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Daria Bilodid overcomes all pressure and displays mental powers

17 Oct 2018 23:50

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

It was an unsurprising result for Daria Bilodid as she claimed the junior world title on the opening day of competition at the Junior World Championships, nonetheless proving to the world once again that she is a young phenom. Japan claimed two gold medals of their own, and the crowd was treated to an all-Azeri U55kg final.

All eyes were on the tall Ukrainian senior world champion as the day began, but Daria Bilodid demonstrated that she is a cool customer. Praised by her colleagues for her "awesome" recent performance in Baku, Daria was tasked with a new challenge: fighting against sky-high expectations. It would require five hard-earned wins to meet them, but Daria was able to catch Sana Yoshida, younger sister of the current U57kg world champion, by uchimata to win her final match and the gold medal. Laura Martinez Abelanda of Spain once again put on a strong performance to claim a bronze medal. Her teammate, Mireia Lapuerta Comas, lost her bronze medal contest to Andrea Stojadinov of Serbia, who was tremendously happy with a historic medal for her country.

Genki Koga, one of the handful of youngsters whose names may be recognizable because of legendary lineages, took gold for Japan. Koga captured the U60kg title in an all-Japanese final against Seishiro Konishi. Koga won all of his previous four matches, defeating tough youngsters such as Konrad Shoka (BLR), Bauyrzhan Narbayev (KAZ), and Jaba Paninashvili (GEO) in the semifinal, who would go on to win bronze. Renan Torres of Brazil defeated Narbayev to capture the other bronze medal.

Oddly enough, the U55kg division witnessed a second final contested between two teammates. Two young Azeri stars battled for the title, and although Roshan Aliyev took the lead and seemed to be controlling the fight, Balabay Aghayev came back strongly and scored an equalizer. In the golden score it was Aliyev who would eventually claim the title. Prior to the final, Aliyev bested Hayate Handa (JPN) and Aibek Uulu (KGZ) in the semifinal. Handa bounced back in the repechage and won bronze, joining Imam Ibragimov (RUS).

Japan started the day with gold, as tiny Chihiro Todokoro captured the women's U44kg gold medal. Todokoro kept the surprising Tunisian Oumaima Bedioui off of her back and defeated European Champion Lois Petit (BEL) in the semifinal. The Belgian would take bronze, and Brazilian Amanda Arraes defeated Melanie Frigoul to win the second bronze.

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  • Genki Koga (JPN), Seishiro Konishi (JPN), Jaba Papinashvili (GEO), Renan Torres (BRA) - World U21 Championships Nassau (2018, BAH) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Rovshan Aliyev (AZE), Balabay Aghayev (AZE), Hayate Handa (JPN), Imam Ibragimov (RUS) - World U21 Championships Nassau (2018, BAH) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Chihiro Todokoro (JPN), Oumaima Bedioui (TUN), Amanda Arraes (BRA), Lois Petit (BEL) - World U21 Championships Nassau (2018, BAH) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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