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Cyrille Maret ecstatic to finally clinch gold medal at Abu Dhabi Grand Slam
28 Oct 2017 18:55
French judo heavyweight Cyrille Maret ended his gold drought at the IJF Abu Dhabi Grand Slam after he won the over 100-kilogramme final from Maciej Sarnacki of Poland at the Ipic Arena on Saturday. In his three previous appearances at the capital event, the bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Games had finished fifth in 2011, when it was still a Grand Prix event, seventh in 2013 and bronze in 2014.
“It took a long time and a good amount of work to finally get my hands on the gold in Abu Dhabi,” Maret said.
“This place has been raising the bar all the time. Abu Dhabi is one of five Grand Slams on the IJF Calendar and for us, the judokas, it’s one of the most sort after medals."
The only gold medals Maret, 30, won at a Grand Slam before yesrerday were in his native Paris where he finished top of the podium three years in a row from 2014 to 2016.
“Indeed the gold I take from Abu Dhabi is very special,” he added. “I have had many good moments in my judo career and I’ll remember Abu Dhabi for a long, long time.
“For sure, I want to return to Abu Dhabi next year, if I stay healthy. It’s still a long way from now and of course plan to compete in a few other competitions as well.”
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