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Bekir Ozlu takes gold at Judo Grand Prix in Samsun
1 Apr 2016 18:20
Turkey celebrated a golden party, guaranteed gold is a luxury that the host nation does not have at many occasions. The final U60kg was an all Turkish final. Only in four previous events Turkey enjoyed two fighters in an international final. Two of those U60kg between the current finallists Bekir Ozlu and Ahmet Sahin Kaba who took the lead halfway the match after he proved to be stronger in the transition to ne-waza and scored a waz-ari.
Despite his rib injury Ozlu was able to stand his man against the five year younger Kaba who chased him up as Ozlu meanhwile received three penalties. Although Ozlu was close to a fourth penalty it was the 2012 Olympian who won the gold in Samsun in a friendly match.
In the final U48kg the gold was for Kazach Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh. Despite the enthusiastic young crowd in Samsun Galbadrakh proved too strong for Turkish Dilara Lokmanhekim. Galbadrakh didn’t waste any time and scored a waza-ari and then ippon in the first minute. They had fought before and the last duel was won by Galbadrakh, at that time still fighting for Mongolia. Over the last year Otgontsetseg really developed and is even among the outsiders for an Olympic medal on the opening day of the Olympic judo tournament.
Gulbadam Babamuratova won her second Grand Prix as she defeated Laura Gomez of Spain in the final for women U52kg. Babamuratova from Turkmenistan took the lead after 23 seconds by yuko and that was enough for the gold medal. For Gomez it was her third silver medal in a row as in the Pan American Tour she captured two in Lima and Buenos Aires. Distria Krasniqi won bronze against her 13 year older opponent Annabelle Euranie, a good performance by Krasniqi although she won the tournament last year. Three times in a row Kosovo had won this category U52kg, twice by Majlinda Kelmendi. Babamuratova overcame all four opponents including 2011 Paris Grand Slam winner Bunmaa Munkhbaatar (MGL) and 2015 Grand Slam Tyumen winner Joana Ramos.
The gold for men U66kg was an Asian final decided by Kim Lim-Whan of Korea. It was his first gold medal in the IJF Tour after bronze in Baku (2014) and Qingdao (2015). Kim is the only man in the IJF top 100 U66kg for Korea behind World ranking Leader An Ba-Ul. The final against of the 23-year Korean was against 28–year Dovdon Althansukh who did all he could and needed to work hard. In the golden score it was Kim who could give his last efforts to make a slight difference and he grabbed the gold at a rough day for him. He took some bruzes, but got the flowers.
Lethal Uchimata of Receveaux
The last final of the day was between the French rivals Helene Receveaux, ranked 7th against Automne Pavia, ranked 14th. Pavia with the reputation and excellent performances in this Olympic cycle, Receveaux who’s higher ranked due to her 14 World Cup medals, three wins and 8 silver medals. Today was different and gold was added, different than in Jeju in 2014 when both met in the final and Pavia won. This time it was different when in the last second she launched an uchi-mata while Pavia led by three penalties. Pavia went over and Receveaux exploded in joy. She grabbed the points, the coins, the gold and the confidence. At the European Championships in Kazan and the IJF World Masters both can decide who’s the highest ranked of the two so far it's Receveaux who's in the lead with a lethal uchimata.
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Deborah Sangola (GBR)
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