On the opening day of the Olympics the men and women in the 60 and 48kg weight category went to battle as the Judo commenced today.
Men’s 60kg Judo
35 competitors from 35 nations and only one can win the gold which will be awarded at the end of day one on the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Judo is like a physical version of chess and the need to have a contingency plan is essential and Judo on this kind of stage happens every four years, the athletes have one chance, there is no second chance in this kind of sport.
Briton Ashley McKenzie won his first round match against Turkey’s Bekir Ozlu by three points he went on to face the former world champion Yeldos Smetov, but it was all over for a valiant McKenzie. Defeated, narrowly by one point, by world champion Smetov which end team GB interest in Judo for the day.
Over in seconds
The second round saw South Korean Kim Won-jin ended the Italian Elios Manzi experience on the mat in the first round by one point, however, in the third round, Kim faced Tsogtbataryn Tsend-Ochir of Mongolia who won comfortably by nine points to go through to the first quarter-finals.
The South Korean faced Beslan Mudranov of Russia in the round before the medal matches. The Russian beautifully timed his first two rounds by winning both rounds by one point on the big stage, he held his point to the end, and he timed another match well that saw him through to the semi-finals with a perfect technique of an Ippon against Won-jin.
2016 World Champion gold medallist Naoshia Takato breezed through his way to the quarters with two perfect Ippons and even ended his third round match against Pavel Petrikov of the Czech Republic within 20 seconds on the mat.
He went on to face Amiran Papinashvili of Georgia who beat Yanislav Gerchev from Bulgaria with the favorable Ippon. But the current world champion was outsmarted by his Georgian opponent with an Ippon which sees him through to the semi-finals.
A tough challenge for the Brazilian Felipe Kitadai who fought valiantly to be the only Brazilian in the quarter-finals but failed against Orkhan Safarov of Azerbaijan with another Ippon. The hopes are still alive for a possible bronze medal as he goes into the repechages he already holds a bronze medal from London Olympics.
The final of the four quarter-finals featured Smetov of Kazakhstan who eliminated the sparky McKenzie in the second round and him also narrowly beat Diyorbek Urozboev from Uzbekistan to reach the second of semi-finals.
Men’s 60kg semi-final matches
Beslan Mudranov v Amiran Papinashvili
Orkhan Safarov v Yeldos Smetov
Kim Won-jin v Naoshia Takato
Felipe Kitadai v Diyorbek Urozboev
23 competitors from 23 nations
Korean Jeong Bo-kyeong reached the semi-finals with ease as both her rounds were won by a large difference and ended each match with a beautifully and perfected Ippon
Shock performance of the favourite
The defending Olympic champion Sarah Menezes of Brazil had the crowd behind her, even though she performed well in London four years later she wasn’t able to make a repeat chance of a gold medal and to defend her title is gone as she was beaten by Dayaris Mestre of Cuba in the quarterfinals and will now go on to compete for a bronze medal.
Argentina Paula Pareto made light work of her two rounds and eased through to the semi-finals with an ippon in the second round match against Irina Dolgova of Russia, then won by ten points in the quarterfinals against Eva Csernoviczki who was London Olympic bronze medallist.
In the final of the quarter-final matches Japanese Ami Kondo and Galbadrakhyn Otgontsetseg, and the Kazakhstan was the first to race to her first ten points on the board with a nifty move. However falling behind early on in the match, Kondo wasn’t behind for long, she turned Otgontsetseg on her back and pinned for 20 seconds which was classes as on Ippon and ended the match.
Women's 48kg semi-final matches
Jeong Bo-kyeong v Dayaris Mestre
Paula Pareto V Ami Kondo
Monkhbatyn Urantsetseg v Sarah Menezes
Eva Csernovicki v Galbadrakhyn Otgontsetseg