By Gary Anderson

July 15 - MongoliaMongolian athletes won seven of the 14 gold medals available at the first ever International Judo Federation (IJF) Judo Grand Prix to be staged in the country at the Buyant-Uhaa Sport Complex in Ulaanbaatar, over the weekend.

In an action packed two days, the home crowd saw half of the gold medals on offer go to home judokas with South Korea next on three golds, followed by one each for the Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine and a first international judo gold medal for the United Arab Emirates.

The first day of competition saw seven weight categories contested including the women's -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and -63kg and the men's -60kg, -66kg and -73kg categories.

Mongolia dominated the day, with an athlete in every final and three of the gold medal matches being all-Mongolian affairs.

World number 10 Urantsetseg Munkhbat overcame compatriot and Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh in a close encounter in the women's -48kg, in the first of the three all-Mongolian finals.

Dolgorjav Munkhbat, also from Mongolia claimed bronze along with Lee Seyoung from South Korea.
In the women's -52kg category, South Korea's Park Da Sol caused an upset by defeating home favourite and world number five Tsolmon Adiyasambuu in the gold medal match.

Adiyasambuu was joined on the podium by compatriots Bat-Erdene Baljinnyam and Azzaya Chintogtokh who won bronze.

Urantsetseg Munkhbat battles with compatriot Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh in the first of three all-Mongolian finals in UlaanbaatarUrantsetseg Munkhbat battles with compatriot Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh in the first of three all-Mongolian finals in Ulaanbaatar

However, Mongolia was back on top again in the women's -57kg as Sumiya Dorjsuren, the world number two and World Judo Masters champion, exerted her dominance over Kim Jan-Di of South Korea to win gold.

The two bronze medals were once again claimed by Mongolian athletes in the form of Narantuya Bazarragchaa and Batzul Altai.

Tsend-Ayush Tserennadmid continued Mongolia's dominance by claiming gold in the women's -63kg class.

The 23-year-old bronze medallist from the Asian Championships defeated former Jeju World Cup bronze medallist Je-Young You of South Korea in the final.

Mungunchimeg Baldorj claimed yet another medal for the hosts with bronze, and she was joined by Hannah Martin of the United States.

Mongolia's men picked up where the women had finished as Boldbaatar Ganbat and Amartuvshin Dashdavaa contested the -60kg final, which saw world number five Ganbat overcome world number three Dashdavaa.

The bronze medals went to Mongolia's Kherlen Ganbold and Ryota Kawana from Japan.

In the men's -66kg gold medal match, World Judo Master's winner Miyaragchaa Sanjaasuren got the better of London 2012 bronze medallist Cho Jun-Ho from South Korea with an ippon late on in the contest to secure yet another gold medal for the hosts.

Olympian Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj continued Mongolia's medal haul by securing another bronze and he was joined by Israeli Golan Pollack.

Segiu Toma second from left won the UAEs first ever interbational judo gold medal in the mens -81kg categorySergiu Toma (second from left) won the UAEs first ever international judo gold medal in the mens -81kg category

The last final of the day was a thriller between Mongolian Olympic bronze medallists Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal and Khashbaataryn Tsagaanbaatar.

Sainjargal overcame his older opponent with a sublime piece of sutemi-waza to secure an ippon and claim gold.

South Korea's Asian Games champion Kim Joo-Jin and Victor Scvortov, a former Moldovan national team member who now competes for the UAE, won their respective bronze medal matches.

The second day of the Grand Prix saw the hosts dominance broken somewhat as they only managed to secure one more gold medal, with the highlight of the day being the first ever international gold for the UAE.

In the women's -70kg class, South Korea claimed the second of its three gold medals after Seong-Yeon Kim defeated Mongolia's Tsend-Ayush Naranjargal in the final.

Yoko Ono of Japan and Swiss Olympian Juliane Robra claimed bronze.

Mongolia's seventh and final gold medal came in the -78kg category as Munkhtuya Battulga proved too good for Japan's Misaki Hidaka.

Da-Woon Jung of South Korea and Turbat Baasanjav of Mongolia secured the bronze medals.

It was another South Korea-Mongolia clash in the final of the women's +78kg category.

Michal Horak grapples with Gedelefu Wu of China at the Mongolian Judo Grand PrixMichal Horak (blue) grapples with Gedelefu Wu of China at the Mongolian Judo Grand Prix

South Korean Olympian Kim Na-Young claimed her country's second gold of the day by immobilising Javzmaa Odkhuu with an ippon.

The bronze medal positions were occupied by Giovanna Blanco from Venezuela and Japan's Suzuka Ichihashi.

The men's -81kg event saw history made as Sergiu Toma, another Moldovan competing under the UAE flag, beat home favourite Uuganbaatar Otgonbaatar to secure the gold medal.

Bronze went to Hui-Jung Lee of South Korea and Czech Olympian Jaromír Musil.

Alexander Grigoriev claimed Russia's only gold medal of the event in the men's -90kg category by defeating Ukrainian rival Vitalii Kovtunov.

Rinat Ibragimov of Kazakstan and Mongolia's Otgonbaatar Lkhagvasuren finished in the bronze medal places.

The Czech Republic registered its first gold medal as Michal Horák secured victory over Gedelefu Wu of China in the men's -100kg final, while bronze went to Kyeong-Tae Kim of South Korea and Or Sasson, who claimed Israel's second medal of the tournament.

Miami Grand Prix winner Kim Soo-Whan continued his good form in the final of the men's +100kg as he won gold for South Korea following the disqualification of his opponent Ryota Uesugi from Japan for executing an illegal leg gripping move.

Boldpurev Sugarjargal and Duurenbayar Ulziibayar completed a remarkably successful two days for the hosts by claiming both bronze medals, bringing Mongolia's overall total medal count to 26.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related Stories
July 2010: 
South Korea top medal table on last day of individual judo competitions at Kazan 2013
July 2013: Kuziutina delights home crowd with victory at Kazan 2013
July 2013: South Korea clinch two titles on second day of Universiade judo contest
July 2013: Heavyweight upsets in the judo competition get Kazan 2013 underway
June 2013: Britain's Reed shines in Miami to take gold at judo Grand Prix