UAE judokas Bishrelt Khorloodoi and Narmandakh Bayanmunkh bagged their nation's first two Asian Games medals of the 2023 event at the Xiaoshan Lynpo Gymnasium in Hangzhou on Sunday.
Khorloodoi secured silver in the women’s 52kg division while Bayanmunkh grabbed bronze in the men’s 66kg category on the opening day of the judo competition.
Khorloodoi, 25, lost to Uzbek Diyora Keldiyorova in the final via golden score after outclassing South Korean Yerin Jung in the semi-final.
The Mongolia-born judoka overcame Wongum Kim of North Korea and Maryam Maharani of Indonesia in the round-of-16 and quarter-final, respectively, both by ippon.
“I am very happy to win a silver medal for the UAE tonight,” Khorloodoi told The National. “It was very tough out there against every opponent. Obviously, the goal was to go for gold after reaching the final but I’m happy with the day’s work.”
Bayanmunkh, 23, got the better of Uzbek Sardor Nurillave in the bronze medal contest after reaching the medal round with victory over Kubanychbek Aibek Uulu of Kyrgyzstan by waza-ari in repechage.
Bayanmukh, who was also born in Mongolia, won his first contest against Surasak Puntanam of Thailand by ippon but went down via a golden score to Ryoma Tanaka of Japan in the quarter final.
If the point and number of penalties are the same, then a winner is decided by 'golden score', which is essentially sudden-death overtime. The clocks are reset, and the first person to score is declared the winner.
“They have both worked hard to win medals for us, and we would certainly be looking to build on it and take home a few more in the next three days of the competition,” Nasser Al Tamimi, general secretary of the UAE Wrestling and Judo Federation, told The National. “It’s never easy to win medals in top-flight competitions in judo and it’s credit to both Bishrelt and Narmandakh to have achieved that. It was a pretty good opening day for us.”
The UAE judokas will be aiming for more glory with six more athletes still to compete across the next three days.
Altantsetseg Batsukh will be in action on Monday in the women’s 57kg, while male teammates Karim Abdulvaev and Nugzari Tatalashvili will take part in the men’s 73kg and 81kg, respectively.