Going into the men’s -66kg competition, there were two clear favorites: Japan’s 2010 World Champion Junpei Morishita and Mongolia’s 2009 World Champion Hashbaatar Tsagaanbaatar. Both men were a contrast in style with Morishita displaying classical judo and Hashbaatar favoring unorthodox wrestling techniques. A final between these two players would have been quite a sight to see.
But alas, both men failed to make it to the final, with Morishita losing lesser-known Igor Soroca of Moldova, who threw the Japanese for ippon; and Hashbaatar losing to Cho Jun-Ho of South Korea, who fought a tactical match and won by penalties.
Cho, however, later lost to Masashi Ebinuma (JPN), who topped Pool A. Musa Mogushkov (RUS) topped Pool B, while Pool C and D were won by Leandro Cunha (BRA) and Rok Draksic (SLO), respectively.
Ebinuma and Mogushkov, too, were a contrast in styles with the Japanese preferring tradition judo and the Russian favoring unorthodox techniques. In this case, traditional judo won. Ebinuma threw Mogushkov twice, first with a cross-grip morote-seoi-nage for yuko and then a regular morote-seoi-nage for ippon to finish the match.
Cunha’s match against Draksic was not as exciting, with the match going to full time and the Brazilian winning by a yuko.
Bronze Medal Matches
In the repercharge, Colin Oates kept Britain’s medal hopes alive by beating home favorite David Larose of France in a highly tactical match which saw the Brit beating the Frenchman through penalties. Oates, however, could not do the same to Russia’s Mogushkov, who flipped him over with a very low belt-grab sumi-gaeshi for ippon in the bronze medal match. The other bronze medal was won by Korea’s Cho who threw Slovenia’s Draksic for ippon with a double-sleeved, drop sode-tsuri-komi-goshi.
Gold Medal Match
The final match was a first for Ebinuma but the second for Cunha, who had won a silver medal at last year’s World Championships in Japan, where he lost by ippon to Ebinuma’s compatriot, Morishita. Would Cunha be able to get revenge, albeit against another Japanese player?
Cunha started attacking straight away, launching two big uchimata attempts against Ebinuma who was playing a more careful match and taking his time to get the right grip and into the right position to launch his attack. That moment came at the edge of the mat, about halfway through the match. From a regular sleeve-lapel grip, Ebinuma launched into an uchimata and then switched to a belt grip as he hopped it through. Cunha fell on his back and ippon was declared. Japan now has a new judo hero.
EBINUMA, Masashi (JPN) vs. CUNHA, Leandro (BRA)
Bronze medal fights
CHO, Jun-Ho (KOR) vs. DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)
OATES, Colin (GBR) vs. MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS)
EBINUMA, Masashi (JPN) vs. MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS)
CUNHA, Leandro (BRA) vs. DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)
CHO, Jun-Ho (KOR) vs. KARIMOV, Tarlan (AZE)
OATES, Colin (GBR) vs. LAROSE, David (FRA)
1. EBINUMA, Masashi (JPN)
2. CUNHA, Leandro (BRA)
3. CHO, Jun-Ho (KOR)
3.MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS)
5. DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)
5. OATES, Colin (GBR)
7. KARIMOV, Tarlan (AZE)
7. LAROSE, David (FRA)