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Kim Min-Jong finishes the judo weekend with fourth gold for Korea

Kim Min-Jong finishes the judo weekend with fourth gold for Korea

30 Jan 2022 23:10
IJF Media team by Nicolas Messner and Pedro Lasuen
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation

It was Kim Min-Jong who won the last gold medal of the Grand Prix in Portugal. After an uchi-mata attempt, he changed direction to drop under the centre of gravity of his opponent with a surprising kata-guruma for ippon against Yuta Nakamura of Japan.

The Japanese team was quite discrete during the weekend and until the last one, none of their athletes reached the final. Nakamura eventually had the opportunity to make the Japanese anthem heard, as he faced Min-Jong Kim (KOR), bronze medallist at the 2019 World Championships.

Mbagnick Ndiaye (SEN) represented the African continent proudly in the final block of the men's heavyweight division, against Martti Puumalainen (FIN), bronze medallist in Zagreb last year. Giving no chance to the Fin, Ndiaye executed a perfect osoto-otoshi for a clear ippon and a first medal in a grand prix for the Senegalese giant. 

Mbagnick Ndiaye: "There are 2 things to explain this medal: hard work with my coaches and the fact that i have been competing against the best for a long time. From now on I know I can do better so I hope this is not the end but just the beginning."

Christian Konoval (USA) is only 18 years old and he has now already reached a bronze medal match at a grand prix, against Richard Sipocz (HUN), silver medallist at the last Junior World Championships. After a long observation round, Richard Sipocz scored ippon to win that bronze.

The last gold medal of the day brought Korea on top of the Medal table in the IJF World Tour for this year with four gold medals and 9 medals in total, followed by the Netherlands.

Judo in 2022 is born on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. After three days of competition in Portugal we are already looking forward to the Paris Grand Slam in a week.

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