Taiwanese judoka Yang Yung-wei rises to world No. 1

11/19/2021 10:49 PM
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Yang Yung-wei. CNA file photo
Yang Yung-wei. CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) Taiwanese Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Yang Yung-wei (楊勇緯) is now ranked No.1 in the world in the men's 60-kg category, a first for a Taiwanese judoka, according to the latest rankings released Friday by the International Judo Federation.

Yang, 23, climbed from No. 2 in mid-August to the top spot, with 4,490 points gained from his performance over the past two years, the rankings showed.

With the new top ranking, Yang has displaced Russian Yago Abuladze, who won gold at the 2021 World Judo Championships, and has moved past this year's Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Japanese Naohisa Takato, now ranked No. 3 in the world.

When Yang was defeated by Takato in the Olympics, the Taiwanese judoka burst into tears, saying he had been aiming for gold, and he pledged to win that medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In October, after Yang won gold at the National Intercollegiate Athletic Games, he was asked what he wanted more, whether it was the 2024 Olympics title or the world No. 1 ranking.

"I want both!" he responded.

Yang will participate in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam as the top seeded competitor in his category, in late November, in his last international competition this year. If he wins, he will retain his top ranking for the rest of the year.

Yang, of Paiwan Indigenous background, won the first Olympics judo medal for Taiwan at the Tokyo Olympics this year, which earned him the nickname "Judo male god."

(By Lung Po-an and Ken Wang)

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Yang won gold at the National Intercollegiate Athletic Games in October. CNA file photo
Yang won gold at the National Intercollegiate Athletic Games in October. CNA file photo
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