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Loic Pietri lifts streak of medals to gold
28 Mar 2015 20:45
Not Tchrikishvili but Loic \Pietri was the big winner of the day at the Grand Prix Samsung. Pietri was obviously among the favourites as 2013 world champion. Loïc PIETRI, and the finalist of the last Tokyo Grand Slam in December 2014, Sergiu TOMA (UAE) were the strongest and entered the final, even if their way to the podium was not an easy one. In the absence of world number one and Georgian hero, Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI, PIETRI was the top seeded athlete of the category.
Despite the fact that he was looking a bit slow and tired, the French fighter secured four victories: Aliaksandr STSIASHENKA (BLR), UNGVARI Attila (HUN), ZOLOEV Vladimir (KYR) and Ushangi MARGIANI (GEO) while TOMA won against Andranik CHAPARYAN (ARM), Ivan VOROBEV (RUS), OTGONBAATAR Uuganbaatar (MGL) and Saeid MOLLAEI (IRI).
The first five minutes consisted of a kumikata battle, both athletes perfectly neutralising one another. Three more minutes were necessary to finally discover the last winner of the day. Totally exhausted after more than eight minutes of battling, TOMA tried a last leg attack, immediately countered by PIETRI for ippon.
“For me it was the best scenario. It feel really good to win such a tournament. There were a lot of athletes this morning having the potential to win the competition. I am in the middle of my preparation for the World Championships. I am not ready yet. Of course I am happy to win, but the objective was to compete, to do judo, my judo. Now I am always among the favorites. The situation is different from a fews years ago. I have to adapt. In the final, against TOMA, who is a very strong opponent, we were not able to find the solution, but I felt confident. At one point, I tried to change the direction of attack, and he put me in danger. So I went back to my classics and then he changed direction, so I took the opportunity to produce my effort for a great ippon.“
The first bronze medal contest opposed the winner of the 2015 first Grand Prix in Düsseldorf, Joachim BOTTIEAU (BEL) and MOLLAEI, Saeid (IRI). The Iranian secured his place on the podium with a waza-ari scored with a variant of kata-guruma.
The last category of the day was the largest of the whole competition as 58 athletes were in action.
In the second bronze medal fight, number 19 in the World Ranking List, OTGONBAATAR Uuganbaatar (MGL) faced the Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 silver medallist, Ushangi MARGIANI (GEO). After one minute and thirty seconds, MARGIANI scored the first waza-ari with a counterattack. One minute later, it was OTGONBAATAR’s turn to score waza-ari with a superb shoulder movement. One minute later, a clear koshi-waza technique for ippon offered the victory to MARGIANI.
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Wytze De Jong (NED)
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