This was not the last Georgian of the day that he met, because to win the gold medal he still had one mountain to dominate, in the name of Giorgi Terashvili; a mountain quite simply because even if he was not one of the seeds of the competition, Terashvili has already made a name for himself among the seniors by winning the Antalya Grand Slam brilliantly last April. He seemed in particularly good shape throughout the day, as evidence of his level.
With his strong one-sided grit, Terashvili dominated the beginning of the final, Ryuga Tanaka looking totally out of solutions to throw. As the end of normal time approached, the Japanese competitor was already penalised twice and it was with those two shido to his name that he stepped into golden score. Despite being dominated, Tanaka was still dangerous and on a o-uchi-gari attempt was close to scoring but Terashvili escaped at the last moment. It was a serious warning because a little while later, after a ne-waza phase, Terashvili seemed to have pinned down his opponent, but that was actually not the case and Tanaka eventually turned and pinned the Georgian with his two shoulders on the tatami. Twenty seconds were over and Tanaka won another gold medal for team Japan in Guayaquil.
Jack Yonezuka (USA) is one of those solid judoka who don't yet have an extensive track record but whom are always difficult to compete against, especially in major championships. This is what the number one seed of the competition, the Brazilian Gabriel Falcao, must have said to himself as he was knocked out by Yonezuka in the first round. It was only against a future finalist that the American competitor bowed out, in the quarter-finals, to find himself, after a win in the repechage match, in the contest for a bronze medal against Daniel Szegedi (HUN), junior continental medallist.
Being penalised with a first shido, Jack Yonezuka did not stress out and kept listening carefully to his coach to apply a well defined strategy, which actually worked perfectly; a first low, circular o-guruma for waza-ari, powerful and effective. The rest of the match was a demonstration of the tactical skills of the American, who controlled his opponent to win this unexpected medal. Jack Yonezuka had a really good day and it was well rewarded in the end.
Marcin Kowalski (POL) and Kote Kapanadze (GEO) are among those juniors that we have not yet seen on the world circuit and that we discover with pleasure here in Ecuador. Without reference among seniors, they are nonetheless valiant fighters who will soon be pointing the tip of their noses in the older category. In Guayaquil, we will remember that one of them stepped on to the podium but this is only a step in their young sports careers. The match started with at a pretty high pace and half way through, nobody could tell who would win.
Kapanadze looked a bit tired though and during an attack-counterattack phase, Kowalski took the lead sending Kapanadze to the ground with a powerful o-uchi-gari after a beautiful change in direction. The bronze medal was for Kowalski, whose coach was ecstatic, maybe even more than his athlete, for this great performance.