After two fantastic days of judo in Mongolia, on Day 3 of the first Grand Slam in Ulaanbaatar, the entire judo world was looking forward to the heavyweights.
On the last day in front of a crowded stadium, the women rose to the occasion, demonstrating incredible strength and skill.
Among them was a Japanese judoka weighing up to 78 kg, the 2015 world champion Umeki Mami.
She fought Israeli Inbar Lanir, who did well in this category. But Umeka’s experience won out, she won the gold medal of the 9th Judo World Tour with a powerful uchi-mata.
“My opponent in the final has a lot of momentum at the moment. I decided to focus on strong grip tactics to win the competition,” said Umeki Mami, gold medalist in the 78kg category.
Mami was awarded a medal by a member of the Mongolian parliament, Damdina Tsogtbaatar.
The hopes of the Mongols did not come true in the category +78 kg
In the category over 78 kg, local hopes were pinned on the always stable Adiyasuren Amarsaikhan. The Mongolian heavyweight enjoyed the support of the public and her teammates and dominated throughout her fights to earn a place in the finals.
There she met one of the most dynamic fighters in the category, Raz Hershko from Israel.
Gershko used her well-known dribble shots, which, although they did not score, opened up the possibility of a transition on the ground. The strong pin ended hopes for Mongolian heavyweight gold.
The medals were presented by the MP of Mongolia Badmaanyambugiin Bat-Erdene.
Kim Hayoung of Korea showed phenomenal ippon in the over 78kg bronze medal competition. Having won the Grand Prix in Portugal earlier this year and taking bronze in Paris, she certainly deserves attention in this category.
After three days of competition, the IJF neutral banner led the medal board with five gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
Japan scored four golds, one silver and two bronzes; Mongolia finished third with two gold, four silver and five bronze medals.
The popularity of judo in Mongolia has grown significantly, thanks in large part to their recent successes, and the young heavyweights had to prove that they had a bright future. Thank you Ulaanbaatar for a great event and see you next year!