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Clash between former World Champions Elkhan Mammadov and Luciano Correa
30 Oct 2016 22:35
Former World Champion Elkhan Mammadov of Azerbaijan is still able to shine. At the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi he won the gold against another former World Champion, Brazilian Luciano Correa.
Mammadov, 34, was his country’s leading supporter at the Olympic Games as he was the most animated man in the building when his teammate Elmar Gasimov took U100kg silver, and showed that he still has the quality and desire to compete at the top level. Correa, 33, was a surprise entry but more than justified his flight ticket as he held nothing back and will return home with his first Grand Slam medal since bronze in Moscow in 2013. The U100kg final went down to shido penalties as a second shido for the Brazilian was one more than his opponent and Azeri Mammadov who was overjoyed to reignite his career in Abu Dhabi. The final was the oldest final this year in the IJF Tour since Mareen Kraeh and Ilse Heylen met in the final of Havana in January.
In the first semi-final Mammadov dismissed 22-year-old former Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Zlatko Kumric (CRO) by the margin of a waza-ari and yuko while in the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Joakim Dvarby (SWE) succumbed to Correa after 38 seconds of golden score as the Swede was penalised for stepping out.
The first bronze medal was won by Dvarby who made it two medals from two IJF events up in his new weight category. The Swede moved up from U90kg to U100kg in September and after bronze at the Zagreb Grand Prix was able to defeat 23-year-old Aibek Serikbayev (KAZ) who was appearing in the final block on the IJF World Judo Tour for the first time in his career. Dvarby charged ahead with a waza-ari before pinning his opponent in osaekomi with a mune-gatame for 15 seconds and wazari-awasette-ippon. The second bronze medal was won by Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Philip Awiti-Alcaraz (GBR) as the Enfield Judo Club product bowed on and off as KUMRIC of Croatia could not compete due to injury.
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Ken Sasatani (JPN)
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