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Belgian Toma Nikiforov arrives at highest stages in judo

8 Jun 2014 20:00

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20140608_Havana_NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL) - (2)

Junior World Championships bronze medallist Toma Nikiforov (BEL) was one of the big winners in Cuba as he topped an IJF podium for the first time with victory against Rijeka Grand Prix bronze medallist Flavio Orlik (SUI). In a fascinating contest featuring two men who have big ambitions in this Olympic cycle, Nikiforov, 21, who won three of his four contests by ippon on the final day, settled the final by throwing his 23-year-old Swiss opponent with a drop seoi-nage after 80 seconds.

In the first semi-final NIKIFOROV, who shocked world number one and European champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) in the quarter-final, powered past two-time Pan American champion Hugo PESSANHA (BRA). The Belgian youngster lifted the Brazilian with ease not once but twice as he threw twice with a trademark ura-nage to produce two waza-ari scores. In the second semi-final ORLIK (SUI) saw off European bronze medallist Adlan BISULTANOV (RUS). The Swiss judoka attacked with uchi-mata which had the Russian on the backfoot and ORLIK took full advantage by driving him over with an osoto-gari effort.
The first bronze medal was won by BISULTANOV who returned to winning ways against world number 97 Gergo FOGASY (HUN). BISULTANOV went ahead with a waza-ari from a ko-soto-gake and secured a place on the podium by grinding down the 20-year-old FOGASY in osaekomi as the Russian applied a tate-shiho-gatame for 15 seconds to add a second waza-ari. The second medal was won by PESSANHA who conquered Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Martin PACEK (SWE) by submitting him with a ude-garami after leading with a waza-ari from a ko-uchi-gari in an absorbing contest. 

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  • Toma Nikiforov (BEL) - Grand Prix Havana (2014, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Toma Nikiforov (BEL), Flavio Orlik (SUI), Adlan Bisultanov (RUS), Hugo Pessanha (BRA) - Grand Prix Havana (2014, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Flavio Orlik (SUI) - Grand Prix Havana (2014, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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