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Also Hyoga Ota can win a Grand Slam
Also Hyoga Ota can win a Grand Slam
18 Mar 2018 18:05
by Mark Pickering - IJF
IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Japanese youngster Ota Hyoga of Japan won the last final of the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam 2018 with a narrow win triumph over former European champion Henk Grol (NED) at +100kg. Ota, 20, was pitted against one of the most experienced and most accomplished judoka in the entire competition in two-time Olympic bronze medallist Grol.

Henk Grol made a very wanted successful and need return. Unfortunately for the Dutchman has built an unwanted reputation as a nearly man with a host of near misses on the biggest stages in the sport. The 32-year-old, who last fought in the Open weight Worlds in November, has three world silver medals on the major stage and ended with a Grand Slam silver medal after being penalised on three occasions to gift the gold medal to the inexperienced Japanese heavyweight.

In the first semi-final Oberwart European Open winner Onise Bughadze (GEO) lost out to Ota after 26 seconds in golden score by a waza-ari. In the second semi-final Grol safely negotiated a tricky tie against double Olympic bronze medallist Rafael Silva (BRA) as the latter received three shidos and hansoku-make.

The first bronze medal was won by Silva after Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Ruslan Shakhbazov (RUS) held back and was penalised three times to receive hansoku-make.

The second and last bronze medal contest saw Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Tamerlan Bashaev (RUS) benefit from the lethargic display of Bughadze who picked up three shidos and was disqualified.