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Georgian teenager Bagrati Niniashvili saves the best for lest
6 Apr 2018 18:55
Bagrati Niniashvili of Georgia struck gold at his first Grand Prix competition as Georgia unleashed their young charges in both men’s categories on the opening day. Junior World Championships bronze medallist Niniashvili, 19, thwarted world number 24 Denis Vieru (MDA) as he showed his refreshing ne-waza ability to win for Georgia.
Vieru overcommitted with a tani-otoshi attempt and Niniashvili anticipated it and forced the Moldovan down and into a hold to race to gold in 33 seconds.
In the first semi-final World Judo Masters winner Ganbold Kherlen (MGL) was stunned by Vieru who threw the Mongolian star with an ouchi-gari for ippon. In the second semi-final Niniashvili held down Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Sinan Sandal (TUR) for 20 seconds to book a place in the gold medal contest by ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by former Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Kilian Le Blouch (FRA) who tumbled Sandal with nine seconds left with an ouchi-gari for ippon. Le Blouch, who has been selected for the European Championships next month, deflated the home atmosphere in the final seconds as Turkey missed out on a second medal on day one.
The second bronze medal went to Ganbold who lacked his usual vigour but had enough in reserve to defeat Yeldos Zhumakanov (KAZ). Ganbold bested the Kazakh courtesy of a single waza-ari score which came after the Mongolian set his rival off balance with just the threat of ashi-waza.
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