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Tababi Devi Thangjam of India in action against Maria Gimenez of Venezuela (IOC/OIS), who won by ippon.

Olympic Games News

Asian nations join YOG judo jamboree

Date : 01 Nov 2018

Lausanne, Switzerland, November 1, 2018: The universality of judo was very much in evidence at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with numerous nations taking a place on the podium in the men’s and women’s events.

Kazakhstan, India, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan were among the Asian NOCs to come home with medals from this global judo celebration on the Asia Pavilion tatami.

The first women’s gold medal was decided on the day after the Opening Ceremony and went to Venezuela’s Maria Gimenez in the -44kg category. A noteworthy achievement: her country had never previously won a YOG gold medal and had never won an Olympic medal in judo. In the final, Gimenez beat her Indian rival, Tababi Devi Thangjam, with an ippon.

The other women’s titles went to Russia’s Irena Khabulova in the -52kg, Hungary’s Szofi Ozbas in the -63kg and Germany’s Rafaella Igls in the -78 kg category.

Overall, the quota system used for these YOG to ensure two athletes per nation (one male, one female), allowed 16 judokas from 16 national teams a podium place.

Among the men, the judokas from Eastern Europe and Central and East Asia - Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Mongolia - took the lion’s share.

In the final of the -55kg, Artsiom Kolasau from Belarus beat Mongolia’s Temuujin Ganburged. In the -66kg, Azerbaijan’s Vugar Talibov beat his Russian opponent, Abrek Naguchev, after just one minute by ippon.

Romania’s Adrian Sulca did the same in the final of the -81kg against his Czech opponent, Martin Bezdek, but needed two minutes to do so.

Lastly, the heavyweight (-100kg) title went to Kazakhstan’s Bekarys Saduakas in the longest bout of the Buenos Aires YOG: more than six minutes. Saduakas finally achieved a golden score win over Georgia’s Ilia Sulamanidze.

In the eight individual events, Kazakhstan and Russia each won one gold and one silver medal, making them the best judo nations at the 2018 YOG, ahead of Hungary (one gold and one bronze).

*The winning team in the international mixed NOC team competition on the last day of judo included Li Ling Liu (Chinese Taipei) and Jaykhunbek Nazarov (Uzbekistan).

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