Day 4 is over, and we have our finalists with two days of the 2022 World Championships to go, and at least one nation from each continent is in a final.
In the junior ranks, Jake Ngai [Ireland] put on a grappling clinic in his bout to keep Ireland’s gold medal hopes alive. The bantamweight standout has thrived in the competition so far, defeating Yurii Pasych [Ukraine] and Zaven Sargsyan [Armenia] in his first two bouts, followed by a win over Chingis Idrissov [Kazakhstan] today.
Junior bantamweight Eva Erdelyiova [Slovakia] made a big impression in her bout, scoring an armbar finish in under ninety seconds. Esmira Mammadova [Azerbaijan] and Shaked Nisiman [Israel] are two other junior athletes that could create history tomorrow by winning their nation’s first-ever IMMAF gold medal.
The highly anticipated match-up between Magdalena Czaban [Poland] and Victoria Anthony [USA] was exciting as expected but finished with Czaban getting the submission victory. She will meet Nora Ochoa [Mexico] in tomorrow’s final.
Sabrina De Sousa [Bahrain] made her first appearance in the competition in a winning effort over Emma Schioler [Sweden]. She is now one step away from becoming the first woman to win three world gold medals in IMMAF.
Both Finland and Germany have two athletes headed to the finals. Sani Brannfors and Iris Nihti will be looking to win gold for Finland, while Songul Karatorak and Tim Schwabe fly the flag for Germany. Schwabe has a tough task on his hands in Rasul Magomedov [Bahrain], who is undefeated in his MMA career to date, winning four consecutive IMMAF gold medals.
Angola is the only nation from Africa left in the competition and could sign off a standout year with a win. Helder Manuel has won both of his bouts so far and will face 2022 Asian gold medalist Rassul Khatayev [Kazakhstan] in the final.
Tomorrow will see the awards ceremony take place, beginning at 3:30 pm local time, followed by the junior finals, which are set to begin at 5 pm local time.
Report by Caoilte de Barra in Belgrade