Heartache for McKenzie on Day One of Rio World Championships

British Judo endured a disappointing opening day to the 2013 Judo World Championships in Rio. The first day saw just one Brit in action, with London 2012 Olympian and European Bronze Medalist Ashley McKenzie competing in the -60kg category.

Unfortunately, Mckenzie, from London, was unable to make it past the first round after facing a tough first round draw and losing to 2011 U23 European Champion Yanislav Gerchev of Bulgaria. It was a close contest, with both players having three shidos each at one point until McKenzie, a yuko down to his opponent, was thrown whilst pushing on with just 12 seconds remaining on the clock.

Initially the referee gave ippon but it was downgraded to another yuko, however McKenzie was unable to make any headway in the remaining 12 seconds. Gerchev went on to the quarter finals of his pool, beaten by Boldbaatar Ganbat of Mongolia who went on to place fifth after losing the -60kg repechage against Won Jin Kim of Korea – the competition’s bronze medal holder.

The World Champion of the -60kg. Courtesy of IJFOverall world champion of the -60kg was Japanese judoka Naohisa Takato, the number two seed. Amartuvshin Dashdaava of Mongolia gained silver and Won Jin Kim of Korea and Orkhan Safarov of Azerbaijan both got bronze.

The number one seed of the contest Amiran Papinashvili of Georgia placed fifth, along with Boldbaatar Ganbat of Mongolia.

Tuesday sees -66kg athlete Colin Oates take to the tatami, having taken seventh place at the London 2012 Olympic Games and more recently a silver medal at the IJF Moscow Grand Slam. The action can be followed on www.ippon.tv or by following @britishjudo on Twitter and facebook.


Images Mike Varey and IJF. Words by Donna Richardson and Chris Wiseman.