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Taipei 2014 WTF World Junior Championships – Day 1: Azerbaijan, China, Serbia, Ukraine and USA make golden start

Taipei 2014 WTF World Junior Championships – Day 1: Azerbaijan, China, Serbia, Ukraine and USA make golden start

Azerbaijan, China, Serbia, Ukraine and USA won one gold medal each to complete an encouraging start of the Taipei 2014 World Junior Championships, which will last until next Wednesday March 27th at the Taipei Arena of the Taiwanese capital.
The first athlete to become World champion at Taipei Arena was the Ukrainian Yulia Miyuts, who had already taken the bronze in the Women’s -68 kg division and gained her access to the Youth Olympic Games last Friday. Miyuts gave no chance to Marie Paule Ble, beating the French in the final by 4-0 and keeping a brilliant clean sheet in such a relevant match. Miyuts and Ble had respetcively defeated Rizzelli (ITA) and the local hope, Kuo (TPE), in the semi-finals. They both had to content themselves with the bronze.

Female's -68 kg podium

The second crucial clash of the day was the Female’s -49 kg one, who confronted Lydia García from Spain and the Serbian representative, Tijana Bogdanovic. Both European fighters were very balanced during the first 2 rounds, but Bogdanovic made a step forward in the last second of the middle period after finding García’s face with her right foot to take a 5-3 lead with only 2 minutes to go. The Spaniard reacted quickly to tie the match to 5, but Bogdanovic had something else to show the spectators, scoring 4 consecutive points through a chest and head kick to take gold by 9-5. The bronze medallists of the division ended up being Larsen (CAN) and Polat (AZE).

Female's -49 kg podium

Time for the third Female final of WJC Day 1: Chen Zhang from China and Crystal Weekes from Puerto Rico battling for the -68 kg world title. Both fighters proved to be very consistent in defense in the first round, unabling her rival to score a single point in the first 2 minutes. But things changed in the second period. The two best athletes of the category stopped feeling the pressure and managed to find each other’s chest for two times. 2-2 on the scoreboard and just 2 more minutes to go, time for braves. And Zhang was the braver, as she connected the only head kick of the match with only a few seconds to go to win the gold by 5-3. Ashley Arana (MEX) and Anastasia Konstantinidoi (GRE), who brilliantly made their way until the semi-finals, were the bronze medallists of the category.

Female's +68 kg podium

The first Male winner of the competition ended up being Brandon Ivey from USA, who specacularly got rid of the Jordan representative, Hamza Kattan in the +78 kg crucial fight. Kattan performed a superb defending masterclass in the first two rounds, managing to contend a rival who proved to be really offensive and quick to lead 3-1 with just 2 minutes to go. But Ivey is certainly a brilliant and lively player. He did not give up at any time and tied the match to 3 through a chest kikc and a punch. The magical moment of the fight arrived with only 1 second to play, when both athletes scored their fourth point thanks to a punch. 4-4 and time for the first extra period of the night. Ivey tried his best to score the winning point, which he did in the 42nd second of the round, in the only moment when the Jordan wall showed a crack. Jun-Sik An (KOR) and Emil Khadeev (RUS) were Ivey and Kattan’s companions in the podium.

Male's +78 kg podium

The last final of WJC Day 1 was the quickest and most comfortable win of the night. Mahammad Mammadov from Azerbaijan outscored the Italian representative, Maurizio Gerardi, by 11-0 at the end of the second round to became the new -55 kg World champion. Mammadov’s height superioriy over all his rival was certainly decisive in the match. He was able to score 3 head kicks and did not conceed a single right action to Gerardi, who found himself incapable of finding a way to demolish the Azerbaijani’s defense. A great victory for Mammadov and a huge upset for Gerardi, who seemed to be devastated at the end of the clash. Better times will come for the Italian, no doubt about it, as he signed an excellent performance throughout the day. Gerard Arriagada (CHI) and the local idol, Yao Tsung Yang (TPE), had the honour to surround the finalists in the podium.

Male's -55 kg podium

Final podiums:

Female’s -68 kg

1 – Chen Zhang (CHN)
2 – Crystal Weekes (PUR)
3 – Marina Rizzelli (ITA)
3 – Yi Chun Kuo (TPE)
Male’s +78 kg

1 – Brandon Ivey (USA)
2 – Hamza Kattan (JOR)
3 – Jun-Sik An (KOR)
3 – Emil Khadeev (RUS)
Female’s -49 kg

1 – Tijana Bogdanovic (SRB)
2 – Lydia García (ESP)
3 – Safiye Polat (AZE)
3 – Emma Larsen (CAN)
Female’s +68 kg

1 – Yulia Miyuts (UKR)
2 – Marie Paule Ble (FRA)
3 – Ashley Arana (MEX)
3 – Anastasia Konstantinidoi (GRE)
Male’s -55 kg

1 – Mahammad Mammadov (AZE)
2 – Maurizio Gerardi (ITA)
3 – Gerard Arriagada (CHI)
3 – Yao Tsung Yang (TPE)

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