Two gold medals go to Uzbekistan
184 athletes competed on the tatami at the ‘Yasar Dogu Sports Arena’ in Samsun, Turkey on the occasion of the opening day of the Samsun Grand Prix 2015. After three fantastic days of judo in Tbilisi last weekend, all judoka came to Turkey to win some more important points for the Olympic qualification. Thus, on day one the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories kicked off the action.
Just before the start of the final block, which saw the best 30 players of the day, competing for medals, the President of the Turkish Judo Federation, Mr. Fatih Uysal, explained to the IJF what this Grand Prix represents for his country: “This is the third time that we organise the Grand Prix in Samsun and every year we increase the level. This year we have put a lot of efforts on the preparation of the hall, the transportation and the catering. The number of participants (judoka and countries) has increased a lot compared to the last editions of the event and I am confident that next year the level will be even stronger knowing that we will come closer to the Olympic Games. The Turkish government and local authorities from the Province and city of Samsun were very supportive throughout the process of organising the Grand Prix. We have been working hand in hand for many years.
-60kg: Second Gold in a Row for LUTFILLAEV (UZB)
World number 10 and winner of the Tbilisi Grand Prix last weekend, Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) qualified again for the final after his victories against Aibek IMASHEV (KAZ), Mehman SADIGOV (AZE), Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO) and Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS). In the final, he was opposed to Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE), who was the second top seeded athlete of the category.
The first dangerous attack came from the Azeri side, with a drop-shoulder movement, but for no score. More active than LUTFILLAEV, SAFAROV seemed to have a little advantage despite the shido he got at the start of the final. But totally missing his control on one of his attempts to score, LUTFILLAEV was perfectly counterattacked with a o-soto-gari for waza-ari. The Uzbek then scored a yuko with a modified kata-guruma but this was not enough to come back, Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV earning a first gold medal for Uzbekistan on the occasion of the 2015 edition of the Grand Prix.
Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV: “I felt good all day long, as last week in Tbilisi. It is a good series for me and for Uzbekistan. I am happy that Rishod also got the gold today.“
For the first bronze medal fight, Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO) faced Diyorbek UROZBOEV (UZB), finalist of the last Tashkent Grand Prix. CHKHVIMIANI was penalised with a first shido just before the second minute. A little later, being less active than his opponent, the Georgian was again penalised for passivity and things looked really complicated when he received his third penalty for stepping outside of the competition area. Putting pressure on UROZBOEV, CHKHVIMIANI forced his opponent into receiving two shidos, which was still not enough for victory, but this pressure finally paid off as the Georgian counterattacked a very last time for yuko a few seconds before the final gong, giving him the victory and the bronze medal.
In the second bronze medal contest, the 19-year-old TSENDOCHIR Tsogtbaatar (MGL) and Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS), bronze medallist last year in Qingdao and Samsun, were opposed for a place on the podium. Exactly at the halfway point of the match, the Mongolian fighter had a small advantage of one shido and despite his young age looked more active than his opponent, perfectly controlling him and launching opportunistic attacks to finally win the match and step on the podium. It’s probably not the last time that the name of TSENDOCHIR Tsogtbaatar will echo in a judo venue.
LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB) vs. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)
Bronze Medal Fights
CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO) vs. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
TSENDOCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL) vs. MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)
1. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
2. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)
3. CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO)
3. TSENDOCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL)
5. MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)
5. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
7. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
7. KHOUSROF, Ali (YEM)
-66kg: SOBIROV Back on the Top of the Category
The last male final of the day opposed the top seeded athlete of the category DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg from Mongolia and former World and World Masters champion Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) who after an early defeat last week in Georgia showed that he was still a great fighter.
After the first minute of the fight only penalties were distributed and it looked like the final will continue on the same rhythm, DAVAADORJ controlling all attacks from SOBIROV, and the Uzbek being penalised for false attacks or for stepping outside of the competition area but suddenly the former world champion launched a majestic uchi-mata for waza-ari, before DAVAADORJ caught him on the floor with an immobilisation but for no score.
Rishod Sobirov said: “Last weekend was a bad day for me, today is a good one. I feel good to be on the top of the podium again. Now we can really prepare the next challenges and especially the Astana World Championships.“
Having three penalties against him made the situation a little more complicated for SOBIROV but he beautifully concluded the fight with a counterattack for ippon. The first bronze medal contest opposed the bronze medallist of the 2014 Zagreb Grand Prix, Adrian GOMBOC (SLO) and the winner of the Asian Open in Taipei, Sergiu OLEINIC (POR), who after a period of observation, applied an unstoppable strangulation technique for ippon, giving no chance for GOMBOC to escape.
Tristan PEIKRISHVILI (GEO) and Abdula ABDULZHALILOV (RUS) concluded the series of bronze medal fights of the day. ABDULZHALILOV scored the first with a counterattack (ura-nage) for yuko. After he was penalised with a shido for a defensive position, ABDULZHALILOV scored again but this time for waza-ari. Only ippon was missing but not for long as the Russian launched an incredibly powerful o-soto-otoshi.
DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL) vs. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
Bronze Medal Fights
GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO) vs. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)
PEIKRISHVILI, Tristan (GEO) vs. ABDULZHALILOV, Abdula (RUS)
1. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
2. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)
3. ABDULZHALILOV, Abdula (RUS)
3. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)
5. GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO)
5. PEIKRISHVILI, Tristan (GEO)
7. CHIBANA, Charles (BRA)
7. FLICKER, Tal (ISR)