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Rustam Orujov doesn't surprise with gold in Zagreb

30 Sep 2017 18:10

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

Without any surprise Rustam Orujov claimed the gold medal at the Grand Prix in Zagreb. The two top seeded athletes of the day met in the final of the U73kg category as Orujov of Azerbaijan and Tommy Macias of Sweden went through the preliminary rounds without losing.

The match looked pretty balanced during the first half, both athletes neutralising their opponent. But Orujov had just to accelerate one time and execute a perfect left-handed ashi-uchi-mata for ippon, winning a fifth Grand Prix medal and the first gold medal for team Azerbaijan in Zagreb. It was a good opportunity also for the Olympic and world silver medallist to show his superiority and to taste again gold.

Beside the two best athletes of the category, only two of the other favourites could enter the final block and wish for a spot on the podium. The first bronze medal contest opposed Uali Kurzhev (RUS) and Nikola Gardasevic (MNE). Gardasevic was penalised with a first shido for stepping outside of the competition area and only a few seconds later was thrown flat on his back by Kurzhev with a massive te-waza technique (arm technique) for a clear ippon. This is the fourth Grand Prix Medal for Kurzhev.

In the second bronze medal contest Ahmed El Meziati (MAR) faced Eduardo Barbosa (BRA). The Moroccan was penalised with a shido after thirty seconds for blocking his opponent, and Barbosa conscientiously imitated him a few seconds later to also be penalised. Again the Brazilian was penalised with a second shido. Knowing that he had a little advantage, El Meziati seemed to take his time, playing with the potential third penalty against Barbosa, but that was probably not a good strategy, as Barbosa continued to attack and scored a waza-ari with a morote-seoi-nage combined with a tai-otoshi, immediately followed by an immobilisation for ippon.

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  • Uali Kurzhev (RUS) - European Team Championships Warsaw (2017, POL) - © David Finch,
  • Rustam Orujov (AZE) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Eduardo Barbosa (BRA) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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