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Mongolian maestro Ganbaatar follows Worlds medal with Abu Dhabi gold
27 Oct 2017 18:50
World bronze medallist Ganbaatar Odbayar of Mongolia has now won four medals from his last four events and is arguably the form judoka in the weight category. Ganbaatar won Grand Slam gold for the first time in May before claiming his first Worlds Championships medal in August and has now returned to the top of a Grand Slam podium.
Ganbaatar opposed European silver medallist Musa Mogushkov (RUS) in the final and the Russian quickly fell behind to a waza-ari score. Mogushkov looked troubled by a knee injury and after a committed gripping exchange which saw him lose his balance he had to tap out due to injury to concede the contest at the halfway point.
In the first semi-final Mogushkov outlasted Cancun Grand Prix silver medallist Tohar Butbul (IJF) in golden score. A waza-ari from the Russian in added time settled it as Mogushkov moved on to the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final Ganbaatar prevailed against Olympic bronze medallist Dirk Van Tichelt (BEL) by a waza-ari score to continue his upward movement towards the summit of the -73kg rankings.
The first bronze medal was won by Olympic and world silver medallist Rustam Orujov (AZE) who threw Van Tichelt with a harai-makikomi for ippon after 68 seconds. World number two Orujov endured a frustrating day until this point and came out fighting to guarantee his place on the podium after a fantastic ippon in the corner of the tatami.
The second bronze medal went to Butbul who sent Olympic champion Fabio Basile (ITA) through the air and over for a waza-ari with a sumptuous sode-tsurikomi-goshi. Basile was making his -73kg debut after two disappointing outings since Rio having suffered early eliminations at the Tokyo Grand Slam 2016 and the World Championships 2017. After 17 seconds of added time, Butbul launched his Italian adversary for the first and last score of the contest but the classy Basile still showed potential on his first start in a new category and illustrated his class as he showed impeccable matside etiquette by bowing to the referee in addition to his opponent in a slow and meaningful manner despite missing out on a medal.
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