Muju 2017 WC – Day 5: Korea takes 4th title, Turkey wins 2nd gold and Great Britain grabs 1st
Korea grabbed its fourth gol at Muju 2017 as Turkey clinched its second title and Great Britain climbed to the top of the podium for the first time on the fifth day of competition. Russia was close to taste glory, but had to content itself with 2 silvers.
Men’s -58 kg
1 – Yun-jo Jeong (KOR)
2 – Mikhail Artamonov (RUS)
3 – Jesus Tortosa (ESP)
3 – Carlos Navarro (MEX)
Women’s -53 kg
1 – Zeliha Agris (TUR)
2 – Tatiana Kudashova (RUS)
3 – Dinoharon Mamadibragimova (UZB)
3 – Inese Tarvida (LAT)
Women’s +73 kg
1 – Bianca Walkden (GBR)
2 – Jackie Galloway (USA)
3 – Saebom An (KOR)
3 – Shuyin Zheng (CHN)
Women’s -53 kg
Agris Zeliha (TUR) jumped into the final after edging Mamadibragimova (UZB) by 11-7 in a match that was in the hands of the Asian until the third period. Thanks to a body kick with her left leg and a spinning body kick with her right foot, Mamadibragimova led the clash by 1-5 with only 2 minutes to go. But Zeliha tought: now or never, and started attacking with more intensity. She connected two consecutive head shots to place herself 7-5 up and scored 4 more points thanks to a chest kick and two gam-jeons by the Uzbek.
Kudashova (RUS) was the second Russian athlete to make it to a Final after overcoming a very shy start in front of Tarvida (LAT). The Latvian was in control of the fight until the third round by 2-1, as she found the trunk of Kudashova in the first seconds. But in the last minute, the Russian left all the shyness behind to hit her opponent twice on the head and once on the chest to taste victory. From 2-1 to 5-11 in a blink of an eye. Tarvida had already seen herself in the final, but the spot in the crucial fight was taken by the Russian.
Men’s -58 kg
Navarro (MEX), world number 1 and reigning Pan American champion, couldn’t contain the local idol Jeong (KOR) , born in the hosting region. Jeong dominated the fight from the very beginning, finshing 1-0 ahead in the first round and 5-1 in the second after two trunk kicks. In the third, he took advantage of Navarro’s desperation to score in many different ways. Punches, body and head kicks were combined for a total score of 15, while Navarro could only score through penalties. In the end, 15-3 for the Korean.
Artamonov (RUS) was the second Russian representative to reach a Final on Wednesday’s evening session after edging Jesus Tortosa from Spain by 25-15 with still 8 seconds to go in the last period, as the Spaniard accumulated 10 gam-jeons. The Russian had the control of the match throught the whole clash, finishing 1-4 above in the first period and 4-12 ahead at the end of the 4th minute. He combined for two chest kicks and 1 head touch in the second round and was able to desperate Tortosa with his dodging skills until the Spaniard made the crucial mistake.
Women’s +73 kg
Walkden, Rio 2016 bronze medallist and world champion at Chelyabinsk 2015, got rid of the local hope for the division, Saebom An (KOR), after quickly recovering from a 0-3 down in the first minute, when the Korean was able to hit her on the head with the left leg. Walkden used her favourite weapon, the right body kick, to rocket her score to 6, while the local athlete couldn’t score again. In the final moments, the European took advantage of a gam-jeon and another right trunk kick to finish the job by 9-3.
Everyone expected Shuyin Zheng (CHN) to face the other big favourite of the draw, Bianca Walkden, in the final, but Jackie Galloway (USA) had a different thinking. She kept the nerves until the final round after the scoreboard showed a 1-1 tie at the end of the second, with both athltes only scoring through gam-jeons. It was in this final two minutes when Galloway connected a strong and precise right trunk kick to put herself 3-1 up. Shuyin Zheng (CHN) tried her best, but the year after an Olympic gold is always tough. She cut the distance to 3-2, but fell on the floor to put the 4-2 right after. One gam-jeon to Galloway was not enough for the Chinese, so the American was the one to fight for the gold.
Women’s -53 kg
Agris Zeliha from Turkey became the new Women’s -53 kg world champion after connecting a surprising head kick in the very last second of the final against Kudahova (RUS), who had just tied the fight to 8 with only 3 seconds left with a body kick. A thrilling final for a world crucial clash after not a specially entertaining combat in which both athletes respected each other too much throughout the first 4 minutes. The final round, tough, was an absolute and enjoyable craziness, with the title changing from side to side many times. In the end, the Turkish athlete had the best weapon: nothing you can do against a certain kick in the last second.
