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World Judo Championship: Heydarov Finally Strikes World Gold

Hidayat Heydarov from Azerbaijan took gold in the -73kg category.
Hidayat Heydarov from Azerbaijan took gold in the -73kg category. Copyright IJF/Kulumbegashvili Tamara
Copyright IJF/Kulumbegashvili Tamara
By IJF
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All the latest developments on the second day of the World Judo Championship in Abu Dhabi.

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All eyes were on Abu Dhabi at the second day of the IJF World Judo Championships.

Inside the Mubadala arena, the tatami played host to a number of historic moments from the stars of world judo.

Marius Vizer, IJF President, and Naser Al Tamimi – General Secretary of UAE Judo Federation — officially opened the event.

Tanaka Ryoma, Japan’s number 3 took on his teammate and Japanese number 4, Takeoka Takeshi, both having had fantastic days.

An all Japanese final saw Tanaka take the ascendancy with 2 scores equalling Ippon and Japan showing their dominance of the category.

Guardian Girls International CEO, Shin KOYAMADA awarded the medals.

“It’s my first World Championships, I just really gave it my all, and I’m really looking forward to having the red backnumber, the sign of being World Champion," said TENAKA.

The crowd were here to see one of the brightest stars of the moment, Christa Deguchi.

The defending world champion made it to the final in style. And looked set to retain her red backpatch.

Awaiting her was Korean rising star Huh Mimi who had used her trademark dropping techniques to reach the gold medal match.

A gruelling 12 minute final was decided on penalties. Huh was overjoyed!

The medals were awarded by IJF Ambassador Albano Carrisi

“I really wished to win gold this time, and I feel great about it," said Mimi HUH KOR.

Multiple World Medallist Hidayat Heydarov was not here for anything other than gold.

But Japan's Ishihara looked on fine form, displaying typical dynamic Japanese judo

The stage was set for the most dramatic of finishes. A score down with 15 seconds to go he pulled out his trademark technique to score Ippon, and become World Champion. A huge wave of relief and emotion to finally take the top spot for Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan NOC Secretary General Azer ALIYEV presented the medals.

“This will stay as one of the greatest moments of my life, in Abu Dhabi I made history. But there is one history left, in Paris hopefully I will write more history," said Heydarov.

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There are still four more days of judo action to go in Abu Dhabi.

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