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Beka Gviniashvili back in world form
24 Nov 2019 17:45
Two-time World Judo Masters winner Beka Gviniashvili of Georgia won his first Grand Slam title since 2016 as he enjoyed a day to remember in Osaka. The world number nine fought back from going a waza-ari down against world number 57 Davlat Bobonov (UZB) as he rolled over the Uzbek to take the final into golden score. Gviniashvili picked up Bobonov for ippon in trademark Georgian fashion as he put an exclamation mark on his win by conquering the impressive Asian judoka to take the plaudits in the U90kg category.
In the first semi-final Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Gwak Donghan (KOR) was stunned by Bobonov. Both judoka disposed of Japanese opposition in their respective quarter-finals but it was the Uzbek who progressed to the final after throwing twice without reply.
In the second semi-final Gviniashvili came from behind to beat Hohhot Grand Prix winner Nagasawa Kenta (JPN). The Japanese led by a waza-ari score from a uchi-mata before the Georgian restored parity with a sumi-gaeshi and then sealed a dramatic turnaround after finally finishing off a modified kata-guruma to advance to the final.
The first bronze medal was won by world silver medallist Mukai Shoichiro (JPN) as Nagasawa could not compete due to injury. Mukai still went out to the tatami to accept the forfeited contest with a bow and smiled to his matside supporters.
The second bronze medal went to Gwak who dropped under world number six Mammadali Mehdiyev (AZE) in golden score to throw the Azeri judoka for ippon. South Korea’s Gwak threw well all day and is returning to form at the right time having now won back-to-back Grand Slam medals on the IJF World Judo Tour.
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Andrea Palumbo (ITA)