The World Judo Tour, which hosted an exciting World Championship last year, returns to Tashkent.
On Friday, the Yunusohbud Sports Arena was packed with enthusiastic judo fans who came to support their local heroes.
At 60kg, Korea’s Kim Won Jin showed great determination to take the second Grand Slam gold of his career by navigating well to beat Kazakhstan’s Serikbayev.
Kuanyshbek Yessekeyev, President of the Kazakhstan Judo Federation, was present to distribute the medals.
“As I got a great result today, I will enjoy it as much as I can and prepare for the next competition. I will try my best to get the gold medal again in the next event. That’s how I feel,” said Kim Won Jin.
Stojadinov won for his injured friend
In the 48kg category, Serbian Andrea Stojadinov showed great judo throughout the day and faced Portuguese judoka Cristina Costa in the final.
During intense competition, Stojadinov tied the score with just four seconds to go, pushing the gold score and then taking his first World Judo Tour gold.
The medals were presented by the International Judo Federation (IJF) guest, Xinjian Zhou.
“Seven days ago, my best friend found out that he couldn’t continue to do judo due to some medical issues, and I promised him I would fight for both of us. “I’m really happy that it ended up with a gold medal because now that I know what people are going through and what can happen in life, I wanted to do my best.”
Mascha Ballhaus made statements in the 52 kilo final. Keeping up the pressure to score an early waza-ari against two-time World Champion Shishime Ai and claim an emotional victory and her first World Judo Tour gold medal.
IJF Vice President Dr Laszlo Toth presented the medals.
Tajikistan’s Nurali Emomali put out an impressive ko-uchi ippon to beat local hopeful Nurillaev in the 66kg category, surprising the home crowd.
Medals were presented by the Minister of Youth Policy and Sports of Uzbekistan, Dr. Adkham Ikramov gave.
Georgia wins eighth gold
In the 57kg category, Japanese veteran Tamaoki Momo showed great strength to surpass Georgian Eteri Liparteliani, winning his eighth gold medal at the World Judo Tour.
IJF guest Saken Mussaibekov was present to present the medals.
As the first day of judo in Uzbekistan draws to a close, it is clear that the crowd has been treated with an unforgettable display of skill and sportsmanship from their home-grown talents.
The Uzbek judoka exhibited striking moments that fascinated the audience.