Men’s -58 kg
Yun-jo Jeong gave Korea its 4th gold medal at Muju 2017 after managing to survive an extremely close fight against Artamonov from Russia, who seemed to have the match lost in many occasions, but didn’t let it go at any time and was about to turn the score around (24-23). The local hero started strong and managed to score through his kicks until reaching a 7-2 lead. But Artamonov did the same to mantain the distance until a 12-7. The Korean made another good combination to rocket himself to a 19-11 advantage, but the Russian was not going to hand the title. He forced the Asian until the last second, but Jeong had some gam-jeons to give at the end to taste glory at home.
Women’s +73 kg
Bianca Walkden revalidated the Chelyabinsk 2015 title after totally dominating the final match of the Women’s +73 kg division against Jackie Galloway from USA. Walkden combined for a total of 6 body kicks, her most dangerous weapon, connecting 1 in the first, 3 in the second, and 2 more in the last round to rocket to a total of 14 points. Galloway, besides making two gam-jeons, left too many cracks on her defensive wall, but was finally able to hit the British once at least in the last seconds. Walkden seemed to not feel any pressure and deserved her second world crown.
Day session: Men’s -87 and +87 kg and Women’s -73 kg
Korea (2), Russia (2), Germany, Slovenia, Gabon, Niger, Great Britain, Mexico, Netherlands and Serbia were the ten countries who placed athletes into the Semi-finals of the Women’s -73 and Men’s -87 and +87 kg categories, which will all be resolved during Thursday’s evening session.
The fighters who will battle for the gold medals on the sixth day of action will be:
Men’s -87 kg
– Vladislav Larin (RUS)
– Yino-don In (KOR)
– Alexander Bachmann (GER)
– Ivan Trajkovic (SLO)
Larin, world number 1, bronze at Chelyabinsk 2015 and reigning European champion, will face the local idol, In, for a place in the big final, as Bachmann and Trajkovic will fight each other for the other. The Russian used his number 1 seed to brilliantly defeat Azimov (UZB 21-6), Rajabi (IRI 20-4) and Soumare (MLI 22-7), while In also showed a great level, easily getting rid of Lo (TPE 16-8), Wanrooij (NED 16-1), but really struggled to defeat the Spanish representative, Ros, who made it until the extra period (ESP 2-0 by GDP). On the other side of the draw, Bachmann beat Stevic (MKD 21-2), Segedin (CRO 18-11) and Salazar (MEX 12-7), while Trajkovic left Yeremyan (ARM 16-8), Suh (USA 26-5) and Azizov (AZE 22-15) on his path to certify a medal in the division.
Men’s +87 kg
– Anthony Obame (GAB)
– Abdoul Issoufou (NIG)
– Mahama Cho (GBR)
– Roman Kuznetsov (RUS)
Obame, Olympic silver and world champion, presented her candidacy for the gold medal after defeating Shelest (UKR 4-2), Golec (CRO 14-12) and no other than the current world number 1 and reigning Olympic and -87 kg world champion, Radik Isaev (AZE 15-13); Issoufou outscored Biabate (MLI 23-5), El Yazidi (FRA 11-5) and Siqueira (BRA 2-0 by GDP); Cho beat Greant (JAM by Withdrawal, Silla (BLR 23-12) and Mardani (IRI 14-1); while Kuznetsov’s superb performance on Wednesday left Ayman (EGY 12-7), Lambdin (USA 7-5) and the -80 kg current world champion Shokin (UZB 9-7) behind him.
Women’s -73 kg
– Maria Espinoza (MEX)
– Kyeri Oh (KOR)
– Reshmei Oogink (NED)
– Milica Mandic (SRB)
Espinoza, Olympic champion and 3 times medallist and world champion, proved once again she’s the athlete to beat after edging Tomazou (CYP 6-2), Slavin (GBR 2-0 by GDP) and Zhdanova (RUS 16-12), securing the second medal for Mexico in the event; Oh did a great job to content the local crowd at T1 Arena with her wins over Chen (TPE 13-10), Sorn (CAM 18-9) and Smiraglia (ITA 18-13); Oogink beat Castro (ESP 12-4), Pouresmaeil (IRI 15-2) and Rados (CRO 20-10); while the London 2012 Olympic champion, Milica Mandic, left no chance for surprises after getting rid of Hernandez (CUB by DSQ), Bulut (TUR 5-3) and Matijasevic (MKD 9-8) to add a new medal to her collection.
Tomorrow will be the day for the Semi-finals and Finals of these two divisions and for the beginning of the Women’s -57kg and Men’s -63 categories, which will complete their draw until the Semi-final round.
Pau Aguilar, Muju