On Day 2 of the 2019 Hohhot Grand Prix in China, current World Champion Saeid Mollaei of the Islamic Republic of Iran stole the show in the men’s -81kg category.
In the final, he would meet Sotaro Fujiwara of Japan; a rematch of the 2018 World Championship final was set to please the knowledgeable crowd here in Hohhot.
Mollaei powered his way to the top of the podium with an unorthodox hip throw, repeating last year’s victory. A display of friendship concluded an outstanding performance, with Mollaei our Man of the Day.
In the women's competition, Martyna Trajdos of Germany found her way back to winning ways with a golden performance in today’s -63kg category.
In her final against Tang Jing of China she oozed confidence, throwing her opponent twice. Firstly with maki-komi for wazari, then a driving o-uchi-gari forced her opponent to the mat for a decisive ippon.
The medals in this category were presented by Ms Xian Dongmei, President of the Chinese Judo Asscociation.
"The confidence is coming back so that’s, I think, the most important thing you need on the mat. It has been while with no medal, but now with Tbilisi, Baku and now here gold again, so I feel better, back in shape I was in Japan I was doing some conditioning so, it feels good," Martyna Trajdos said in an interview
Elsewhere, Hidayat Heydarov of Azerbaijan dominated the men’s -73kg category. Through heroic persistence he managed to counter Victor Scvortov of the United Arab Emirates in the final to clinch the gold medal.
A delighted Heydarov was presented with his medal by Mr Naser Al Tamimi, General Treasurer of The International Judo Federation.
To conclude our gold medal contests, a focused Saki Niizoe of Japan reigned victorious over Anna Bernholm of Sweden in the -70kg final with a technically astute ippon, which rippled through the arena. The gold win for Japan helped it top the medals standings at the end of the second day of the tournament.
We have four memorable moments to finish the second day of the thrilling tournament. First up, Sun Xiaoqian of China, with an explosive ouchi gari against Morocco's Assmaa Niang. Second, silver medalist Victor Scvortov with an outrageous seoi-nage against China's Fang Hongyuan for ippon. Then, wrapping up a successful day for Germany, we have Giovanna Scoccimarro taking bronze with a powerful ko soto against Korea's Lee Yewon. And finally, a stunning ippon-seoi-nage from Germany's Igor Wandtke, catching his opponent Tommy Macias of Sweden cold to earn bronze.