South Korean judokas impressed at the opening International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo World Cup of 2018 in Antalya, Turkey, between 22 and 23 April, leaving with an outstanding 10 podium finishes.
Five of those were top place finishes, with the men triumphing in three events.
Headlining the wins was Seungjung Yang in the men’s -73kg.
Yang turned heads beating Azerbaijan’s Paralympic and world champion Ramil Gasimov to secure himself a place in the final. He then beat Uzbekistan’s Feruz Sayidov for the title.
Germany’s Nikolai Kornhass and Russia’s* Sasilii Kutuev joined them on the podium. Kornhass also beat Gasimov during the repechage.
Woohyeok Song took on Uzbekistan’s Asian Championships silver medallist Shirin Sharapov, winning the men’s +100kg. Iran’s Mohammadreza Kheirollahzadeh shared third place with Azerbaijan’s Ilham Zakiyev.
Song’s teammate Youngho Youn added to his country’s haul with victory over Ukraine’s Davyd Khorova in the men’s -66kg. Iran’s Reza Gholami and Uzbekistan’s Utkirjon Nigmatov were third.
In the women’s, Song Li Jin was the victor in the women’s -63kg. Russia’s Olga Pozdnysheva was second.
Brazil’s Lucia Araujo, the Paralympic silver medallist in the women’s -57kg, reached a very respectable third place in her new weight category. Duygu Cete Artar delighted the home crowd with her podium finish.
Hayeong Park concluded the top place finishes for South Korea in the women’s +70kg. Uzbekistan’s Feruzakhon Yusupova was second.
The men’s -60kg went to form as Uzbekistan’s Paralympic champion Sherzod Namozov was crowned the winner. He beat Sergio Ibanez Banon who left with Spain’s sole podium.
Georgia’s -90kg Paralympic title holder Zviad Gogotchuri completed a successful move to the men’s -100kg, winning his bout with Great Britain’s Samuel Ingram with a waza-ari.
Having won the women’s -52kg at the IBSA Judo Grand Prix in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in October 2017 following a move down from the -57kg, Inna Cherniak was on top form once again.
Ukraine’s world and Paralympic champion in the higher weight category beat Azerbaijan’s Sevda Valiyeva in the final. South Korea’s Soohee Choi and Uzbekistan’s Sevinch Saleva both took third.
Japan’s Junko Hirose, one of her country’s brightest hopes for Tokyo 2020 as a Paralympic bronze medallist from Rio 2016, won the women’s -57kg.
Ukraine’s Valeriia Honcharuk took second. Azerbaijan’s Sabina Abdullayeva, the 2014 World Championships silver medallist, was third with Turkey’s Zeynep Celik.
The 2018 IBSA Judo Pan American Championships are next up on 20 May in Calgary, Canada. The 2018 IBSA Judo World Championships then take place in Lisbon, Portugal, from 16-18 November.
*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.
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