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Khusen Khalmurzaev pips world number one Kukolj in Hohhot final
2 Jul 2017 13:10
Russian Khusen Khalmurzaev put his name forward in Hohhot’s Grand Prix as a World Championships medal contender by beating world number one and European Championships winner Aleksandar Kukolj of Serbia in the U90kg final on Sunday.
An uchi-mata from the Russian was a complete overthrow as the Serbian landed partially on his side and gave away a waza-ari. Kukolj gingerly returned to his feet, feeling the full effects of that landing and could not find a way onto the scoreboard. The Serbian judoka, who had won their only previous meeting back in 2013 at the European U23 Championships, missed out on the chance to win his first Grand Prix gold but will look at the bigger picture and be focused on the idea of becoming his country’s world judo champion in August.
In the first semi-final Kukolj held down Antalya Grand Prix winner Gantulga Altanbagana (MGL) and the Mongolian elected to tap out. In the second semi-final European bronze medallist Khalmurzaev defeated Magomed Magomedov (RUS) who was nowhere near his best as he received three shidos by the halfway point to receive hansoku-make.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Magomedov who dispatched Wang Xuewen (CHN). The Russian broke the deadlock with a waza-ari from a tai-otoshi and countered his opponent to double his advantage. Magomedov sealed victory in the opening contest of the final block by pinning WANG with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for 20 seconds.
The second bronze medal went to Gantulga who bested 21-year-old former Junior Asian Championships silver medallist Erdenekhuu Munkhjargal (MGL). Erdenekhuu was reprimanded for the third time with a shido for going out of the area with 43 seconds left on the clock to gift the Grand Prix medal to his countryman.
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Omid Taztak (IRI)
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