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Avtandili Tchrikishvili finally makes his golden return U90kg
29 Jul 2018 21:30
Former U81kg world champion Avtandili Tchrikishvili of Georgia finally made his presence felt in the U90kg category as he won all six of his contests to win his first medal since 2016. Tchrikishvili faced former world champion Asley Gonzalez (CUB) in the U90kg final and the classy Cuban, who himself has been fighting within himself on the IJF World Judo Tour in recent years.
Tchrikishvili was supported by his wife, young son and brother-in-law in the crowd and seemed to raise his performance to a level which he hasn't reached in years. A waza-ari for the Georgian was enough at the end of the contest to earn his first medal at U90kg in his sixth competition at this heavier weight.
In the first semi-final world champion Nemanja Majdov (SRB) lost out to Gonzalez when he was shocked to receive a shido for a gripping infringement and lost his focus as the Cuban threw his Serbian rival for a waza-ari and held on with osaekomi to guarantee at least a silver medal. In the second semi-final Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Axel Clerget (FRA) narrowly lost out to Tchrikishvili by a waza-ari score in a hard-fought contest.
The first bronze medal was won by Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Mammadali Mehdiyev (AZE) who threw Clerget with 70 seconds left on the clock. After being locked together it was the Azeri who overpowered his opponent to win the opening contest in the final block.
The second bronze medal went to Majdov who threw former Qingdao Grand Prix winner Max Stewart (GBR) for a waza-ari and held down the Briton for a second and match-winning score. Both judoka were coached by their respective fathers and exchanged sincere greetings post-contest as they showed their immense respect for each other.
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