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World Number one Rustam Orujov takes the gold in Cuba
24 Jan 2016 00:20
The number one of the IJF World Ranking, Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan was the ultimate favourite of the competition and with no surprise he qualified for the final of the day in the U73kg weight division. Orujov faced the 2013 World bronze medallist, Victor Scvortov (UAE), who once again showed his positive fighting spirit, especially after he surged past Pierre Duprat from France in the semi-final within a minute. Throughout the preliminary rounds, Scvortov only once fought until the end of the regular time. All his other bouts were won by ippon.
With a subtile ko-soto-gari, Scvortov was the first one to put his opponent in danger but for no score. A few seconds later, he once again was the first to attack, but this time for yuko. Very opportunistic, always moving, Scvortov seemed to dominate the fight, but with a counterattack, Orujov did more than reduce the score, as he took a strong lead with a waza-ari, which was enough to secure the victory and a more dominant world number one position.
The first bronze medal contest opposed the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist, Igor Wandtke (GER), and Pierre Duprat (FRA), who looks as the best French qualification option for the Games so far, as he is regularly present on the podium of international events. After one minute, Wandtke was penalised with a first shido just before Duprat could score a first yuko to take a significant lead. The final results looked secured in the hands of the French, when Wandtke engaged a powerful sumi-gaeshi for waza-ari which he immediately followed with an immobilisation for ippon. There was less than a minute left to fight.
In the second bronze medal fight of the day, Sami Chouchi of Belgium, who failed two times at the bottom of the podium last year, qualified against Mongolian Ganbaatar Odbayar, bronze medalist on the occasion of the Asian Games in 2015. After a rough fight and with two shido given to his opponent, Ganbaatar could win the bronze medal.
Other favourites were launching their 2016 sports season in Cuba but they were less successful. Thus Ungvari Miklos (HUN) and Musa Mogushkov (RUS), were among the early eliminated athletes of the competition. But there are still several events before the end of the Olympic qualification process and for sure they will have other chances to collect the precious points.
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