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07 Oct 2014
Nanjing 2014 , YOG , IOC News

Young titans of the tatami shine in Nanjing

The men’s judo competition at Nanjing 2014 produced some hard-fought bouts and no little perspiration, with the four gold-medal winners all serving notice of their rich potential.

Zhauyntayev gets the ball rolling

Kazakhstan’s Bauyrzhan Zhauyntayev won the first judo gold medal of Nanjing 2014 on 17 August, turning in a dominant display to overcome Azerbaijan’s Natig Gurbanli in the men’s -55kg class.

Using all his acrobatic skills, Gurbanli kept his opponent at bay for long periods only to have his resistance broken with just two seconds remaining, when Zhauyntayev tossed him on to his shoulder for a waza-ari score.

There was no time for the Azerbaijani to come back, with a delighted Zhauyntayev claiming afterwards that he had been confident of victory throughout: “I felt really strong during the final. I believed I would win that fight. It was an unbelievable moment in my life.”

Taking the bronze medals were Belgium’s Jorre Verstraeten and Turkey’s Oguzhan Karaca.

Abe on top

Japan Hifumi Abe’s made short work of Ukraine’s Bogdan Iadov in the -66kg division final, scoring two waza-ari tosses inside the first two minutes to win the gold medal.

The first came after just 25 seconds, with the Japanese judoka landing a throw that put Iadov on his head and back. The follow-up arrived a little over a minute later and gave Abe a match-winning ippon point.

The bronze medals went to Sukhrob Tursunov of Uzbekistan and Wu Zhiqiang of China.

Igolnikov holds his nerve

The -81kg final on 18 August turned out to be a test of endurance, with neither Mikhail Igolnikov of Russia nor Tamazi Kirakozashvili of Georgia managing to launch a scoring attack.

Kirakozashvili incurred two penalties for illegal grips, however, giving the Russian yuko and with it the gold medal. The Netherlands’ Frank de Wit and Cuba’s Ivan Felipe Silva Morales took the two bronze medals on offer.

Safaviyeh toughs it out

On 19 August, Iran’s Ramin Safaviyeh bravely shrugged off a painful leg injury to beat Kyrgyzhstan’s Rostislav Dashkov to the -100kg title. Visibly struggling for the first three minutes, Safaviyeh hung in before pouncing to make a rear choke hold, which he locked into a strangle to earn victory by ippon.

Letting out a cry of pain and joy as he crawled to the edge of the mat, Safaviyeh was carried off on a stretcher before returning, with the aid of his coaches, to climb to the top of the podium.

Dashkov took the silver, with Germany’s Domenik Schonefeldt beating Gustave Basile of Argentina to the bronze.

Red letter day for Team Rouge

Maria Siderot (POR), Adrian Gandia (PUR), Ayelen Elizeche (ARG), Sukhrob Tursunov (UZB), Lisa Mullenberg (NED), Mikhail Igolnikov (RUS) and Morgane Duchène (FRA) joined forces in Team Rouge to win the first ever mixed international team competition on 21 August.

The innovative event broke down more than a few geographical and language barriers and allowed judokas from all over the world to forge closer bonds with each other.

Team Rouge topped the podium after securing a 4-2 win over Team Geesink made up of Wang Yu Jun (TPE), Nermanja Majdov (SRB), Nastasya Turcheva (RUS), Layana Colman (BRA), Dzmitry Minkou (BLR), Ivana Sunjevic (MNE) and Ryu Seunghwan (KOR), which meant a second gold of Nanjing 2014 for Igolnikov. The bronze was shared by Team Xian and Team Douillet.

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