At the International Judo Federation World Championships in Baku Azerbaijan, Cho Guham won his first ever championship gold to lift South Korea to second place in the medal table.
Cho’s first victim in the men’s under 100 kilo category was Cyrille Maret from France. Then came Michael Korrel of The Netherlands.
Russia’s Niyaz Ilyasov fell in the semi final, leaving Cho to face
Olympic and world silver medallist Varlam Liparteliani of Georgia in the final.
Five minutes of additional time were needed, before Cho finally got under the Georgian and threw him for a waza-ari. The South Korean received his gold medal from IJF General Treasurer Nasser Al Ta-Mimi.
“Liparteliani is an athlete who I’ve studied at length and heard a lot about,” Cho said afterwards “He is a hugely difficult opponent, and is highly skilled. I’ll have to be very careful against him in the future.”
The bout between Japan’s Aaron Wolf and Mongolia’s Otgonbaatar Lkhagvasuren took place in front of the President of Mongolia, Battulga Khaltmaa, himself a former Judo champion. Lkhagvasuren won by ippon to the delight of the travelling fans.
Tokyo Grand Slam winner Hamada Shori won World Championship gold at her first attempt as Japan’s gold rush continued on day six. She showed her wide range of skills throughout the day throwing, countering and dominating her opponents in ground work.
In the semi-final, 2009 world champion Marhinde Verkerk fell to Hamada following a hopping o-uchi-gari which earned ippon.
Hamada defeated another Dutch-woman, world number one Guusje Steenhuis in the under 78 kilo final. It took a golden score, with Steenhuis penalised with a third shido for going out of the area.
Hamada received her gold medal from Bian Zhiliang, Chairman and founder of the Taishan group.
“It was always my dream to win at one of these big events, like the world championships or the Olympics,” she said after the contest. “So this is a very happy moment for me. This match is the longest golden score period I’ve ever had. Usually when matches go to golden score, I end up losing. So mentally I was trying to convince myself that I could pull through for the win.”