On the second day of the first Grand Slam tournament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a majestic opening ceremony took place in front of a packed stadium. Performances in traditional Mongolian costumes and incredible dances entertained locals and international audiences alike.
There, to prepare the public for judo, the President of the Mongolian Judo Association, His Excellency Mr. Battulga Haltmaa, and the Director General of the International Judo Federation, Mr. Haltmaa, were present. Vlad Marinescu.
In the category up to 63 kg, the Japanese Nabekura Nami won the gold medal. Using the nimble kick for which she is well known, she won the title and brought home the 3rd gold medal for her country in this tournament.
Founder and CEO of Champions Camp Mr. Namsrai Batsaikhan attended the award ceremony
All the talk of the day was about the return of Nagase Takanori, the current Olympic champion in the 81 kg weight category. Since it was his first tournament with a gold patch on his back, he had a clear goal on his back and he should have won. But the experienced Japanese athlete was, as always, calm and collected.
On his first run, he performed a fantastic o-soto, a technique for which he is well known, and started his day with a strong ippon.
He then took on young Korean Lee Junhwan at Lee’s second IJF tournament. And he shocked the judo world by catching Nagase with a fantastic drop technique typical of Korean judo.
Lee was very happy to make a strong statement and put the 81 kg category on high alert.
He then took on Olympic bronze medalist Borchasvili in the final and once again the lightning-fast jumping technique won his competition and earned him his second gold medal in as many IJF tournaments. Incredible feat of a young judoka.
The medals were presented by the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar Dolgosuren Sumiyabazar.
The Mongolian national team was here in full force, led by Tsend-Ochir Tsogtbaatar, the bronze medalist of the Olympic Games. Some fantastic judo earned him a silver medal and set the momentum for the rest of the team to use his unorthodox style to achieve the ultimate goal of judo: Ippon.
2 fantastic days of judo here in Mongolia and the whole world of judo is waiting with bated breath for heavyweights tomorrow.