If France’s Teddy Riner had a female equivalent, it would be China’s Olympic and multiple World Champion, Tong Wen. Tong had won gold medals in the 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009 World Championships but was banned in 2010 by the IJF after she failed a doping test. She contested the ban and returned to active competition this year.
Tong blitzed her way through Pool A, winning all her matches by ippon. Cuba’s smallish Idalis Ortiz (seeded 5th in the IJF World Rankings) topped Pool B, while Tong’s compatriot Qin Qian topped Pool C. Japan’s 3rd-seeded Mika Sugimoto topped Pool D.
The Qin vs Sugimoto semi-final fight was a battle for grips and nothing else. Neither one was willing to try any big throws. As time ran out, Qin grip more aggressively than ever and perhaps wanting to avoid a penalty, Sugimoto attacked with a half-hearted uchimata that had her flopping to the ground. The strong Chinese fighter climbed on top, rolled her over and pinned Sugimoto for ippon.
In the other semi-final, Tong finished off her Cuban opponent with her trademark soto-makikomi into ushiro-kesa-gatame hold for ippon.
Bronze Medal Matches
It was Japan vs Japan fighting for bronze. Both fighters obviously knew each other only too well and it was yet another battle of grips and penalties. In the end, Sugimoto defeated her teammate Megumi Tachimoto through penalties, in a very boring bronze medal match.
The other bronze medal match saw more action. Russia’s very athletic Elena Ivashchenko footswept Cuba’s Ortiz for yuko and then armlocked her for ippon.
The final was an all-China affair and as to be expected when two judoka who know each other too well meet in a match, it’s usually a fierce battle for grips. Tong, however, didn’t have to rely on penalties to win. She launched a makikomi attack and rolled Qin onto her back to pin her for ippon.
TONG, Wen (CHN) vs. QIN, Qian (CHN)
TONG, Wen (CHN) vs. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)
QIN, Qian (CHN) vs. SUGIMOTO, Mika (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN) vs. SUGIMOTO, Mika (JPN)
IVASHCHENKO, Elena (RUS) vs. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)
TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN) vs. POLAVDER, Lucija (SLO)
BRYANT, Karina (GBR) vs. IVASHCHENKO, Elena (RUS)
1. TONG, Wen (CHN)
2. QIN, Qian (CHN)
3. SUGIMOTO, Mika (JPN)
3. IVASHCHENKO, Elena (RUS)
5. TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN)
5. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)
7. POLAVDER, Lucija (SLO)
7. BRYANT, Karina (GBR)