An early exit saw the chance at a medal slip past Team JudoAus
A quick defeat leaves Harrison disappointed
For the 24-year-old Team JudoAus judoka, Harrison Cassar, the 2022 IJF World Judo Tour Portugal Grand Prix did not go as planned. After drawing a first-round bye, the eighth seeded Australian awaited to see who his second-round opponent would be when fifteenth seeded Jiwon Jeon faced off against the twenty-second seeded Artem Bubyr of Ukraine in the first-round of the Men's -90 kg Division.
Both competitors saw early scoring opportunities, however, it was the young 20-year-old Ukrainian who secured the win with an ippon throw at the 2:29 mark in regulation time which saw him through to the second-round.
The match started with a quick flurry as the two scrambled toward the edge of the mat. Cassar struck first with an attempted Uchi Mata throw, but the young Ukrainan was swift to counter with an Uchi Mata Sukashi which sent the Australian tumbling to the mat as the two competitors rolled out of the competition area.
Only a few second after restarting the match, the referee stopped the competition for a review of the previous exchange to see if any point or score should be awarded. After nearly a minute of deliberation, an ippon was awarded to Bubyr ending the match at 0:09 in regulation time.
Cassar slumped over, hands on his knees, was visibly disappointed, but quickly composed himself and congratulated his opponent with the customary post-match handshake.
Gold medals were awarded for the last 5 weight divisions
In the final day of competition, the remaining five weight categories awarded medals to competitors.
South Korean Hyunji Yoon won gold in the Women’s -78 kg Division after defeating Alice Bellandi of Italy with a Waza-ari at 0:08 into the golden score period.
The Women’s +78 kg Division final saw another South Korea taking home gold, this time from Hayun Kim who was awarded the match after Stessie Bastareaud of France was given a Hansoku-make for attempting a Waki-gatame while falling to the mat, a grave infringement violation and automatic disqualification.
In the men’s competition, Jesper Smink of the Netherlands defeat Christian Parlati of Italy in their -90 kg Division final with a Waza-ari score in regulation time.
Crowd favourite and the ever-entertaining Jorge Fonseca of Portugal, ranked third in the world, secured the gold with his win over Daniel Eich of Switzerland. The Portuguese national delivered a textbook Seoi Nage at 1:09 in regulation time.
Capping off the night, South Korea was once again on the gold podium when Minjong Kim won the Men’s +100 kg Division after taking down Yuta Nakamura of Japan with an ippon at the 1:31 mark in regulation.
What’s next for Team JudoAus
Capping off their performances in Portugal, Team JudoAus will be keen to get back out onto the mat.
The next competition on the schedule is the Sarajevo European Open slated for the 12 – 13 of February in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Team JudoAus members are registered to compete in what is sure to be an action-packed event.
More updates will be announced as the event draws near.
Author: Charles Hall
Information I this article can be found on the IJF Portugal Competition site: https://bit.ly/33Ts82Z