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Kazakhstan's Rustam Ibrayev inks Grand Slam gold
8 May 2015 17:50
Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Rustam IBRAYEV (KAZ) defeated Qingdao Grand Prix winner Vincent LIMARE (FRA) to seal his first Grand Slam gold medal. IBRAYEV, who appeared on his first Grand Slam podium in Tokyo last year as a bronze medallist, was facing a hungry LIMARE, 22, who was already guaranteed his first Grand Slam medal.
World number 24 LIMARE was out to bolster his world ranking and did exactly that despite claiming silver as IBRAYEV produced a waza-ari score, the only score of the contest, and was tactically astute as he received three shido penalties to wind down the clock.
In the first semi-final LIMARE defeated Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO). LIMARE was penalised for dropping but went ahead with a yuko and CHKHVIMIANI could not conjure up any chances to threaten the stubborn resistance of the young French fighter who is arguably his country’s most exciting male prospect.
LIMARE said: “I’ve worked hard for this, I’ve done a lot of big training camps and it paid off today. I was really focused all day and hopefully I can now go on to the World Judo Masters and European Games.”
In the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix runner-up Tobias ENGLMAIER (GER) had his moments but ultimately it was IBRAYEV who advanced to the gold medal match. IBRAYEV was penalised for not taking a grip quick enough but when he did he scored and that waza-ari gave him a substantial lead. The Kazakh fighter trapped the German in osaekomi and he was scrambling to escape for the full 15 seconds but IBRAYEV retained control to win by wazari-awasette-ippon.
The first bronze medal was claimed by ENGLMAIER which was a career-first for the fighter who is carving out a real reputation for himself in the men’s lightweight category. ENGLMAIER defeated world number seven DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) on shido penalties having almost scored with a beautiful sode-tsurikomi-ashi but his opponent turned out to avoid giving away a score. DASHDAVAA, who ended a miserable day for world champion GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL) in the first repechage contest, lost out on shido penalties with two against him and one against his conqueror. The second bronze medal went to CHKHVIMIANI as world bronze medallist Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) could not contest the fight due to injury.
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