Yildiz beats two Japanese to win gold at WJC


Turkey’s 19-year old Ozlem Yildiz (TUR) is the World Junior Champion at -57kg. Her journey to gold was interesting in two ways.

Firstly, Japan had entered two players in this division and Yildiz had to fight both. Secondly, the techniques she used to beat her Japanese opponents are noteworthy.

Yildiz defeated Rin Eguchi in the semifinals using a waki-gatame. Most of us would think of waki-gatame as an illegal technique. It is, but only in a tachi-waza context. You cannot do it from a standing position. But waki-gatame is actually allowed when done in groundwork.

Watch Yildiz beat her two Japanese opponents.

If you watch the clip from her fight with Eguchi, you can see the Japanese player does a sasae action that causes Yildiz to fall. Eguchi’s arm was outstretched and Yildiz just snapped on the waki-gatame. Ippon was given.

This brought Yildiz up against Akari Omori in the final. Their match went into Golden Score. There Yildiz did an uchimata-sumi-gaeshi combination. Unlike an uchimata feint, in this variation tori actually lifts her attacking leg quite high up as if doing uchimata. But instead of putting her attacking leg back down on the mat, she would seamlessly transition her throw into sumi-gaeshi. This variation of sumi-gaeshi is rarely seen although Ketleyn Quadros of Brazil does a variation of it quite often, and to great success.