Huh Mimi, a superstar in the making
At only 19 years of age, South Korea’s Huh Mimi has made quite a splash, winning her second Grand Slam gold this year.
She first caught everyone’s attention at the Tbilisi Grand Slam where she defeated such bigwigs as Rafaela Silva (BRA) and home favorite Eteri Liparteliani (GEO) on her way to the gold medal.
Nobody had heard of her before. For all of 2021 and 2020, she did not compete because of the Covid pandemic. And in 2019, her maiden international competition was the World Junior Championships where she lost out for the bronze medal to her teammate Kim Jisu.
In the 2022 Tashkent World Championships, she defied the odds and defeated the defending World Champion Jessica Klimkait (CAN) in the quarterfinal. However, she lost in the semifinal to Japanese sensation Haruka Funakubo (JPN).
In Abu Dhabi she was back with a vengeance. In the semifinal she threw Qi Cai (CHN) with her trademark floating elbow morote-seoi-nage. Cai had earlier caused quite a sensation when she threw Daria Bilodid (UKR) for ippon with a stunning uchimata.
This brought Huh up against the Olympic Champion Nora Gjakova, who had just returned to competition after more than a year away. Huh threw the Kosovan with an ouchi-gari and immediately clamped on a hold-down to win the gold.
In her short time competing at the Senior level, this teenager has proven she can beat World (Bilodid, Klimkait, Silva) and Olympic (Silva, Gjakova) Champions. She has a bright future ahead.