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OLYMPICS/Yang Yung-wei makes history, wins silver at World Judo Championships

05/20/2024 03:09 PM
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File photo courtesy of Multiply Marketing
File photo courtesy of Multiply Marketing

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Yang Yung-wei (楊勇緯) achieved a new milestone Sunday by securing the best performance ever by a Taiwanese judoka at the World Judo Championships, finishing second in the men's under-60-kilogram weight class.

Taiwan's previous best at the world championships was a bronze medal, won by Chou Yu-ping (周育萍) in the women's under-48 kg weight class in 1987 and matched by Yang in 2022.

Yang was also Taiwan's first judoka to win a silver medal at an Olympic Games, accomplishing the feat in Tokyo in 2021.

He is hoping for more this year in Paris, and his performance at the world championships in Abu Dhabi, the final event before the end of the Olympic qualification period on June 23, cemented his top ranking in the weight class, giving him the top seed in Paris.

Despite rewriting history and securing his ranking in the United Arab Emirates, however, Yang felt there was more work to be done.

"A record is just a record. I just want to get better, so I won't feel content with this," Yang said after the competition. "It was a bit tough to compete in two competitions in a short period, but it also gave me a good chance to prepare [for the Olympics]."

On May 10, Yang took second in his weight class at the Qazaqstan Barysy Grand Slam after being defeated in the final bout by Ramazan Abdulaev of Russia.

Facing off against world No. 8 Giorgi Sardalashvili in Sunday's final, the Tokyo Olympic silver medalist from Taiwan and the young Georgian phenom stood neck and neck during the four-minute regulation round.

The two then went into sudden-death, and it was not until 200 seconds into the extra period that the 20-year-old Georgian prevailed with a waza-ari, giving him a 2-1 head-to-head advantage against the 26-year-old Yang.

Yang will travel to Japan for the last leg of his overseas training before returning to Taiwan to prepare for the Paris Olympics.

(By Li Chien-chung and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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