It came in the women’s under-78kg on the final day of action in China which once again produced a fascinating string of results.
A total of 445 judoka – 228 male and 217 females – from 67 nations competed at the Qingdao Sports Centre at the year-ending event which ran from 12 to 14 December.
Posvite ended the year in perfect fashion by defeating former world champion and compatriot Audrey Tcheumeo to make it eight victories in nine events since stepping up to -78 kg category in March.While France’s world champion Madeleine Malonga slipped to defeat in her opening contest against Hyunji Hoon of Korea, Posvite earned the biggest victory of her career in the weight class with a decisive victory over Tcheumeo. Chen Fei of China and Germany’s Anna Maria Wagner claimed the bronze medals.
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World number 25 Tessie Savelkouls of The Netherlands won the first major title of the season by topping the podium in the women’s +78kg division. Savelkouls beat Iryna Kindzerska of Azerbaijan after she was given the decisive point in golden score. Bronze medals in the category went to Maryna Slutskaya of Belarus and Brazil’s Maria Suelen Altheman.
Michael Korrel made it double gold for The Netherlands on the last day of the season by beating former world champion Aaron Wolf of Japan in the men’s -100kg gold medal bout. Korrel was joined on the podium by Russia’s Niyaz Ilyasov and Olympic silver medallist Varlam Liparteliani of Georgia, who each earned bronze.
Pride of place on the final day of action went to Junior World Championships gold medallist Lasha Bekauri of Georgia who stunned world number one Nikoloz Sherazadishvili of Spain in the final of the men’s -90kg. Turkey’s Mikail Ozerler and Nemanja Majdov of Serbia were recipients of the bronze medals.
Olympic silver medallist Hisayoshi Harasawa of Japan was crowned the winner of the heavyweight over-100kg division after opponent Lukas Krpalek of the Czech Republic withdrew through injury, to the disappointment of the crowd who were denied an eagerly anticipated gold-medal clash. Japan’s Kokoro Kageura and Henk Grol of the Netherlands claimed bronze.
Saeid Mollaei’s debut for Mongolia ended in disappointment as he lost his first-round bout in the men’s -81kg category. Mollaei, who defected from Iran after being ordered to throw his semi-final at this year’s World Judo Championships rather than set up a potential clash with Israeli’s Sagi Muki, was beaten by Italy’s Christian Parlati. Alan Khubetsov of Russia and Turkey’s Vedat Albayrak won bronze.
World number one Ryuju Nagayama beat world number seven Francisco Garrigos of Spain to clinch the -60kg gold medal. Victory for Nagayama put the pressure back on his team mate and three-times world champion Naohisa Takato in the race for Olympic selection in the category. Robert Mshvidobadze of Russia and Uzbekistan’s Sharafuddin Lutfillaev claimed the bronze medals in the weight class.
Abu Dhabi Grand Slam gold medallist Manuel Lombardo of Italy marked his World Masters debut in style by winning the -66kg title. Lombardo proved too strong for Kherlen Ganbold of Mongolia in the final to underline his credentials as one to watch for the future. Mongolia’s Baskhuu Yondonperenlei and Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia earned bronze to end their respective campaigns on a high.
The other men’s final resulted in a walkover due to an injury suffered by Israel’s Tohar Butbul. Former world champion Soichi Hashimoto of Japan clinched his third Masters title after Butbul withdrew prior to the under-73kg gold-medal bout. Azerbaijan’s Olympic silver medallist Rustam Orujov and Masashi Ebinuma of Japan earned bronze.
Kim Jin-a secured North Korea’s first gold medal in the history of the IJF World Judo Masters as she won the women’s -57kg division in Qingdao. Kim beat Osaka Grand Slam winner Momo Tamaoki of Japan in the final to seal an historic title for the North Korean team. Jessica Klimkait of Canada and Olympic bronze medallist Telma Monteiro of Portugal earned the two bronze medals on offer in the category.
Defending champion Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo retained her World Masters crown in the -48kg weight class. Krasniqi defeated Narantsetseg Ganbaatar of Mongolia, the world number 33, in golden score to seal victory. Russia’s Irina Dolgova and Melanie Clement of France claimed bronze.
Former world champion Ai Shishime of Japan clinched her first Masters title as she triumphed in the -52kg division. Shishime gave her slim hopes of qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo a boost by beating world number one Amandine Buchard of France in the final. Uzbekistan’s Diyora Keldiyorova produced a surprise by beating Olympic bronze medallist Natalia Kuziutina of Russia in the opening bronze-medal bout, before Astride Gneto of France beat Odette Giuffrida of Italy to join her on the podium.
Nami Nabekura of Japan upset world champion Clarisse Agbegnenou to claim the gold medal in the women’s -63kg division. Nabekura, the world number six, beat the French star for the first time and avenged the defeat she suffered to Agbegnenou in the final at last year’s event. The Japanese judoka earned the solitary score after five minutes of additional time in a tense gold medal decider. Bronze medals in the weight class went to the Japanese duo of Miku Tashiro and Masako Doi.
Kim Polling won an all-Dutch women’s -70kg final, defeating Sanne van Dijke to seal her fourth World Judo Masters crown. Polling beat her compatriot by two scores without reply to continue her superb recent run of form. World champion Marie Eve Gahie of France and Japan’s Chizuru Arai were the recipients of the bronze medals.
The two gold medals for The Netherlands on the final day of the 2019 season secured second place in the medal table behind Japan. The Japanese judoka earned a total of five gold medals, two silver and five bronze, with The Netherlands winning three golds in total, one silver and one bronze. France were third with one gold, three silver and three bronze, with Georgia’s one gold supplemented by a single bronze.
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