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Khasan Khalmurzaev reaches top 10 with gold in Baku
9 May 2015 18:10
World number 17 Khasan KHALMURZAEV (RUS) won gold to close in on the world’s top-ranked -81kg judoka. KHALMURZAEV was due to take on world number 15 Ushangi MARGIANI (GEO) in the final in what looked set to be an exciting prospect between two emerging judoka who are both 21 years old. However, MARGIANI was ruled out of the final due to sustaining an injury in his semi-final to hand the Russian the gold medal.
In the first semi-final 19-year-old Cristian BODIRLAU (ROU) was undone by KHALMURZAEV by a single yuko as both men sought safe passage to their first Grand Slam final. KHALMURZAEV thwarted fellow youngster BODIRLAU with a yuko score. In the second semi-final MARGIANI survived a late rally from 21-year-old Dominic RESSEL (GER). MARGIANI was in front with a waza-ari when he started to tire and it looked like the young Georgian did not have the staying power to see off Lisbon European Open bronze medallist RESSEL. MARGIANI held on for the victory to send RESSEL into an all-German bronze medal contest.
The first bronze medal was won by RESSEL as Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Alexander WIECZERZAK (GER) was disqualified for receiving four penalties. The second bronze medal was captured by Rome European Open winner MARUYAMA Goki (JPN) against teenager BODIRLAU. MARUYAMA scored a yuko and added a second from an uchi-mata. MARUYAMA scored a waza-ari from an uchi-mata with 35 seconds left as he desperately wanted the ippon but his significant advantage saw him home. BODIRLAU will be a name to look out for this year after a credible fifth-place finish and victories against respected opponents such as Brazilian great Leandro GUILHEIRO (BRA).
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Jose Sotomayor (CUB)
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