Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Men's -73kg

Pool A
The top seed in this pool is takedown specialist Rok Draksic of Slovenia but the top favorite is Japan's 2013 Rio World Champion Shohei Ono, who was not seeded as he had missed many tournaments this year due to a suspension relating to an athlete abuse scandal in his university.

    The footsweep that landed Ono flat on his back.

Most spectators would have expected Ono to come back with a vengeance it certainly looked to be that way as he stormed into the quarterfinal brimming with confidence. Indeed he looked to be the dominant fighter but a well-timed footsweep by South Korean newcomer Lee Young Jun landed Ono flat on his back. The defending champion was out of the competition.

The man Lee would go on to fight was little known Yertgun Torenov from Kazakhstan, who had done well defeating Draksic by ippon with a counter against Draksic's sacrifice attempt. Earlier he had beaten Nauru's Sled Dowabobo with a pin for ippon and Cyprus's Phedia Konnaris by uchimata for ippon. In his quarterfinal match, he defeated Lee with a low, rolling hip throw and an ura-nage for yuko each.

Pool B
Dirk Van Tichelt of Belgium was the top seed in this pool. The 2013 World Silver Medalist Ugo Legrand of France was also in this pool. But it was would be dark horse Hong Kuk Hyon of North Korea who would emerge victorious.

Hong had a hard ride to the top. He had to rely on penalties to defeat his first opponent, Andre Alves of Portugal. That pit him against Legrand, whom he launched with a massive uchimata that scored only yuko because it was an overthrow. Nevertheless, it was enough to bring him through to the quarterfinal where he threw Van Tichelt twice with drop seoi-nage for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. He was through to the semifinal.

Pool C
The top seed in this pool was the upcoming Israeli player Sagi Muki but the real favorite was 2011 Paris World Champion Riki Nakaya. In the past year, Nakaya had been eclipsed by Shohei Ono who had won the 2013 Rio World Championships in style. But he was in Chelyabinsk as the second Japanese player in the -73kg weight class.

His first fight was with Muki, who he dispatched with double-lapel drop seoi-nage for waza-ari. Next, he beat his Chinese opponent, Yinjirigala Sai, in spectacular fashion, with an unusual sleeve grip ippon-seoi-nage. Nakaya had a much harder time against Azerbaijan's Rustam Orujov who had dominate the grips and was ahead by two shidos when in the last minute, Nakaya whipped out a harai-goshi that took Orujov down for yuko. But it was enough to see him through to the semi-final.

Pool D
The top seed in this pool, Victor Scvortov, was originally from Moldova but was now fighting for United Arab Emirates. He won his first match, against Gabon's Terence Kouamba Poutoukou Junior within seconds with a strangle. He also won his next match, against Uzbekistan's Sarvar Shomurodov, with groundwork. He first countered him for yuko and followed up with a sankaku-jime which had Shomurodov submitting.

When his French opponent, Pierre Duprat, stumbled on the ground after a a failed opening attack, Scvortov was immediately on top of him, applying a strangle. It was all over within the first 20 seconds of the match. His toughest match was against Russian home favorite Musa Mogushkov. He threw the Russian with a sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi early in the match and held onto the lead until the end

Semifinal 1
Hong fought a tough match against the very strong and unorthodox Torenov but managed to throw him with an osoto-gari that scored waza-ari. That was enough to see him through to the final.

Semifinal 2
In a brutal battled against Scvortov, Nakaya pulled off a reverse seoi-nage that scored yuko and held on to that lead until the end.

Bronze 1
The first bronze medal match, between Scvortov and Lee was a cagey fight with no real attempts to throw by either player. The match went into Golden Score where Scvortov emerged victor after throwing Lee with a kosoto-gari counter against a poorly executed ouchi-gari by the Korean. Ippon was scored and Scvortov had won UAE its first ever world medal.
Bronze 2
Mogushkov gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he countered Torenov's ura-nage to score waza-ari, a point he held onto until the end. Bronze for Russia.

Newcomer Hong was the aggressor but Nakaya had the better of him when he turned the tables on Hong's attempt to counter his seoi-nage with ura-nage. Unable to completely twist and hurl Nakaya backwards, Hong ended up falling on his back with Nakaya landing right on top of him. Ippon was scored and Nakaya had secured his second world title.

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