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Italian starlet Manuel Lombardo aces Masters debut
12 Dec 2019 13:45
Italian super talent and Junior World Champion Manuel Lombardo won World Judo Masters gold by conquering four-time Grand Prix winner Ganbold Kherlen (MGL) in the U66kg final. The Italian Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner made an immediate impact having qualified for his first Masters as he turned under the Mongolian to throw for a waza-ari score. Upon review, the score was upgraded as Ganbold had bridged to try to escape and in doing so endangered himself to slip to defeat via the maximum score.
In the first semi-final three-time Grand Prix winner Adrian Gomboc (SLO) fell to the impressive Italian Lombardo who followed up his waza-ari score by pinning the Slovenian for 10 seconds to book a place in the final.
In the second semi-final world number three Baruch Shmailov (ISR) was beaten by Ganbold in the very last second of a lively contest. Ganbold led before his Israeli rival restored parity with 35 seconds left and just as golden score was about to be summoned the former snuck in for a second and match-winning waza-ari.
The first bronze medal was won by three-time Grand Slam bronze medallist Yondonperenlei Baskhuu (MGL) who countered Shmailov for a waza-ari score in added time as Mongolia continued to impress on the opening day.
The second bronze medal went to world number five Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO) who rushed past Gomboc in four seconds by two scores. Margvelashvili broke the deadlock with an uchi-mata for a waza-ari score and then lifted up the Slovenian with an ashi-guruma for ippon.
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