Uzbekistan lead the way at IBSA Judo World Cup

In 13 events at Hungary’s biggest ever para-sport event, Uzbekistan took gold in four of them.

Yuliya Halinska and Laura Garcia Benitez Yuliya Halinska and Laura Garcia Benitez clash at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. © • Getty

Uzbekistan topped the medals table after three days of competition at the IBSA Judo World Cup in Eger, Hungary, at the weekend (20-22 February), winning seven medals, including four gold.

More than 100 judoka took part in the event, an important qualifying event for Rio 2016, making it the biggest para-sport event ever to take place in Hungary.

In the men’s competition, Uzbekistan won three out of seven events.

Sherzod Namozov, a fourth place finisher at last year’s World Championships, led the way defeating South Korea’s Min Jae Lee in the men’s -60kg gold medal match. Japan’s Makoto Hirose and Russia’s Vitalii Koriakin took home the bronze.

Feruz Sayidov, a world bronze medallist from last September also enjoyed success in the men’s -66kg, taking gold against Japan’s Satoshi Fujimoto. Ukraine’s London 2012 champion Davyd Khorava had to settle for bronze with Russia’s Viktor Rudenko.

A third gold for Uzbekistan was won by world silver medallist Shirin Sharipov in the men’s -100kg after he defeated South Korea’s London 2012 champion Gwang Guen Choi. Russia and Ukraine took home bronze medals through Vlaadimir Fedin, a London 2012 bronze medal winner, and Olesksandr Pominov respectively.

In the women’s competition, Uzbekistan’s only gold medal came through Tursunpashsha Nurmetova in the women’s -63kg after she defeated Ukraine’s world champion Iryna Husieva in the final. Bronze went to South Korea’s Song Lee Jin and Russia’s Olga Pozdysheva.

After topping the medals table at last year’s World Championships in Colorado, USA, Ukraine could only manage fourth at this event, despite winning the most medals with 11. There solitary gold came through Svitlana Chepurina who beat Russia’s London 2012 silver medallist Tatiana Savostyanova in the final of the women’s -70kg. Uzbekistan added to their medal collection thanks to a bronze from Gulruh Rahimova, whilst Naomi Soazo’s bronze was Venezuela’s only medal winner of the event.

Korea finished second in the medals table after winning gold in the men’s -81kg and women’s -57kg, thanks to Jung Min Lee and Ha Na Seo.

Lee was victorious in the men’s -81kg beating Ukraine’s Paralympic champion Oleksandr Kosinov, whilst Seo beat Azerbaijan’s Sabrina Abdullayeva to gold in the women’s -57kg.

Bronze in the respective events were won by Great Britain’s Jonathan Drane, France’s Cyril Jonard, Spain’s Merenciano Herrero and Ukraine’s Inna Cherniak.

Azerbaijan also won two gold medals in Eger.

World champion Ramil Gasimov took gold in the men’s -73kg weight class by beating Uzbekistan’s Feruz Sayidov. Ukraine took home double bronze thanks to Serhii Kotenko and London 2012 champion Dmytro Solovey.

London 2012 bronze medallist Ilham Zakiyev beat Japan’s Paralympic champion Kento Masaki to gold in the men’s +100kg. Russia’s Gaidar Gaidarov and Great Britain’s Jack Hodgson finished with bronze medals.

One of the most fiercely contested classes was the men’s -90kg. The final was a re-run of the London 2012 semi-finals between Great Britain’s Samuel Ingram and Argentina’s Jorge Lencina. Like he did in London, Ingram took the win, but this time his victory was rewarded with gold, whilst Lencina had to settle for silver.

The USA’s world champion Dartanyon Crockett could only manage seventh.

The women’s -48kg saw three out of four London 2012 medallist in action. Germany’s Paralympic champion Carmen Brussig once again topped the podium beating Ukraine’s London 2012 bronze medallist Yulia Halinska for the gold medal. Kai Lin Lee of Chinese Taipei, a London silver medallist, finished with bronze together with Argentina’s Paula Karina Gomez Martinez.

Brussig’s twin Ramona also won gold at London 2012, but could not match her sister’s achievements in Eger and had to settle for bronze along with Canada’s Priscilla Gagne in the women’s -52kg. France’s Sandrine Martinet beat the Ukriane’s London bronze medallist Nataliya Nikolaychyk for the gold.

The World Cup festivities continue through to Wednesday (25 February) with a three-day training camp involving 125 judokas which began on Monday.

Thirty coaches will take part in an international coaching seminar, presenting how to teach visually impaired athletes judo techniques.