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Magical Maruyama continues golden road to the top
15 Dec 2018 12:25
Joshiro Maruyama of Japan won the biggest accolade of his flourishing career as he brushed aside The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Baruch Shmailov (ISR) in the U66kg final.
World number five Shmailov, who won bronze a year ago, was upstaged by Masters debutant and Osaka Grand Slam winner Maruyama who came into the competition on the back of beating two-time world champion Abe Hifumi (JPN) to win the Osaka Grand Slam in November. The Tenri University judoka scored a waza-ari with his trademark uchi-mata and wrapped up a brilliant performance with a sode-tsurikomi-goshi with one minute left on the clock.
In the first semi-final Asian Games bronze medallist Yeldos Zhumakanov (KAZ) was caught after three minutes of golden score with a ko-uchi-gake for a waza-ari by Maruyama. In the second semi-final Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Daniel Cargnin (BRA) lost out to Shmailov after the Brazilian was disqualified for a third shido.
In the first bronze medal contest The Hague Grand Prix winner Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO) reigned supreme against Cargnin. Margvelashvili repeated his 2017 bronze medal win by seeing off his young Brazilian rival after two and a half minutes of golden score. The scoreboard was tied at a waza-ari apiece at the end of regulation time and world number two Margvelashvili had the final say as he scored his second waza-ari with a osoto-gari.
The second bronze medal went to three-time Grand Slam bronze medallist Dovdon Altansukh (MGL) who held down Zhumakanov with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon. Zhumakanov, who noticeably limped onto the mat with a heavily taped right foot, was powerless as he was consigned to defeat by his Mongolian opponent.
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Hachem Hajiri (TUN)