza as the hosts claimed their second medal of the competition.
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Kyra Reumerman (NED)
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