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Judo teen Daria Bilodid claims second world title on Olympic ground
25 Aug 2019 15:35
Ukraine super champion Daria Bilodid is the youngest world judo champion of all time who successfully defended her world title as she won a thrilling rematch of the 2018 final against former world champion Funa Tonaki on home soil. Bilodid couldn’t be believe the achievement in the Nippon Budokan. “I can’t believe it, I know once, but two? For now I have too many emotions. Fighting Funa Tonaki is very hard, now it was in Tokyo. I felt a big pressure and many fans from Japan.”
Bilodid maintained her unheard of feat of never losing to a Japanese judoka as she marked her first time competing in Japan with her second senior world crown. Bilodid, 18, extended her head-to-head record over arch-rival Tonaki, 24, to 4-0 with an opportunistic o-soto makikomi on the edge of the area the only score in the final. Tonaki produced her best performance against Bilodid today and came close to forcing a third shido as she pursued her adversary in the final minute but the owner of the red backpatch was able to hold on for gold.
In the first semi-final Bilodid brushed aside Mongolia’s former world champion Munkhbat Urantsetseg with her trademark sankaku-gatame. The teenager was ruthless on the ground as she locked up the highly-regarded ne-waza specialist Munkhbat and applied what looked to be one of the tightest hold downs in World Championships history.
In the second semi-final former world champion Tonaki beat World Judo Masters winner Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo with a spectacular sode-tsurikomi-goshi to seal a rematch of the 2018 Worlds final. The home judoka led by a waza-ari and was never in danger against Krasniqi and appeared to be brimming with confidence.
In the first bronze medal contest Munkhbat submitted Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Melanie Clement (FRA) with her juji-gatame to become the first medallist at this year’s World Championships. The Mongolian redeemed herself after being beaten at her own game in the semi-final as she secured her third Worlds medal and first of the bronze variety.
In the second bronze medal contest Krasniqi surged past Baku Grand Slam winner Laura Martinez Abelenda (ESP) with a thunderous uchi-mata after 33 seconds for ippon. The six-time Grand Prix winner gave her country a great start to the eight-day competition, with Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi set to follow on Monday, by winning her first senior World Championships medal and will be tipped to be in contention a year from now in the same building at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Krasniqi is the second woman for Kosovo to take a World Championships medals for Kosovo. Kelmendi won the world title in 2013 and 2014.
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Tonaki Funa of Japan defeated former Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Kang Yujeong (KOR) by ippon in the U48kg final to keep her Tokyo 2020 ambitions alive. World number three and Former world champion Tonaki clinched her third Grand Slam title at the expense of the world number 15 who was dispatched with a sumi-gaeshi for ippon. Read more
Japanese lightweight Tonaki Funa struck gold at home in the first final at the Osaka Grand Slam 2018. Former world champion Munkhbat Urantsetseg (MGL) showed off her ne-waza prowess in the earlier rounds but made a mistake on the ground in the final when she miscalculated a turnover and World Championships silver medallist Tonaki took full advantage as she applied a mune-gatame for 20 seconds to take gold in less than a minute. Read more
Great humility and friendship shown by current World Champion Takato Naohisa and World Medalist Kim Won-Jin as the Korean causes a big upset - knocking the home favourite out first round of the Grand Slam on Osaka. Not Takato, not Kim who made his return in the IJF Tour, but Yago Abuladze and Ryuju Nagayama have qualified for the final U60kg. Read more
Melissa Marie Schwanke (GER)
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