International Judo Federation
The passionate Hungarian spectators were out in force for day three of the Judo World Championships in Budapest as some of their heroes took to the tatami.
Amongst them was their talisman, Ungvari Miklos, the veteran, who at 40-years-old showed he still has what it takes to mix it up with the best in the division, progressing all the way to the quarter-finals.
But it would be there that the fairytale ended as he faced Georgia’s 2012 Olympic Champion, Lasha Shavdatuashvili, who defeated him in a tactical battle to end his incredible 22-year career.
Sweden’s Tommy Macias would meet the Georgian in the final after he impressively dispatched former world champion and current world number one, Hashimoto Soichi of Japan, in their semi-final.
The gold medal contest was a tactical affair, with Macias unable to overcome the raw power of Shavdatuashvili, who became World Champion for the first time and was once again the darling of Georgia.
Dr. Krisztián Kulcsár, President of the Olympic Committee of Hungary, presented him with his gold medal.
“Of course I am very very very happy, this is a special day in my career, explained an ecstatic Shavdatuashvili. “I have been fighting for this title for many years because it has been very difficult in the past to win a medal at the world championships, but now I am the world champion, I have this title and I am extremely happy with this!”
Battle of the Canadians
The world number one and two had a date with destiny at -57kg as their Olympic fate lay in the balance with the winner guaranteed to be selected as Canada’s representative.
Jessica Klimkait stormed through her side of the draw and into the final, but Christa Deguchi faltered, losing out to Tamaoki Momo of Japan.
Klimkait had a date with destiny and after a grueling battle scored waza-ari to experience the ecstasy of becoming World Champion.
“Honestly I felt pretty good,” said Klimkait afterward. “I felt like I could have gone further if I needed to. I knew that this was the last match of the day and it was between me and her and I was ready to give whatever it took.”
Raffaele Chiulli, President of the Global Association of International Sports Federations, presented Klimkait with her medal and world-renowned singer Albano Carrisi presented her with the prize money.
There were also well-earned bronze medals for Theresa Stoll of Germany, who defeated a forlorn Deguchi, and Kosovo’s Nora Gjakova.
The action and the drama continue tomorrow.