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The rookies benefit if the establishment wakes up from Olympic afterparty
7 Oct 2016 23:55
Davlat Bobonov of Uzbekistan underlined his status as one of his country’s top prospects as he won gold on his Grand Prix debut in Tashkent. The 19-year-old Junior Asian champion bested 24-year-old Watanabe Hayato (JPN) who was also making his Grand Prix debut.
Watanabe, who had made one previous appearance on IJF World Judo Tour at the 2014 Tokyo Grand Slam, when he beat Wang Ki-Chun (KOR) before losing to Victor Penalber (BRA), was unable to match the gold medal result of his only teammate in Tashkent in Takaichi Kengo (JPN) who claimed U66kg gold on day one. Bobonov produced the only score of the contest, a yuko from an uchi-mata after two minutes, and lived dangerously as he accumulated three shido penalties and just escaped a fourth in the closing seconds.
In the first semi-final Watanabe dispatched world number 195 Arman Makhambetov (KAZ) with a thunderous ippon at the halfway point having led by a waza-ari from a drop seoi-nage. In the second semi-final Prague Junior European Cup bronze medallist Rufat Ismayilov (AZE) fell to home judoka Bobonov by ippon from a koshi-guruma which will be played over and over again on highlight reels.
The first bronze medal was won by Ismayilov who shaded 22-year-old Afig Safarli (AZE) whose best result before today was fifth at this year’s Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix. Ismayilov won the all-Azeri meeting by a yuko score from a reaching osoto-gari. The second bronze medal was won by former world silver medallist Srdjan Mrvaljevic (MNE) against Makhambetov. The 32-year-old, who had the day of his life at the 2011 Worlds when he won silver, won his first Grand Prix medal on shido penalties in a scoreless contest as the Kazakh fighter was penalised twice while the veteran from Montenegro was only penalised once.
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Umed Abdurakhimov (TJK)
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