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Ecstatic home crowd in Tashkent witness golden day for Uzbekistan

7 Oct 2016 19:45

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20161007_Tashkent_JW_Gulnoza Matniyazova

The home crowd were ecstatic after Uzbekistan excelled on day two of the Grand Prix in Tashkent. The country also starred at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as they won 10 medals in judo including three bronze and one silver from their women. On Friday the fans saw another good day of judo despite the modest field.

Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Gulnoza Matniyazova of Uzbekistan defeated Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Anka Pogacnik (SLO) to fulfil her destiny as the first woman to win IJF gold for Uzbekistan. The 22-year-old Asian Championships silver medallist is leading a female revolution for her country and made that point in the most important setting in her homeland with maximum attention on her exploits. The world number 28 faced Sofia European Open winner Pogacnik, 24, in the final as the crowd were salivating when their hero-in-waiting took to the mat to compete for gold. The nervy contest went the distance with no score and no shidos after four minutes which meant that golden score would be required to determine a winner. Matniyazova delivered the moment she has waited for her entire career as she found a way past Pogacnik with a makikomi after an additional one minute and 23 seconds and jumped for joy on the middle of the mat after being awarded the gold medal-winning score.

In the first semi-final Matniyazova showed why she was the top seed as she sent 21-year-old Aelita Chsherbakova (KAZ) up and over with a breathtaking uchi-mata after 52 seconds for ippon and one of the most spectacular scores of the competition. In the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Anka Pogacnik (SLO) pinned down 23-year-old Iana Dibrina (RUS) with a kuzure-kami-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds for ippon and a place her first Grand Prix final. 

The first bronze medal was claimed by Dibrina who showed her lethal ne-waza to topple 21-year-old Vasila Aliboeva (UZB) who has only competed at the Tashkent Grand Prix in 2015 and 2016 on the IJF stage. With famed French ne-waz specialist Jean-Pierre Gilbert in the chair for Dibrina, the young fighter won her first IJF medal with a performance that her coach will be very proud of. The Russian had finished seventh at the last two Tyumen Grand Slam events and took that experience and disappointment with her into today as she seized her chance to showcase her developing skills in Uzbekistan. DIBRINA, who led by a yuko, held down Aliboeva with a sankaku-gatame for 16 seconds for a waza-ari as the home judoka escaped but the former soon regained control on the ground with a mune-gatame for 15 seconds to win by waza-ari awasette-ippon.                              

The second bronze medal was captured by Chsherbakova who defeated 19-year-old Junior Asian Cup winner Umida Saidova (UZB) in the opening minute. The Kazakh fighter beat her neighbour to win her first IJF medal by submitting Saidova with a rapid juji-gatame after 38 seconds.

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