Turkish delight for Vedat Albayrak who closes out day two in style
Turkish delight Vedat Albayrak ended day two with Turkey’s first gold medal as he defeated first time IJF finalist and Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Jack Hatton (USA) in the U81kg final in Antalya. If Albayrak looks familiar it is because he used to represent Greece under the name Roman Moustopoulos.
Albayrak, 24, who was actually born as Vano Revazishvili. The Agadir Grand Prix winner has won three medals from three Grand Prix events for Turkey since officially switching nations in January. The world number 27 took silver in Tunis, gold in Agadir and now gold in his adopted homeland as he overpowered Hatton on the ground with a yoko-shiho-gatame hold.
In the first semi-final 18-year-old Tato Grigalashvili (GEO) lost out to Albayrak after three minutes of golden score by ippon. Grigalashvili attacked with a ko-soto-gake but the home judoka changed direction and took control of his opponent in mid-air for a sensational win in added time. In the second semi-final 21-year-old former Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Sukhrob Tursunov (UZB) fell to Hatton by ippon from an ouchi-gari in golden score.
The first bronze medal was won by U23 European Championships winner Dorin Gotonoaga (MDA) who squeezed past Tursunov. Gotonoaga won his second Grand Prix bronze medal by a waza-ari score from an osoto-makikomi as the Moldovan matched his result from the 2017 Düsseldorf Grand Prix.
The second bronze medal went to Grigalashvili who gave Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Csoknyai Laszlo (HUN) a torrid time. Grigalashvili, 18, marked his first international competition on the IJF circuit with bronze as world number 20 Csoknyai struggled to contain the young Georgian. Csoknyai received his third shido with a minute and a half left on the clock and was disqualified.