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Junior world champion Gela Zaalishvili steps up to glory
12 May 2019 19:35
Junior World Championships gold medallist Gela Zaalishvili of Georgia made an impression on the IJF World Judo Tour to open his senior medal account on the international stage. Zaalishvili countered a sasae-tsurikomi-ashi attempt from Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Ruslan Shakhbazov (RUS) with te-waza for a waza-ari score and added a second waza-ari to seal a decisive victory in the last contest of the Grand Slam in Azerbaijan.
In the first semi-final Zaalishvili downed Tel Aviv Grand Prix bronze medallist Anton Krivobokov (RUS) by ippon while In the second semi-final Shakhbazov profited from a below-par performance from Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Aliaksandr Vakhaviak (BLR) who was disqualified after receiving three penalties.
The first bronze medal was won by Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Vladut Simionescu (ROU) who launched Vakhaviak with a uchi-mata for a waza-ari score and held down the Belarus judoka for 10 seconds and a place on the medal podium.
The second bronze medal went to Krivobokov floored former world bronze medallist Yakiv Khammo (UKR) for a waza-ari and calmly held down the highly-rated Ukrainian for his second and match-winning score.
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