Friday, August 12, 2016

-60kg Overview

A total of 35 athletes took part in the -60kg Men's Division. The top players going into this competition were Kim Won-Jin (KOR), Beslan Mudranov (RUS), Naohisa Takato (JPN), Amiran Papinashvili (GEO), Orkhan Safarov (AZE), Yeldos Smetov (KAZ), and Diyorbek Urozboev (UZB).

Pool A: Mudranov (RUS)
The exciting players in this pool were South Korea's Kim and Russia's Mudranov. There were no upsets here. Kim threw Elios Manzi (ITA) with osoto-gari for yuko, which took him through to the next round. He had a harder time against Tsogtbaatar Tsend-Ochir (MGL) and was actually trailing by a yuko, with about a minute left, when he countered the Mongolian's hiza-guruma for a waza-ari. 

Meanwhile, Mudranov beat Jeroen Mooren (NED) with a tai-otoshi for yuko and a perfectly timed sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi for another yuko. Against Hovhannes Davtyan (ARM), he used ouchi-gari, which gave him a yuko win. The quarter-final match between Kim and Mudranov was a tight one which didn't produce any throws until the last 30 seconds of the match when the Russian countered his Korean opponent's osoto-gari with a massive ura-nage for ippon.

Pool B: Papinashvili (GEO)
Japan's Takato won his first match by hansoku-make when Yann Siccardi (MON) grabbed his leg following a kouchi-gari attack. Next, Takato despatched Pavel Petrikov (CZE) in just 15 seconds with a very low uchimata for ippon.

Georgia's Papinashvili threw his first opponent, Sergio Pessoa (CAN) with a very low hip throw for waza-ari and then a sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for yuko.  He then threw Yanislav Gerchev (BUL) with uchimata for ippon. Papinashvili then continued to impress by catching Takato with a sumi-gaeshi that scored ippon. He knocked out the top contender for gold!

Pool C: Safarov (AZE)
Azerbaijan's Safarov won his first match against Juan Postigos (PER) rather easily throwing him first with reverse seoi-nage for waza-ari and then a drop  sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for yuko. His next match, against Otar Bestaev (KGZ), started evenly but later Safarov surged ahead. Both men initially threw each other for yuko, then Safarov scored with waza-ari with a hugging kosoto-gake and ippon with drop morote-seoi-nage.

Local favorite Felipe Kitadai (BRA) gave Safarov a tough fight in the quarter-finals but in the end Safarov was able to smash him with a massive tai-otoshi for ippon.

Pool D: Smetov (KAZ)
Kazakhstan's reigning World Champion Smetov defeated Mohamed Elhadi Elkawisah (LBA) with a drop ippon-seoi-nage for waza-ari and then pinned him for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. Against Ashley McKenzie (GBR) he used an extremely low drop tai-otoshi which scored yuko, which was enough to get him through to the next fight. He beat Diyorbek Urozboev (UZB) in Golden Score with a drop ippon-seoi-nage, which was actually an overthrow but as Urozboev had landed on his side, a score of yuko was given.

The battle between Japan's Takato and South Korea's Kim was quite a scrappy one. In the end, Takato managed to pull off a neat tewaza counter for a yuko win.

The match between Brazil's Kitadai and Uzbekistan's Urozboev stoked some controversy. Urozboev had come in with a side takedown which Kitadai killed. The Brazilian then proceeded to climb on top of his opponent in an attempt to get an armlock. Urozboev responded by standing up and dumping Kitadai flat on his back. Some felt there was too much of a break for a score to be given while others felt it was a continuous action, so no "matte" should have been given" (which was the case). The video judges determined it was worthy of an ippon.

Mudranov defeated Papinashvili by throwing him with a magnificent uchimata that seemed to have come out of nowhere.

The second semi-final match between Safarov and Smetov was largely a tactical one with no scores on the board. With just about 30 seconds left in the match, Smetov launched a flurry of attacks which culminated in a very low yoko-guruma for waza-ari.

The bronze medal match between Takato and Safarov was a very one-sided affair. Takato did all the attacking while Safarov looked as if he just didn't want to be on the mat but didn't want to concede a score either. In the end, Takato won by penalties.

Urozboev scored early against Papinashvili with a tomoe-nage for yuko and then switch to tactical play for the rest of the match. In contrast to Safarov, he clearly wanted that bronze and his delight at winning it was obvious for all to see.

The final between Mudranov and Smetov was a hard fought one that went into Golden Score. There, Mudranov executed a perfectly-timed harai-tsurikomi-ashi which scored waza-ari.

"Right now I'm very happy, really, I don't understand what I'm feeling right now. Today I felt OK, so I can say I am at the peak of my career."

Final Results
1. MUDRANOV, Beslan (RUS)                                                             
2. SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
3. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)                             
3. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)                      
5. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)                                                   
7. KIM, Won Jin (KOR)
7. KITADAI, Felipe (BRA)                             

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