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Kang conquers opposition for second Korean gold
24 Oct 2015 16:25
Kang Heoncheol starred for South Korea on day two as he won his team’s second gold medal in Abu Dhabi. Georgian Tamazi Kirakozashvili had shone for Georgia in the preliminary rounds but yet when it came to the final he ran out of steam and Kang prevailed. Kirakozashvili was penalised three times which was two more than his opponent and he was inconsolable after the awarding ceremony. Judo’s legendary Yamashita Yasuhiro saw this and made a beeline for him to lift his spirits and say how he has no doubts that the Georgian will move on to a bigger stage in the future.
In the first semi-final Slovenian Martin Hojak was defeated by former Berlin Junior European Cup winner Kang Heoncheol. The South Korean judoka went ahead with a yuko as he faked an uchi-mata effort and took control on his opponent to throw him with a koshi-guruma. With 15 seconds remaining KANG added a second yuko from an explosive tai-otoshi. In the second semi-final Kirakozashvili was in devastating form against former Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Huseyn Rahimli of Azerbaijan. The Georgian rolled his Azerbaijan foe onto his back for a waza-ari before concluding the contest by ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by a rampant Lincoln Neves (BRA) who was out to improve on his seventh-place finish from 2014. Top seed Neves, who lost to Hojak in the quarter-final, reasserted himself in the repechage and found a way onto the podium by beating Rahimli. A yuko and waza-ari put Neves on the brink of victory and that was confirmed when he held down his rival with a mune-gatame for 15 seconds. The second bronze medal was won by Junior European Championships silver medallist Hojak who defeated former Cadet Asian Championships winner Didar Khamza (KAZ). Hojak held down Khamza with a kesa-gatame and the Kazakh fighter was under such pressure that he elected to tap to end the hold, the contest and his medal hopes in Abu Dhabi.
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