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Attila Ungvari books most valuable victory with World Tour gold
30 Sep 2017 19:35
Perhaps it was his biggest victory ever, Attila Ungvari captured the gold medal at the Grand Prix in Zagreb U81kg. Ungvari who won the European U23 title 2010 won four World Cups in between but never a gold in the World Tour. On Saturday she added another milestone in his 10 years career. Although he was the number one seed in Zagreb, he defeated his four opponents by the book.
The surprise today came from the second qualified athlete as it was the non-seeded Frenchman Jonathan Allardon who faced the Hungarian top seeded competitor.
Both athletes engaged a very dynamic and mobile match, but half way to the end, there was still nothing written on the scoreboard. Nevertheless Allardon seemed to be a little fresher than the Hungarian, but after a confusing moment on the ground, Ungvari suddenly engaged a shime-waza, which Allardon could not avoid and the Frenchman had to tap for ippon, offering the first gold medal at a Grand Prix for Ungvari and the first gold medal for his delegation in Zagreb.
The first bronze medal match opposed another Croatian athlete, Dominik Druzeta (CRO) against Antonio Esposito (ITA), giving a new opportunity to the host country to win a medal. After one minute and twenty seconds Esposito was penalised with a first shido for blocking. Looking fresher than the Italian, the Croatian nevertheless lowered his rhythm and was penalised with a shido as well as both athletes were approaching the Golden score. Despite some good groundwork but some lack of ignition, Druzeta was never able to conclude and two minutes of extra-time later he had finally to offer the victory to an exhausted but overjoyed Esposito who scored a liberating waza-ari with o-soto-otoshi.
The last bronze medal contest of the day saw Jack Hatton (USA) opposed to Joachim Bottieau (BEL). The first shido was quickly awarded to Hatton for a defensive position. As nothing was scored during the remaining regular time, the Golden score sound echoed in the venue. The Belgian was penalised with a first shido during Golden Score, 1-1. More than three minutes and thirty seconds were necessary for Hatton to score a waza-ari after a rolling seoi-nage during which the athlete almost crossed half of the tatami. Bottieau seemed surprised but he was clearly scored upon and Hatton won his first Grand Prix medal.
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