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Kengo Takaichi wins his first Grand Prix gold medal

21 Jun 2014 17:45

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    Gabi Juan / Hajime Judo
Kengo Takaichi

Jeju Grand Prix silver medallist Takaichi Kengo (JPN) won the first Grand Prix gold medal of his flourishing career as he defeated the in-form Madrid European Open winner Dzmitry Shershan (BLR). Takaichi, 21, scored a waza-ari and yuko in quick succession before world number 17 Shershan replied with a yuko. The Japanese youngster resisted the late rally from his opponent to ensure a significant jump on the World Ranking List ahead of competing in his first World Championships in August.

In the first semi-final SHERSHAN ended the run of world number eight Nijat SHIKHALIZADA (AZE) by ippon with 15 seconds remaining in their previously scoreless contest. In the second semi-final TAKAICHI upstaged former world champion Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) as a waza-ari was the difference after both men earned yuko scores.
The first bronze medal was won by SHIKHALIZADA who was good value for a place on the podium after defeating former Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Shalva KARDAVA (GEO) following some flashes of quality in the preliminaries. SHIKHALIZADA left it late as he prodced the first and only score of the contest with 20 seconds left as his Georgian rival was caught with a a ko-uchi-gari for a waza-ari score. The second bronze medal went to ZANTARAIA who bested rank outsider Pawel ZAGRODNIK (POL) by ippon from an o-goshi after 90 seconds.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Kengo Takaichi (JPN) - Grand Prix Budapest (2014, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Kengo Takaichi (JPN), Dzmitry Shershan (BLR), Nijat Shikhalizada (AZE), Georgii Zantaraia (UKR) - Grand Prix Budapest (2014, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Pawel Zagrodnik (POL), Georgii Zantaraia (UKR) - Grand Prix Budapest (2014, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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