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Zagreb medallists flush away World Championships disaster
13 Sep 2014 21:25
Some of the athletes at the Grand Prix in Zagreb recovered in style from their World Championships disaster. In the men’s category it was Dex Elmont who was the highest seeded in Zagreb, and he won his category U73kg in style. The World Championships were over way too quick for the triple World runner-up but at least he knows that his second round defeat in Chelyabinsk was a mistake. This time he took the gold at the Grand Prix.
Elmont defeated Madrid European Open bronze medallist Andre ALVES (POR) in today’s final. ELMONT was penalised after one minute for negative gripping before his opponent was held accountable for being passive. ALVES was penalised for the same reason moments later which gave ELMONT the incentive to move forward and throw for waza-ari with morote seoi-nage. The Dutch judoka got caught with a yoko-shiho-gatame in the closing seconds but had enough in reserve to find a way out after four seconds in osaekomi.
Two-time European champion Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) topped the podium for the first time since he won his second European title in 2012. The 27-year-old Russian was awarded victory in the -81kg final after Havana Grand Prix silver medallist Travis STEVENS (USA) was unable to compete due to a foot injury as fans were unfortunately denied seeing what would have surely been a superb final between two top-class judoka.
Another judoka who was disappointed at the World Championships, took her revenge in Zagreb. Former world number one Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN) won the Grand Prix gold as she defeated world bronze medallist Katarzyna KLYS (POL) in the -70kg final. ZUPANCIC, who impressively dealt with a tough draw, was unable to produce a score in the final but will still be delighted by her outing in Croatia which was settled on shido penalties. KLYS was second best as she was penalised three times for passivity while her adversary was penalised once for passivity and once for going out of the area.
In the first semi-final contest ZUPANCIC dashed the hopes of the home crowd by beating 19-year-old European bronze medallist Barbara MATIC (CRO) who won the bronze medal for the home crowd.
World bronze medallist Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) maintained her Chelyabinsk form as she defeated Boras European Cup winner Mia HERMANSSON (SWE) to win -63kg gold in the first final of the day. TRSTENJAK had too much experience for the 21-year-old Swede, who, already assured of a maiden Grand Prix medal, lost out by two yuko scores. Slovenian ace TRSTENJAK started with an ippon seoi-nage for a yuko score and sealed the win with a second yuko proving enough.
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Naoufal Ez Zerrad (BEL)
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