Asian juniors superior at first day in Abu Dhabi
The power of Asian keeps increasing, in all age categories. Asia has shown its best athletes at the first day of the World Junior Championships in Abu Dhabi. With four World champions and 7 Asian finallists, Asia was unstoppable. In the end the strongest continent captured 11 medals, followed by Europe with four medals and Pan America 1.
Japan was the most successful nation after one day of judo, in fact world title less as last year where Japan started with three titles. Today Funa Tonaki U48kg and Ryuju Nagayama U60kg were superior in their weight classes.
Tonaki was the only Asian finalist with a European opponent. Marusa Stangar has now won medals at European, World and Youth Olympic Games, but couldn’t prevent Tonaki from winning. 20-Year old Tonaki, a former Asian Junior champion is already familiar at senior level with Grand Prix silver this year. Today she won all her 5 bouts by ippon and in fact kept the best for her last match which she finished in one minute. France won bronze by Sephora Corcher. Mikoto Tsunemi won the second medal in this weight category for Japan.
New World champion Ryuju Nagayama defeated Mongolian Tsogtbaatar Tsendochir by ippon, but it wasn’t that clear who would win. Just a penalty difference in the last minute but in the dying seconds Nagayama struck with a devastating ippon and snatched the 6th world junior title for Japan in this category U60kg. Naohisa Takato was the last Japanese to win in 2011 and he won the world title in 2013. His successor An Ba-Ul of Korea did the same, world title in 2013, senior title in 2015. Fran Garrigos who won the world title last year can show his skills at the Olympic Games, or.. we’re not in a hurry in 2017 in Budapest.
Nagayama had a tough first match against outsider Bauyrzhan Zhauyntayev of Kazachstan. Given his reputation as Youth Olympic Games winner an unfortunate draw. The match took the full 4 minutes and all following 5 opponents were defeated by ippon.
Kazachstan did win a World title, for the first time since 2010. Magzhan Shamshadin captured the title U55kg. he is the successor of Yeldos SMetov who took the world junior title in 2010 and is now senior World champion. A bright future for Shamshadin who defeated Korean Lee Ha-Rim in the final. Shamshadin won his last three of five fights by ippon. Three Asians on the podium, Irakli Kupatadze (GEO) won bronze for Europe, just like U60kg where European champion Walide Khyar won bronze as only European.
No European at all at the podium for women U44kg, but Brazilian Rita Reis captured bronze against Sitora Boymatova. European Junior champion Amber Gersjes lost bronze to Narantsetseg Ganbaatar, confirming the strength of Mongolia. Korea was the winner in this category where Lee Hye-Kyeong took the world title. Not a surprise, the tony Korean won the Asian junior title in 2014, Youth Olympic bronze in 2014 and World Cadet silver in 2013. Japanese Riko Igarashi lost by yuko. In the semi final Lee defeated Gersjes with a penalty difference. Korea takes the third consecutive world title in a row inspired by the great senior Olympic Games performance of Korea in 2012.
An amazing dominance by Asia at day 1. Never before Asian won 11 medals at the first day.