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Kazkah Bozbayev beats three Azeri on his way to first Grand Slam victory
12 Mar 2017 14:15
Islam Bozbayev of Kazakhstan won his first Grand Slam title at the expense of Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Mammadali Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan. World number 93 and Former Asian Championships bronze medallist Bozbayev faced his third Azerbaijan opponent of the day in the final and the result was the same on each occasion.
With 43 seconds left the Kazakh judoka scored a waza-ari with a morote-seoi-nage and went back to the same technique 20 seconds later for a second waza-ari to finish as a comfortable winner.
In the first semi-final Mehdiyev beat colleague Abdulhagg Rasullu (AZE) by a waza-ari in a typically closely contested meeting between two teammates. In the second semi-final Bozbayev defeated Rome European Open silver medallist Tural Safguliyev (AZE) with a morote-seoi-nage earning ippon after 68 seconds of golden score. Bozbayev scored first with a waza-ari before Safguliyev drew level with a waza-ari from a sumi-gaeshi. The Kazakh seized the initiative in added time and won with his trademark technique to deny the home judoka.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Odivelas European Open silver medallist Quedjau Nhabali (UKR) who drove world number 189 Rasullu over for ippon with 15 seconds left on the clock with an osoto-gari. The opening contest of the final block produced a first career Grand Slam medal for the Ukrainian who is enjoying his best spell on the international circuit.
The second bronze medal went to two-time Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Ushangi Margiani (GEO) who defeated Safguliyev to win his first international medal at -90kg having jumped up from -81kg a year ago. Margiani anticipated the ura-nage attempt which put the Azeri off balance and the Georgian used both hands to control the upper body of his rival and send him over for ippon.
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Manon Lecharlier (BEL)
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