Bilodid, the Abe sibling, Zantaraia, Heydarov, An Changrim, Mollaei... Highlights and achievements of the first four days of the Baku World championships (September 20-26).
By Ludovic Mauchien in Baku
Bilodid in history
She is not yet 18 (she will on October 10) but she has already made history. Undefeated since the World championships in Budapest in 2017, Ukraine’s Daria Bilodid (-48 kg) has become the youngest ever World champion in history in Baku. She simply flew over the competition, turning her opponents into simple sparrings, Japan’s Tonaki included. And, in addition, she is graceful and intelligent !
Abe’s siblings at the top
They are brother and sister. They became World champions the same day… Hifumi, 20, has retained his title in -66 kg and Uta, 18, won her first world title by beating her compatriot Shishime, the defending champion. The worst for their opponents ? They did not even have to force their talent. The beginning of a long reign for the Abe family ?
Zantaria still on top
And six for Georgii Zantaraia ! World champion in 2009, the Ukrainian fighter has won 5 world medals in a row (2nd in 2010, 3rd in 2011, 2013, 2014) before winning his sixth one in Baku at 30 years old. Dominated by the untouchable Hifumi Abe in the ¼ finals, he did not tremble to get the bronze. Two times European champion (2011 in -60 kg, 2017), he is aiming for the only medal missing in his huge list of achievements : the Olympic one in Tokyo.
Hidayat Heydarov in bronze
He is only 21 years old and is promised to the most beautiful future. He has already begun to write the present by capturing the world bronze medal, his first in Senior, in front of his audience. Hidayat Heydarov (-73 kg), Junior World champion and European champion in 2017 (2nd in 2018), lost in the semi finals against Hashimoto in the Golden Score before beating Mongolia’s Tsend-Ochir for bronze.
An Changrim and Mollaei did it !
We did not give much of their skin in the final against the Japanese fighters. But Korea’s An Changrim (-73kg) and Iran’s Saeid Mollaei (-81kg) beat the odds and created the sensation by dominating respectively Hashimoto and Fujiwara. They allow the « rest of the world » to break th Japanese hegemony in male categories. An Changrim, 24, was third at the 2015 and 2017 Worlds. Saeid Mollaei, 3rd last year, is the first Iranian World champion since Miresmaeili in 2003.
Agbegnenou wins her 3rd title
France’s Clarisse Agbegnenou won her third world title in Baku (-63 kg) against Japan’s Tashiro in the final, not Slovenia’s Trstenjak as usual (beaten in the semi finals by Tashiro). In the history of France, Clarisse Agbegnenou joins her compatriots Lucie Decosse, Gevrise Emane and Brigitte Deydier. To win this 3rd gold medal, she has simply inflicted an Ippon to all her opponents ! This is undoubtedly the best in her category.
Japan so impressive !
10 athletes, 10 medals ! This is Japan on its way to Tokyo 2020. If four titles out of the eight awarded have escaped them (-48 kg, -63 kg in women and -73 kg, -81 kg in men), the Japanese team make a full cardboard of medals. Osu !
The podiums after 4 days of competition
- Takato (Jap)
- Mshvidobadze (Rus)
- Papinashvili (Geo) and Nagayama (Jap)
- H. Abe (Jap)
- Serikzhanov (Kaz)
- Zantaraia (Ukr) and An Baul (Kor)
- An Changrim (Kor)
- Hashimoto (Jap)
- Heydarov (Aze) and Mohammadi (Iri)
- Mollaei (Iri)
- Fujiwara (Jap)
- Wieczerzak (Ger) and Albayrak (Tur)
- Bilodid (Ukr)
- Tonaki (Jap)
- Pareto (Arg) and Galbadrakh (Kaz)
- U. Abe (Jap)
- Shishime (Jap)
- Buchard (Fra) and Miranda (Bra)
- Yoshida (Jap)
- Smythe-Davis (GB)
- Deguchi (Can) and Dorjsuren (Mgl)
- Agbegnenou (Fra)
- Tashiro (Jap)
- Trstenjak (Slv) and Franssen (PB)