Triumph for Japan on the first day of the World Judo Masters

Triumph for Japan on the first day of the World Judo Masters
By Mark Armstrong
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Ryuju Nagayama of Japan dominated all his opponents on day one of the World Judo Masters


Ryuju Nagayama of Japan put on a show on the first day of the World Judo Masters.

One of the most hotly anticipated events on the Judo calendar, it’s a title coveted by all athletes and Nagayama won it in style!

He scored Ippon in every one of his contests as he blasted his way past all his opponents. A beautiful display of dynamic judo, defeating the best in the world while seemingly not breaking a sweat - it was certainly a knock-out performance.

In the final, he took on Spain’s Garrigos, and even after going ahead he didn’t take his foot off the pedal, scoring an emphatic Ippon and reclaiming the Masters title he took two years ago.

Nagayama's performance will certainly give him a strong footing for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

He was awarded his medal by Mr. Juan Carlos Barcos, head refereeing director of the International Judo Federation.

"Ever since my childhood I was longing for the Ippon winning judo,"said Nagayama. "So I was always conscious about winning by Ippon in every tournament, it’s also great that I can entertain the audience"

Our woman of the day was Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi.

After taking Bronze at the World Championships earlier this year she stepped up to Gold in Qingdao, attacking with what has to be the move of the day - a stratospheric attack, sending Mongolia’s Ganbaatar flying!

Defending her World Masters title, Krasniqi is a force to be reckoned with at -48kg!

She was awarded her medal by Mr. Naser Al Tamemi, General Treasurer of the International Judo Federation.

"It was my best year, I took a medal in the World Championships," Krasniqi explained. "My first medal for seniors. It was a great year and I’m very thankful and I would like to thank my coach because he’s doing an amazing job, also I’d like to thank my teammates, because they always help me prepare for these big competitions. So it’s my best year."

At -52kg, Ai Shishime took Gold, as she did what her compatriot and rival Uta Abe couldn’t do a few weeks ago, and defeated France’s Amandine Buchard.

Manuel Lombardo of Italy claimed arguably the biggest win of his career so far, as he defeated Mongolia’s Kherlen Ganbold with a clever Kata Guruma!

It was big moment for Kim Jin A of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. She was overjoyed to defeat Momo Tamaoki of Japan, and become World Masters Champion at -57kg.

Our moment of the day happened in the -52kg Bronze Medal Match, as Diyora Klediyorova became the first-ever female Judoka from Uzbekistan to take a medal at a World Masters. A beautiful moment.

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