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Olympic champion Krpalek bounces back from Worlds disappointment
15 Oct 2018 10:10
Czech Judo star Lukas Krpalek won his third Grand Prix gold medal as he responded to his fifth-place finish at the World Championships with a clinical showing in Mexico. World number two Krpalek defeated former U90kg judoka and Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Andy Granda (CUB) in the last contest of the Cancun Grand Prix.
Granda finished fifth at Openweight World Championships last year which convinced him to move up to the heaviest weight category in the sport having campaigned in the U90kg division until 2014. Granda led by a waza-ari score but his Czech adversary pulled level with a waza-ari of his own to force golden score. After an additional 23 seconds, the former world champion caught the Cuban with a sumi-gaeshi for a match and gold medal-winning waza-ari score to end the competition with a thrilling men’s heavyweight final.
In the first semi-final and U100kg Olympic champion Krpalek threw European Championships silver medallist Tamerlan Bashaev (RUS) with a sumi-gaeshi for ippon after 57 seconds of golden score in the same result as the European final. In the second semi-final former World Championships silver medallist David Moura (BRA) lost out in golden score to Granda from a forceful o-soto-gari for ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by world number 49 Daniel Allerstorfer (AUT) who upset Moura as Austria won a third medal during the final block on day three. Allerstorfer won his fourth Grand Prix medal at the expense of the world number four who lost out by ippon with 19 seconds left on the clock. Moura remains without an IJF medal in 2018 and his stock continues to fall on the IJF World Judo Tour at a crucial time in the race for Tokyo 2020.
The second bronze medal went to Bashaev after Bratislava European Cup gold medallist Vladut Simionescu (ROU) was penalised for the third and final time in golden score. Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Bashaev outworked the four-time Grand Prix medallist from Romania whose timing was off throughout the contest.
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Samuel Potts (GBR)