Day three of the world championships in Budapest saw a goliath battle for the women’s under 57 kilogram division. World number one Sumiya Dorjsuren took on world number two Tsukasa Yoshida of Japan in the final.
Both judoka fought aggressively and a 15 minute duel with 9 minutes of Golden Score lifted the crowd to their feet. In the end, a spectacular waza-ari by Dorjsuren secured her the gold medal.
It was a first heroic gold for Mongolia right in front of their president and the first break of Japan’s stranglehold over the gold medals.
A visibly ecstatic Sumiya Dorjsuren said:
“Yes! I did it!”
“The President of the Mongolian Judo Federation has now become the president of Mongolia. I wanted to win this gold medal as a present for him. And I did it…yes.”
In a mirror image of the women’s final, world number one Soichi Hashimoto faced Azerbaijan and world number two Rustam Orujov in the men’s last fight of the day, the final of the under 73 kilogram category.
Another titanic tussle and yet another Golden Score but this time Japan were back in the driving seat.
At the end of the third day of competition, the global score reads Japan: 5, Rest of the World: 1.
Soichi Hashimoto said it wasn’t all plain sailing, however:
“I suffered a small injury two or three weeks before these World championships and so I was unable to train, so I visualised what I needed to do to win. As a result I was able to get the gold medal and that’s all that matters.”
Today’s guest is another legend, but not a judo legend. Cuban Alberto Juantorena won golds in the 400m and 800m at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. A unique performance that nobody has since equalled.
“There is something that I admire in Judo. The discipline, the martial attitude to reach perfection. What Judo brings to society, to children and youth is education. It teaches and educates. Judoka are respectful, they are nice, they shake hands after a fight. This is priceless in Judo, Athletics and life in general.”
The moment of the day came courtesy of the London Olympic champion, Georgia’s Lasha Shavdatuashvili.
In the fourth round, he scored a perfectly executed ippon against Slovenia’s Martin Hojak.
Having won the Junior European Cups in Lignano and Paks earlier this year, it was a good result for Hojak, who is growing in experience and is still only 19 years of age.