Saturday, July 5, 2014

Strong start for hosts Mongolia as Judo Grand Prix gets underway

Hosts Mongolia have got off to a strong start at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Judo Grand Prix in Ulaanbaatar, securing two gold medals inside the Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex.

Munkhbat Urantsetseg got the ball rolling for the hosts as she defended her 2013 Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix title with victory over South Korea's world number 26 Jeong Bo Kyeong.

Urantseteg, who became the first Mongolian female to win gold at a World Championships in Rio last year, held her opponent down with a sankaku-gatame for ippon with just 15 seconds left on the clock to seal the under 48 kilogram title.

Galbadrakh Otgontsetseg added more glory for the hosts in the first bronze medal final of the Grand Prix as she triumphed over North Korea's Kim Sol Mi.

The second bronze medal match was an all-Chinese affair as Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner Wu Shugen got the better of her 19-year-old compatriot Jiang Yahong.

Mongolia's second gold came in the men's under 60kg, as world number four and Paris Grand Slam winner Ganbat Boldbaatar caught Brazil's Eric Takabatake with a ko-uchi-gari with just 18 seconds left on the clock.

Japanese judoka secured the two bronze medals in this contest, as former Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Kawabata Ryo fended off Iranian world number 247 Ehsan Bahramian Khayat, while Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner Shishime Toru beat Switzerland's Ludovic Chammartin.

The hosts came close to a third gold medal in the heaviest of the day's events, as Davaadorj Tumurkhuleg made the final of the men's under 60kg contest.

The world number seven was left to settle for silver, however, after Tokyo Grand Slam winner Tomofumi Takajo landed a late seoi-nage to steal the win.

Japan's medal haul was added to in the first of the bronze medals finals as junior world silver medallist Tateyama Sho defeated Canada's Patrick Gagne by shido penalties.

Mongolia's Dovdon Altansukh sealed the first grand Prix medal of his career in the second bronze medal final as he beat Germany's Dusseldorf Grand Prix silver medallist Rene Schneider.

Back in the women's draw, Rome European Open winner Ma Yingnan of China added to her list of accolades as she got the better of a below-par world number four and top seed Mareen Kraeh of Germany to seal the under 52kg title.

The Chinese judoka secured the win by applying shime-waza and forcing her German rival to submit.

The first bronze medal was clinched by home fighter Bundmaa Munkhbaatar, who arm-locked Hungary's former Junior World Championships bronze medallist Barbara Maros at the halfway point to seal the win.

It was a Mongolian again who picked up the second bronze as Miami Grand Prix bronze medallist Tsolmon Adiyasambuu defeated Germany's Romy Tarangul to wrap up the under 52kg category.

Canada's Junior World Championships silver medallist Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard was the star performer in the women's under 57kg category as she took top honours with victory over Japan's Makiko Otomo.

A single yuko score was enough for the Canadian youngster to seal the title, with Otomo also recording a late shido penalty to seal her fate.

Portugal's four-time world medallist Telma Monteiro secured her nation's first medal of the Grand Prix with victory against Hungarian Hedvig Karakas in the first bronze medal final, while Tina Zeltner got Austria's medal haul up and running with a win over South Korea's Jan-Di Kim.

Action continues in the Mongolian capital tomorrow with the women's under 63kg and under 70kg categories and the men's under 73kg and under 81kg competitions.

Watch the latest action on Judo TV here.

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