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Azeri Ilgar Mushkiyev comes back with gold in Qingdao
20 Nov 2015 15:25
What a surprise victory in Qingdao for Ilgar Mushkiyev of Azerbaijan. He hadn’t won a Grand Prix since 2012 and where countryman Orkhan Safarov (AZE) was the favourite U60, it was Mushkiyev to defeat the top seed in Qingdao. Ilgar Mushkiyev, only ranked number 27 on the world ranking list, entered the final against the world number 26, Jeroen Mooren, the doctor from the Netherlands.
At the end of the fight, the scoreboard clearly showed that it was a tense final, both athletes having scored a waza-ari, the Azeri Athlete with a tani-otoshi, and the Dutch with a powerful kata-guruma. But in the meanwhile, Mushkiyev had scored a yuko which offered him the 300 points of the winner.
In the shadow of his teammate Vincent Limare (FRA), finalist of the last Paris Grand Slam but who was eliminated in the first round of the competition, Walide Khyar was predicted to shine at that level today in Qingdao. However, showing all of his concentration throughout the day, the Frenchman was the surprise fighter of the final block. He confirmed all of his potential by defeating, within a few seconds, the Russian Robert Mshvidobadze, who didn’t see Khyar’s counter attack coming for a clear ippon, as the Russian gave up quickly after a likely injury.
In the second bronze medal fight, Sharafuddin Lutfillaev (UZB) defeated Aibek Imashev (KAZ), with a yuko offering a first medal to the Uzbek team. Mind that Kazakchstan with Smetov, Ibrayev and Imashev have a great team, but for the Games only one is welcome in Rio.
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Stephanie Walker (GBR)