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Victory of Cheng not a surprise anymore but still first ever Grand Slam gold

12 Feb 2017 21:30

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20170212_ijf_jw_cheng_xunzhao

Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Cheng Xunzhao showed this Olympic heroics were not down to goof fortune as he performed just as well in Paris to win his first Grand Slam gold medal. Cheng, who was unseeded and unheralded going into the Games, had a Qingdao Grand Prix gold medal from 2012 to his name until Rio 2016.

The Chinese revelation is now one of the latest and most exciting stars, as the ippon artist threw Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Axel Clerget of France for ippon in golden score to take home gold.

In the first semi-final Clerget defeated Mihael Zgank (SLO) after one minute of golden score by a waza-ari while in the second semi-final world champion Gwak fell to Cheng Xunzhao who held down the reigning champion with a kami-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds.

The first bronze medal was won by world champion Gwak who denied Paris debutant and Qingdao Grand Prix winner Max Stewart (GBR) a medal for his gutsy effort by ippon.  

The second bronze medal went to Zgank as former World Judo Masters winner Beka Gviniashvili (GEO) received a shido in golden score bolster Slovenia’s medal tally in Paris.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Xunzhao Cheng (CHN), Axel Clerget (FRA), DongHan Gwak (KOR), Mikael Özerler (TUR) - Grand Slam Paris (2017, FRA) - © Klaus Müller, Watch: https://km-pics.de/
  • Xunzhao Cheng (CHN) - Grand Slam Paris (2017, FRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Axel Clerget (FRA), Xunzhao Cheng (CHN) - Grand Slam Paris (2017, FRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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