There were some big surprises and early exits for our superstars in the -78kg and -100kg categories on the sixth day of competition here in Tashkent, neither the 2021 -90kg or -100kg world champions, Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP) and Jorge FONSECA (POR) made it in to the final block. In fact the only medallist on the podium from 2021 who is making a reappearance in the medal matches is Ilia SULAMANIDZE (GEO). Similarly, it wasn’t a good day for the -78kg 2021 medallists and today we will see a whole new set of victors on the podium.
European final hopefuls included Michael KORREL (NED) and Zelym KOTSOIEV (AZE), both battling for their places in the final of the -100kg category.
It was a tough one for the Dutchman, taking on the home favourite Muzaffarbek TUROBOYEV (UZB) who had expelled Varlam LIPARTELIANI (GEO) and Shady ELNAHAS (CAN) in his bid for the world title. His incredible height is undoubtedly his advantage and he secured the win with a colossal maki komi, sending Korrel in to the bronze medal contest against the 2021 world bronze medallist, Sulamanidze. The arena was sensational as everyone rose to their feet, cheering their representative, another Uzbek athlete in a final during this world championships.
In the opposite semi final, Kotsoiev was in the lead with only a minute left before Canadian opponent Kyle REYES used his incredible strength and te waza to take down the Azeri athlete, transitioning directly in to osae komi and taking the other place in the -100kg final. Kotsoiev will now face Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL) for the second bronze.
This is the first world final for both Reyes and 22 year-old Turoboyev.
Anna-Maria WAGNER (GER) was unable to continue her reign as world champion, losing out to team mate and current European champion, Alina BOEHM. She ended up facing the current Olympic champion, HAMADA Shori (JPN) in the repechage, but today simply wasn’t her day and an o uchi gari sent her out of the competition.
Boehm went on to face double world champion (2014, 2017) Mayra AGUIAR (BRA). It was quite the head to head but the experience of Aguiar won out in the end, an early score giving her the third opportunity for a world title. Boehm will compete against the 2021 European champion Beata PACUT-KLOCZKO (POL) for bronze.
Incredibly, the current EYOF and junior European champion, Yelyzaveta LYTVNENKO (UKR) went from strength to strength today in the -78kg category, making a point that she had arrived on the senior circuit and is one to watch. Her opponent MA Zhenzhao (CHN) struggled and both picked up two shidos but with 10 seconds left on the clock, a ko soto gari gave Ma the waza ari score she needed to be in the final. Lytvnenko will now see Hamada in the bronze medal contest.
Author: Thea Cowen