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Big Krpalek perfectly sets up all-gold backpatch clash with Big Teddy
2 Jul 2017 14:10
Reigning Olympic champion Lukas Krpalek made a sensational fourth appearance in the heavyweight division on the IJF World Judo Tour as he topped the podium in the last contest of the Hohhot Grand Prix 2017.
Former world champion Krpalek came through his latest learning exercise with a lot of lessons learned and invaluable experience as he crafted his way to gold. The manner of the victory will please the Czech Republic ace after he came back from losing positions against seasoned heavyweights due to his conditioning and will to win. Former Junior World Championships winner Ulziibayar Duurenbayar of Mongolia went ahead with a waza-ari with 42 seconds left on the clock to set up a thrilling finale. Krpalek fought back with a sumi-gaeshi on the 20 second mark and moved into the osaekomi which prompted the Mongolian to submit due to the pressure.
In the first semi-final Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Andrey Volkov (RUS) gave away his waza-ari advantage in the last 30 seconds to miss out on the final as Krpalek held down the Russian with a mune-gatame for 20 seconds to the immense satisfaction of his many teammates in the stands. In the second semi-final Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Stanislav Bondarenko (UKR) was penalised three times to lose out to Ulziibayar for a place in the men’s heavyweight final.
The first bronze medal was won by Asian Championships winner Kim Sungmin (KOR). KIM won his country’s fifth medal at the Hohhot Grand Prix when Bondarenko received a direct hansoku-make for endangering his opponent with a waki-gatame.
The second heavyweight bronze medal went to Volkov who pinned down 21-year-old LI Bo (CHN) with a kata-gatame for ippon. LI was making his second appearance on the IJF World Judo Tour after a short-lived outing at the Antalya Grand Prix in April and had to settle for fifth-place after Russia’s Volkov clinched a crucial podium in his bid for Worlds selection.
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