Wang shoulder-throws way to Grand Slam winComing off a second round loss at the Suwon World Masters 2010 last month, Wang Ki-chun redeemed himself with a convincing win at the Grand Slam Paris 2010 yesterday.
The top ranked judoka in the 73 kilograms (161 pounds) division, Wang defeated Hiroyuki Akimoto of Japan with a variation of an ippon seoi-nage or one-armed shoulder throw for a waza-ari or half-point in the finals at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy in Paris, France.
Wang, World Champion 2007-09 and an Olympic silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games also won all three Grand Slams (Paris, Moscow and Japan) last year. The 22-year-old also set the record for the most consecutive wins at 53 matches before losing in the second round to Yasuhiro Awano of Japan in the second round in Suwon last month. Having breezed through his first three matches of the tourney, Wang got a chance to make up for the disappointing finish at the Suwon Masters tournament last month in the semifinals. He faced Awano in the semifinals and defeated the Japanese judoka by way or ippon or a perfect throw using ouchi-gari, a leg technique.
Kim Joo-jin of Korea also won a gold medal in the 66 kilograms division over Mongolia¡?s Miaragchaa Sanjaasuren in the finals. Kim had defeated world¡?s top ranked judoka in the division, Tsagaanbaatar Hashbaatar in the semifinals.
In the women¡?s competition, Chun Jung-yeon earned a bronze medal in the 48 kilograms division.
The International Judo Federation sponsored World Circuit events held in Paris, Moscow and Japan are the considered the next biggest international judo events next to the Olympics and the World Championships and hence attract some of the world¡?s top-ranked judoka.
A total of 384 athletes from 55 countries are competing at the two day tourney which will hold its final day of competition today. Song Dae-nam (81 kg), Kwon Young-woo (90 kg), Hwang Hee-tae (-100 kg) and Kim Sung-min (+100 kg) will compete on the final day.
By Jason Kim [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Wang Ki-Chun of Korea reacts after defeating Hiroyuki Akimoto of Japan during the final of the men’s 73-kilogram category during the Grand Slam Paris 2010 Judo tournament, at the Bercy Arena in Paris Saturday. [AP]