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Vasili Balampanasvili new world champion for Greece
7 Aug 2015 19:25
At the World Cadet Championships in Sarajevo Greece won the gold medal for young men U73kg. EYOF bronze medallist Vasili Balampanasvili (GRE) was in irresistible form as he won all five fights by ippon including the final against Cadet European Cup bronze medallist Nikita Duinovs (LAT). The Greek judoka scored first with a yuko and never looked back as he added a second yuko and then scored a waza-ari as he countered an attack with a ura-nage before holding down the overwhelmed Latvian for 15 seconds and wazari-awasette-ippon.
Vasili Balampanasvili (GRE) was finally able to take his place on the top of a major podium. The 17 year-old lit up the scoreboard throughout the day, defeating each of his five opponents by ippons whilst not conceding a single score. “My semi-final against Jasur Sodikov (UZB) was the most difficult and, for me, the most pleasing victory. I knew that my parents would be watching and I wanted to win for them,” said Georgian born Balampanasvili. Leading up to the semi-final, Balampanasvili had shown his class with wins against Andrei Pirloga (ROU), Adilet Talant Uulu (KGZ), and Oleksandr Cherkai (UKR). The final saw the Greek fighter up against Nikita Duinovs (LAT) who, in a category containing 40 fighters, was in the unlucky position of having already had five fights to get to the final. The Latvian was, however, well up to the task and had won four of those five by ippon. There was every chance, therefore, that the final would not go to full time. And so it proved. But the force was with Balampanasvil and the Greek pressured Duinovs from the very start. Balampanasvili scored two yukos (first with o goshi then with te waza) before countering Duinovs’ attempted uchi mata with a well-timed ko soto gari that scored waza ari and was followed with kuzure yoko shio gatame for the match-winning score. I may compete at the junior European championship in Austria next or, perhaps, at the junior world championships in Abu Dhabi, we will have to see,” said Balampanasvili. The Greek youngster showed some fine judo today and, not unsurprisingly, said that he was inspired by the performances of his idol Ilias Iliadis (GRE). He also said that he liked watching Ono Shohei which just goes to show that Balampanasvili also recognises good judo when he sees it.
The first bronze medal was clinched by Oleksandr Cherkai (UKR) who defeated Ciolan (ROU) with his two yuko scores surpassing the one yuko from Ciolan. Cherkai was awarded the win after four minutes after his second yuko from an uchi-mata in the final 30 seconds separated the pair. The second bronze medal was won by Sodikov (UZB) who was successful against home fighter Filip Stojak (BIH) by a waza-ari as the hosts wait for a medal would go into the U81kg category a little later.
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