South Korea were unstoppable in the men’s and women’s team events at the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo World Championships in Odivelas, Portugal on Sunday (18 November), claiming both titles on offer on the final day of action.
The double gold brings South Korea’s overall medal total to seven, including three individual wins.
In the women’s team event a lukewarm opening match saw China’s Li Liqing lose by default with three Shidos against -48kg world champion Soohee Choi for South Korea to take the lead.
Another win followed after Song Lin Jin showed exactly why she is the -63kg world champion against Yue Wang. Jin trumped a Waza-ari from Wang with a stunning Asi-waza for Ippon, securing the gold.
China’s +70kg world champion from Saturday (18 November) Hongyu Wang did however achieve an Ippon in the final match against Hayeong Park to take a consolatory win for China.
Azerbaijan’s team of Sevda Valiyeva, Khanim and Zulfiya Huseynova overcame France’s Sandrine Martinet, Manon Cellier and Prescilla Leze 3-0 for bronze.
On the other mat Brazil’s Karla Cardoso, Lucia Araujo and Rebeca Silva beat Turkey’s Ecem Tasin, Duygu Cete Artar and Raziye Ulucam to the final podium spot. Brazil add to their silver from 2014.
Credit: Rui Telmo
The South Korean men rounded off their country’s five medal haul in the men’s event.
Min Jae Lee, Seungjin Yang, -81kg world champion Jung Min Lee and Woohyeok Song, the +100kg silver medallist, chalked a 3-2 victory over Ukraine.
Ukraine had a strong team that included new -90kg world title holder Oleksandr Nazarenko, Davyd Khorava, Dmytro Solovey, Olexandr Kosinov and Oleksandr Pominov, but could not hold back a South Korean team on the march.
“The team gold means much more than an individual gold because we achieved it as a team,” Min Lee said before sending a warning ahead of the next Paralympic Games: “We will now go back and get even stronger for Tokyo 2020.
“We have a training centre where our team can train very hard the whole year. That is basically how we are able to get stronger and stronger.”
Russia’s Artem Merkulov, Vasilii Kutuev, Shamil Magomedov, Malik Kurbanov and Gaidar Gaidarov took victory over the USA’s Ronald Hawthorne, Robert Tanaka, Adnan Gutic, Nathan Ostergaard and Robert Anderson for bronze.
An all-star Azerbaijan team featuring four individual medallists, Vugar Shirinli, Ramil Gasimov, Huseyn Rahimli, Rovshan Safarov and Ilham Zakiyev won all their contests against Spain to also claim a podium place.
Spain’s Sergio Ibanez Ibanon, Luis Daniel Gavilan Lorenzo, Abel Vazquez Cortijo and Inigo Gerboles Lopez could not match the Azerbaijan team’s firepower.
With South Korea occupying first place in the medals table, Ukraine finish second with two golds and one silver. Azerbaijan are third, securing one gold, two silver and three bronze.
A record total of 268 judoka from 43 countries competed for titles at the 2018 IBSA Judo World Championships between 16-18 November.
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Credit: Rui Telmo