Chelyabinsk 2015 – Day 3: Iran takes 2nd gold as Korea lifts first title
Iran won its second gold of the event and Korea tasted glory for the first time in the third day of action at Chelyabinsk 2015 World Champions as Masoud Hajizavareh and Min-ah Ha respectively reigned in Men’s -74 and Women’s -49 kg divisions. Uzbekistan and China were close to the glory, but had to content themselves with the silver medals of the day. The lower step of the podium at Traktor Arena was taken by Russia, who achieved two bronzes, Mali and Serbia.
Men’s -74 kg
1 – Masoud Hajizavareh (IRI)
2 – Nikita Rafalovich (UZB)
3 – Albert Gaun (RUS)
3 – Ismael Coulibaly (MLI)
Women’s -49 kg
1 – Min-ah Ha (KOR)
2 – Jingyu Wu (CHN)
3 – Tijana Bogdanovic (SRB)
3 – Svetlana Igumenova (RUS)
Women’s -49 kg
Double Olympic champion Jingyu Wu (CHN) left no chace for a surprise in the first Semi-final of the session, comfortably beating the local Svetlana Igumenova (RUS) by 10-1. The Russian representative was the first athlete to score taking advantage of a missed attack from the Chinese, but since then there were only points for Wu. Four in the first period, including a tremendous head kick, two in the second one, and four more in the final round. Wu’s quickness was too much for Igumenova, who couldn’t take advantage from the crowd’s support.
Wu’s opponent in the final was going to be decided in the second battle of the evening: Min-ah Ha (KOR) against Tijana Bogdanovic (SRB), which ended up with the Korean gaining the access to the gold match. Ha based her chances on a solid defense, trying to stop every Serbian attack with her right leg and looking for counter-attacks. And her strategy worked perfectly as she was always leading the clash. 0-2 at the end of the first round, 2-3 with 2 minutes to go and 7-5 to jump into fhe final.
Men’s -74 kg
Masoud Hajizavareh (IRI) became the first finalist of the division after hitting Albert Gaun’s (RUS) body with his right heel in the 16th second of the sudden death period. The match had finished 5-5, with the Iranian leading by a small point difference from the very beginning. Everything could have changed in the second round if the video replay appeal requested by the Iranian coach had been approved by the judges, but no points were awarded to Hajizavareh’s head kick. Russia had placed two athletes in today’s Semis, but the crowd had to content with two bronze medals.
The second place in the final was taking by Nikita Rafalovich (UZB), who had to wait until there only were 6 seconds left in the match against Ismael Coulibaly (MLI) to land his right foot in the African’s head. Until then, the match was controlled by Coulibaly, who defended solidly and had scored 3 points through powerful body kicks. In the end, 4-3 for Rafalovich and the first time for Uzbekistan to fight for a gold in Chelyabinsk 2015.
Women’s -49 kg
It was the 2012 World Junior champion, the Korean Min-ah Ha, and not the big favourite, the double Olympic champion Jingyu Wu (CHN), who climbed to the top of the podium after coming back from a 3-1 down score in the last round. Wu was almost touching the gold medal when Ha found a crack on Korea’s defense with a body kick that tied the match to 3. In the sudden death period, both athletes tried to score by using their right legs to the body, but it wasn’t until the 40th second that Ha made it.
Men’s -74 kg
Masoud Hajizavareh (IRI) became the new Men’s -74 kg world champion after intelligently distributing a six point advantage achieved in the two first rounds against Rafalovich (UZB) thanks to two unstoppable head kicks. The Iranian seemed to have the match under control, but Rafalovich insisted until the very end to reverse the score and was not far from doing it. He rocketed to 6 points and was only a head kick away from the gold medal. In the end, 7-9 for the Iranian.
Day session: Men’s -68 kg and Women’s -67 kg
Turkey, Korea, USA, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Russia and Spain secured a medal after the day session of Chelyabinsk 2015 Day 3 was completed.
Six countries managed to place one athlete each, while Turkey got two, into the Semi-finals of the Women’s -67 kg and Men’s -68 kg categories, which will both be resolved during tomorrow’s evening session.
The competitors who will fight for the gold medals on the fourth day of action will be:
Men’s -68 kg
– Servet Tazegul (TUR)
– Dong-yun Shin (KOR)
– José Antonio Rosillo (ESP)
– Alexey Denisenko (RUS)
Reigning Olympic champion Tazegul will face Shin for a place in the big final, as the local hero Denisenko and Rosillo will fight each other for the other. The Russian idol showed his dominance in the division after successfuly beating Amzoui (JOR), Papadopoulos (GRE), and Taghizade (AZE) by a comfortable point difference (9-3, 15-3, and 5-1), being Adnan-Karim (GER) his only tough challenge so far (14-13), while Tazegul had to defeat Trejos (COL), Puresevic (SRB), Dalakliev (BUL) and Jennings (USA) to make his way to the Semis. On the other side of the draw, Rosillo got rid of Boulanouar (MAR), Contreras (VEN), Robak (POL) and Vardazaryan (ARM), while Shin left Almeida (KOR), Afonczenko (AUS), Nassrazadany (IRI) and Grgic (CRO) on his way to certify a medal in the category.
Women’s -67 kg
– Paige McPherson (USA)
– Chia Chia Chuang (TPE)
– Katherine Dumar (COL)
– Nur Tatar (TUR)
Chuang clearly proved to be strongest athlete of the draw so far after beating Al-Sadeq (JOR), El Meslahy (MAR) and Guo (CHN), securing the first medal for China in the event; McPherson showed her power over Tetereviatnykova (UKR), El Sawalhy (EGY) and World number 1 Johansson (SWE); Dumar beat Hernandez (PUR), Azizova (AZE) and Hwang (KOR); while Tatar’s superb performance on thursday left Yergeshova (KAZ), Anic (SLO) and Niare (FRA) behind her.
Tomorrow will be the day for the Semi-finals and Finals of these two divisions and for the beginning of the Women’s -53 and+73 kg and Men’s -54 kg categories, which will complete their draw until the Semi-final round.
Pau Aguilar, Chelyabinsk