An impressive opening ceremony took place in front of a full stadium on Day 2 of the first Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam in Mongolia. Both the locals and the foreign audience were captivated by performances in traditional Mongolian costumes and amazing dances.
President of the Mongolia Judo Association, H.E. Mr. Battulga Khaltma, and Mr. Vlad Marinescu, Director General of the International Judo Federation, were present to help the crowd prepare for the judo. Japan’s Nabekura Nami won the gold medal in the under 63 kg division. She won the match and brought home the third gold medal for her nation in this competition with a deft foot sweep, for which she is renowned. Mr. Namsrai Batsaikhan, the founder and CEO of Champions Camp, was present to present the medals.
My preferred technique is Uchi-mata, but today I was successful with my ashi-waza, including ko-uchi-gari and ko-soto-gari. I was able to demonstrate changes in my approach. Overall, it was a positive experience.
The return of Nagase Takanori, the under-81kg Olympic Champion, was the topic of conversation throughout the day. He was the one to beat because this was his first tournament with the Gold back patch, making him an obvious target. But the seasoned Japanese athlete maintained his usual composure.
He began the day with a powerful Ippon in his first heat and then performed a beautiful o-soto, a move for which he is well known.
The youthful Korean Lee Joon-hwan was his next opponent, in only Lee’s second IJF competition. And he startled the judo community by pinning Nagase with an amazing falling move that is distinctive to Korean judo.
Lee was overjoyed to make a name for himself and raise awareness of the -81kg category.
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He subsequently faced Olympic bronze medalist Borchasvili in the final, where he once again defeated hR with a lightning-quick dropping technique to win his second gold medal in as many IJF competitions. A remarkable achievement by the young Judoka.
Mr. Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar, the mayor of Ulaanbaatar City, presented the medals.
I’m extremely appreciative of everyone that supported me today. In the future, I will make every effort to live up to that expectation!
Tsend-Ochir Tsogtbaatar, the Mongolian team’s Olympic bronze medalist, was in full force and leading them. He won a silver medal for some outstanding Judo, which gave the rest of the team the inspiration to perform well and pursue Judo’s ultimate prize: the Ippon.