LONDON: Olympic champion Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia was back to his best as he stormed into the semi-finals of the men’s judo under-100kg category. In the intervening four years, Naidan has struggled to match his Beijing performance but he was back on form at London’s Excel Arena. The 28-year-old strangled Teerawat Homklin of Thailand in the first round before beating France’s Thierry Fabre by maximum score. His toughest test came in the quarter-finals against Ramziddin Sayedov of Uzbekistan. The pair were inseparable after five minutes of combat but just 15-seconds into a sudden death period of golden score, Naidan flipped Sayedov over his head and flat on his back with a seoi-nage (shoulder throw) to win. He will next face South Korea’s Hwang Hee-Tae, the 2003 world champion.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.