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Lighweight Orkhan Safarov signs for Olympic candidacy
28 May 2016 01:20
European silver medallist Orkhan Safarov (AZE) stood out from the lightweight crowd of champions at the Masters in Guadalajara as he signed off from the qualification period with World Judo Masters gold.
Safarov beat former Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Vincent Limare (FRA) in the U60kg final with an inspired day as one of the biggest winners in Guadalajara as he now moves into the top eight on the Olympic qualification list which offers the vital reward of a seeded position at the Olympics. Austria’s double Olympic champion Peter Seisenbacher was in the chair for Safarov and the IJF Hall of Famer spurred his man on to glory as the Azeri judoka produced two yuko scores with the second coming from a speedy ouchi-gari. Safarov more than earned his hand shake and hug from Azerbaijan team manager Seisenbacher who could well repeat the heroics he achieved four years ago as the mastermind of the Georgian team with his Azerbaijan aces.
Safarov: “My thoughts before coming here were making sure that I finished on the podium because I knew how important the qualification points would be. With this result I should be well placed as one of the seeded players in Rio. It was an incredibly proud moment for me to be on the top spot and hear my national anthem.The difference in my performance and that of other members of the team has been our coach Peter Seisenbacher. He has made certain that we are in the best possible condition and I think that showed today.”
Former world champion Takato Naohisa (JPN) was upset by two-time Grand Slam bronze medallist Vincent Limare (FRA) in his opening contest as the Frenchman renewed his Olympic quest as he aimed to take a medal and a better result than Walide Khyar (FRA) who had locked like a lock in for the Games after his stunning European Championships victory in April.
The first bronze medal was claimed by number two seed Kim who saw off number one seed Ganbat Boldbaatar (MGL) on shidos. World number one Ganbat lost out to world number two Kim in a highly-entertaining contest despite the scoreless nature of the five minute duel. Kim was penalised for passivity before Ganbat was penalised for a false attack and then the former world champion received a second shido which provided decisive at the end of the contest. The second bronze medal went to the wily former world silver medallist Dashdavaa Amartuvshin (MGL) instead of 20-year-old European champion Khyar. Dashdavaa won the first meeting between the pair by wazari-awasette-ippon as his skills were today matched by a positive attitude and he was Mongolia’s best performer from their four entrants in the lightest men’s category.
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