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Cyrille Maret spoils home crowd with third back to back victory in Paris
7 Feb 2016 18:45
In the absence of Teddy Riner the French judo fans were spoiled once again by Cyrille Maret. The Frenchman qualified once again for the final after four sweet victories including the semi final against World Ranking leader Elmar Gasimov. A dangerous rookie was going to be the opponent of the French favourite.
The awaited final of the day by the French public was the one which featured Cyrille Maret, already winner of the Grand Slam in Paris in 2014 and 2015.
In the final Maret was opposed to the young Canadian, Kyle Reyes. With a first superb yoko-tomoe-nage, Maret scored the first yuko. There is no doubt that Maret is one of the strongest and toughest athletes of the category and supported as he was by the public, nothing could stop him. During the next phase of ground work, Maret literally tied up Reyes, to take his leg out and immobilise the Canadian for ippon and for the delight of the public.
In the first semi-final Maret defeated Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Elmar Gasimov (AZE) by ippon at the halfway point while in the second semi-final Pan American Championships bronze medallist Kyle Reyes shaded Tashkent Grand Prix winner Wolf Aaron of Japan by a yuko.
The first bronze medal was won by Tokai University member Wolf as he denied Dutchman and Sofia European Open bronze medallist Michael Korrel a second consecutive Paris Grand Slam bronze medal. Wolf got stronger as the contest went on and the patient Japanese judoka produced a stunning sasae-tsurikomi-ashi for a waza-ari score before pinning the Dutchman with a mune-gatame for 15 seconds and his first Grand Slam honours.
World silver medallist Karl-Richard Frey of Germany was again present in the final block of a major IJF event, taking a significant advantage over his teammate and Olympic bronze medallist, Dimitri Peters, on their way to Rio, as only one of them can go to the Olympics. For a place on the podium Frey faced the world number one, Elmar Gasimov (AZE) and both judoka cancelled each other out in the early stages. Exactly at half way point, Frey launched the very first strong attack for no score as Gasimov did not land at least on the side. That scenario continued until the final gong, so both athletes had to enter the golden score. With a first ample counterattack, Frey put Gasimov in danger but the Azeri landed on his stomach this time. The second attack was decisive for the German who executed a perfect drop-seoi-nage which wrapped Gasimov into an unquestionable ippon.
Why not go for the fourth victory next year, as only Stéphane Traineau won four titles in this category U95 - U100kg.
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Georgy Tenadze (GEO)