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An Ba-Ul confirms World number one status in Düsseldorf
19 Feb 2016 18:35
World champion An Baul of Korea won the U66kg title of the Grand prix in Düsseldorf as he beat world bronze medallist Golan Pollack of Israel in the U66kg final. An, 21, who had beaten Pollack in their previous two meetings, built on his Paris bronze medal by throwing for waza-ari and maintaining his considerable lead with a characteristically energetic performance.
In the first semi-final An saw off European Games bronze medallist Sebastian Seidl of Germany who had the crowd energised and hopeful as their best medal hope on day one. An led with a yuko and added a second from holding down his opponent for 13 seconds. An again showed his power on the ground as he pinned down Seidl for 16 seconds which was enough for a waza-ari and with only eight seconds left the South Korean safely progressed into the final.
In the second semi-final Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Pollack dismissed defending champion Takaichi Kengo of Japan who had to come from behind to hold down Rishod Sobirov (UZB) in their quarter-final with a tate-shiho-gatame. Takaichi was well-beaten in the semi-final as he lost to a waza-ari and yuko and entered the repechage to compete for bronze.
The first bronze medal was won by Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO) in a quick-fire contest as he came out and immediately threw Takaichi with an uchi-mata for the maximum score in just 13 seconds.
The second bronze medal went to world number four Mikhail Pulyaev (RUS) as Seidl finished with a fifth-place finish which was his country’s best result after a highly disappointing opening day for the hosts. With 87 seconds left and the beating of the drums echoing around the venue, the home enthusiasm and only German judoka in the final block was denied as the all-round technician Pulyaev subdued his opponent with a juji-gatame.
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