Photo © IJF Media by T. Zahony
iMongolia and Japan each took a gold medal on the first day of competition at the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, dueling each other in both final matches at this ultimate competition for judo.
In an upset for the women’s division, 48 kg., Mongolia’s Urantsetseg Munkhbat caught Japan’s Haruna Asami in an arm lock for the tap and the gold medal. Asami is the reigning World Champion two times in a row and No. 3 in the world.
Then Japan’s Naohisa Takato in the men’s 60 kg. division defeated Mongolia’s Amartuvshin Dashdavaa in that division final for the gold, evening the count for the first of six days of individual competition with 680 of the finest judoka from 123 nations vying for the podiums in Rio de Janeiro.
Stepping out tomorrow for Team USA are Brad Bolen, 66 kg., Jason Morris Judo/NYAC, Genville, NY, and Angelica Delgado, 52 kg, USA Judo Training Site, Ki-Itsu-Sai, Coconut Creek, FL.
At just 22 years, Delgado already has captured medals at a number of top international competitions. She now has several World Cup medals, a bronze from the Pan American Championships last year, two bronze medals from Pan American Opens in San Salvador and Montevideo this year. She is the Senior National Champion in her 52 kg. division.
Delgado begins her day against Ecuador’s Yolanda Arcos but in their pool, one of four in the division brackets, are three of the top 10 in the world, including Japan’s Yuki Hashimoto and Cuba’s Yanet Bermoy Acosta and Ilse Heylen of Belgium. And the World’s No. 1 ranked Majlinda Kelmendi is seeded in a neighboring pool – it’s the World Championships, so nearly all the best are here.
Bolen steps out against Vanuatu’s Joe Mahit, a relatively inexperienced fighter on the international stage from the South Pacific island nation – Mahit is the sole member of his national team. Among the 66 athletes in the division, though, are a number from the top ranked, including world No. 3 Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia and No. 5 Jun-Ho Cho of Korea in Bolen’s pool.
Following is the complete schedule for the week:
Monday, Aug. 26
Men 60 kg. Nicholas Kossor, Jason Morris Judo/NYAC, Genville, NY
Women 48 kg. Alexa Liddie, USA Judo Training Site, Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO
Tuesday, Aug. 27
Men 66 kg. Brad Bolen, Jason Morris Judo/NYAC, Genville, NY
Women 52 kg. Angelica Delgado, USA Judo Training Site, Ki-Itsu-Sai, Coconut Creek, FL
Wednesday, Aug. 28
Men 73 kg. Nicholas Delpopolo, Budokan Judo Club, Miami, FL
Women 57 kg Hana Carmichael, USA Judo Training Site, Pedro's Judo Center/NYAC, Wakefield, MA
Marti Malloy, USA Judo Training Site, San Jose State University Judo/NYAC, San Jose, CA
Thursday, Aug 29
Men 81 kg. Travis Stevens, USA Judo Training Site, Pedro's Judo Center/NYAC, Wakefield, MA
Jonathan Fernandez, Baragua Judo Kai, Miami, FL
Women 63 kg. Hannah Martin, Jason Morris Judo/NYAC, Genville, NY
Friday, Aug 30
Men 90 kg. Jacob Larsen, USA Judo Training Site, BJTC/OTC, Colorado Springs, CO
Colton Brown, USA Judo Training Site, San Jose State University Judo, San Jose, CA
Women 70 kg. Kathleen Sell, USA Judo Training Site, Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO
Women 78 kg. Samantha Bleier, USA Judo Training Site, Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, CO
Saturday, Aug 31
Men 100 kg. Myles Porter, USA Judo Training Site, Olympic Training Center/NYAC, Colorado Springs, CO
Men +100 kg
Women +78 kg
Sunday, Sept 1