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Fifth Grand Prix crown for Russia’s Alan Khubetsov
11 Aug 2018 19:35
Russian Grand Prix expert Alan Khubetsov denied Japan in the final of the Budapest Grand Prix, the runaway leaders of the medal table, one more title in Hungary as he outfought Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Kohara Kenya (JPN) in the -81kg final. After an even four minutes, golden score was required to separate the finalists who accumulated two shidos apiece in added time.
The tactic from Japanese was to force the Russian to the edge of the mat, encourage him to attack and then counter but that backfired as wily veteran Khubetsov proved too powerful with his attacks as he won by ippon.
In the first semi-final Kohara saw off Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Frank De Wit (NED) after four minutes of golden score by ippon. In the second semi-final European silver medallist Sami Chouchi (BEL) fell to Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Khubetsov by ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by European champion Sagi Muki (ISR) who warmed up for the World Championships with an invaluable outing in the Hungarian capital. Muki took the lead with a makikomi effort against Chouchi and added a second and match-winning waza-ari to capture his spot on the podium.
The second bronze medal went to former European bronze medallist Robin Pacek (SWE) who sent De Wit through the air with a sasae-tsurikomi-ashi for ippon with 64 seconds left on the clock.
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