Tbilisi Grand Prix - 2015, GEORGIA
The second IJF Grand Prix of the season burst into life on Friday as fans were enthralled by opening day of the Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 – Georgia, at the atmospheric Tbilisi Sports Palace.
The second edition of the three-day event, which will be promptly followed next week by Turkey’s Samsun Grand Prix, has attracted 345 judoka from 42 nations as the city’s reputation for hosting a top-class event is now established in the thriving Olympic sport.
-60kg: Uzbek LUTFILLAEV conquers world number 43 for gold
Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) was the leading man in the -60kg category as he ended the surprise run of world number 43 Tobias ENGLMAIER (GER). World number 14 LUTFILLAEV threw with uchi-mata for ippon with 78 seconds remaining to follow up on his Warsaw European Open gold medal and continue his superb start to the new season. ENGLMAIER will jump up the rankings and aim to make himself a regular medal contender at this level.
In the first semi-final world bronze medallist and world number two Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) was remarkably undone by Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) on three occasions with an uchi-mata. The Uzbek scored a yuko, a waza-ari and a second and match-winning waza-ari all from the same technique to spoil the Georgian’s gold medal hopes. In the second semi-final Warsaw European Open silver medallist Diyorbek UROZBOEV (UZB) lost to rank outsider ENGLMAIER (GER) by osaekomi as he trapped his opponent with a kami-shiho-gatame for 15 seconds.
The first bronze medal was claimed by the UROZBOEV who beat Astana Grand Prix winner Yeldos SMETOV (KAZ) with a high-quality display. UROZBOEV commanded the action from the outset and built up a significant lead by scoring a yuko and a waza-ari as SMETOV was outmanoeuvred for all five minutes of the contest. The second bronze medal went to world number three DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) who dashed the hopes of the home fans as PAPINASHVILI - their only participant in the final block - was humbled. DASHDAVAA led through a yuko and looked to increase his advantage but his Georgian opponent showed his agility by turning out of an ouchi-gari attempt. DASHDAVAA showed his compassion after he was awarded the victory as he shook hands with his bitterly disappointed foe at the end of the contest and after both judoka had left to the tatami.
LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB) vs ENGLMAIER, Tobias (GER)
Bronze Medal Fights
UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB) vs SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO) vs DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
1. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
2. ENGLMAIER, Tobias (GER)
3. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
3. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
5. SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
5. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
7. SADIGOV, Mehman (AZE)
7. ARSHANSKI, Artiom (ISR)