The clear favorite in the -81kg division is South Korea’s Kim Jae-Bum who blitzed his way through Pool A, defeating opponents from Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Belgium as well as Germany’s Ole Bischof (the 2008 Olympic champion), and Russia’s Ivan Nifontov (the 2009 World champion), to top Pool A. Brazil’s Leandro Guilheiro, probably the biggest thrower in the division, as expected, topped Pool C.
Pietri fought valiantly against Kim in the semi-final but he was clearly outmatched by the experienced Korean who, after dominating him in grips, threw him with a hopping uchimata for waza-ari. The expected winner went through to the final. There was an upset in the other semi-final though. Mrvaljevic managed to catch Guilheiro with a yoko-sutemi which scored waza-ari. This was enough to secure him a place in the final.
Bronze Medal Matches
Brazil’s Guilheiro showed what a top class player he was by throwing Elkhan Rajabli of Azerbaijan for ippon with a drop sode-tsuri-komi-goshi within the opening seconds of their match. The other bronze fight ended very fast too. After quashing France’s Pietri drop ippon-seoi-nage, Moldova’s Sergiu Toma attacked him with a rolling strangle that had the Frenchman tapping within seconds. To the crowd’s disappointment, there will be no bronze for France tonight.
After displaying so much heart in his preliminary and semi-final matches, Montenegro’s Mrvaljevic tepid performance in the final was an utter disappointment. Kim did all the attacking and at times it seemed Mrvaljevic was happy just to be assured of silver medal.
His heart was clearly not in the match and after picking up a few shidos, Mrvaljevic nearly got armlocked and then got pinned for waza-ari. He managed to wriggle out with three seconds before ippon would be called. But with less than a minute left in the match, he had all but lost the competition. Kim then played it safe and let the time run out, to clinch his second world title.
KIM, Jae-Bum (KOR) vs. MRVALJEVIC, Srdjan (MNE)
KIM, Jae-Bum (KOR) vs. PIETRI, Loic (FRA)
GUILHEIRO, Leandro (BRA) vs. MRVALJEVIC, Srdjan (MNE)
Bronze Medal Fights
RAJABLI, Elkhan (AZE) vs. GUILHEIRO, Leandro (BRA)
TOMA, Sergiu (MDA) vs. PIETRI, Loic (FRA)
NIFONTOV, Ivan (RUS) vs. RAJABLI, Elkhan (AZE)
TOMA, Sergiu (MDA) vs. VASYLENKO, Artem (UKR)
1. KIM, Jae-Bum (KOR)
2. MRVALJEVIC, Srdjan (MNE)
3. GUILHEIRO, Leandro (BRA)
3. TOMA, Sergiu (MDA)
5. RAJABLI, Elkhan (AZE)
5. PIETRI, Loic (FRA)
7. NIFONTOV, Ivan (RUS)
7. VASYLENKO, Artem (UKR)