Heavyweight Tamerlan Bashaev claimed one of two Russian golds at the IJF Junior World Championships ©IJF

Russia claimed a men's double as individual finals came to a close today at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Junior World Championships in Abu Dhabi's IPIC Arena, with Niyaz Ilyasov and Tamerlan Bashaev each outclassing their respective rivals.

Competing in the under 100 kilograms competition, last year's silver medallist Ilyasov lived up to his top seeded billing by cruising through his semi-final, winning courtesy of two waza-ari's to beat Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games champion Domenik Schoenefeldt.

This set-up a final against Brazil's Prague Junior European Cup winner and second seed Leonardo Goncalves.

After a tight start, the Russian completed the job in style, producing a yuko and then a waza-ari before holding down his opponent for 15 seconds for an ippon.

“This was my last juniors, I fought the Japanese in the first round and it feels like our team has faced them a lot here," he said.

"At least we don’t have them in the team event, maybe in the semi-final if all goes well.”

Nikita Azarov of Kazakhstan and Anto Savytskiy of Ukraine claimed the two bronze medals.

Russia's Niyaz Ilyasov celebrated under 100kg gold with victory over Leonardo Goncalves
Russia's Niyaz Ilyasov celebrated under 100kg gold with victory over Leonardo Goncalves ©IJF

While Ilyasov was widely seen as the gold medal favourite, his over 100kg compatriot Bashaev was competing at his first World Junior Championships and hoping to do better than his first global test at cadet level in Miami in 2013, when he lost in the first round. 

After overcoming France's eventual bronze medallist Messie Katanga at the semi-final stage, however, he beat Japan's Junior Bremen Masters winner Genta Tanaka in the final, countering his opponent's yuko with what proved to be a gold medal clinching waza-ari.

There was a silver-lining for Japan, though, when Yusei Ogawa claimed the second bronze medal with victory over Ukraine's Sergii Zvieriev.

This had followed even greater success on the women's side, where junior Asian Championships silver medallist Wakaba Tomita blew away her opposition in the over 78kg class, producing an uchi-mata with 48 seconds left to beat Brazilian rival Camila Nogueira at the final stage.

Ukraine secured another podium position when Yelyzaveta Kalanina claimed one of the two bronze medals, while the other was won by South Korea's Han Mi Jin.

Perhaps the performance of the day came from Croatia's Brigita Matic, who sparkled en route to under 78kg glory.

After ousting Belgrade European Cup silver medallist Julie Hoelterhoff in the semi-final, she produced an early yuko in the final against Slovenia's Klara Apotekar, before holding her nerve to remain ahead late on.

Hoelterhoff and her compatriot Anna-Maria Wagner claimed the two bronze medals.

Action is due to conclude tomorrow in Abu Dhabi with the team finals.

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