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Beka Gviniashvili captured fifth Grand Slam gold

Beka Gviniashvili captured fifth Grand Slam gold

18 Feb 2023 23:15
IJF Media team by Nicolas Messner and Jo Crowley
JudoHeroes & IJF Media / Copyright:

Georgia’s Beka Gviniashviliremains an asset U90kg despite all the competition in his own country. At the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv Gvinishvili decided the final would be fought on his terms and he gripped dominantly but much to his disappointment he was penalised for pulling down, as the rules dictate when no technique is applied. He responded by gripping hard again and going straight for the ashi-waza, controlling Hungarian Krisztian Toth’s balance and scoring waza-ari; it was beautifully done.

Beka’s powerful approach continue in the same way, with the intention to throw again and he did! It was an excellent final completely bathed in fighting spirit. Gold went to Georgia and the Hungarian had to settle for silver.

For the ronze Gantulga and Silva Morales grappled and moved searching for the right combination to take the lead. It was a long fight but tense throughout as both looked ready to throw at any given moment. They collected shido after shido but for minor infringements that didn’t slow them or affect their tactics. From koshi-guruma to osoto-gari, from kata-guruma to ura-nage it was interesting and followed the spirit of judo without any let-up whatsoever. The referee, Ofer Ben Zvi (Israel) facilitated an open match and in the end that was repaid when Gantulga countered an attack from the Cuban, turning across to throw for ippon.

The second bronze medal fight had a lot to live up to! Macedo almost caught Mehdiyev right at the beginning with a natural kata-guruma and when it didn’t score he went straight back on the offensive with a seoi-nage attempt. The Azerbaijani needed to catch up but allowed himself to get caught in a gripping tussle which earned them each a shido.

Halfway through the contest Mehdiyev Hagen to apply more pressure, attacking with ko-soto gake and then moments later throwing for ippon with a beautifully timed ashi-guruma. Macedo had looked destined for bronze but Mehdiyev had other ideas.

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