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Vazha Margvelashvili delivers Georgian gold to passionate home crowd

25 Mar 2016 22:25

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20160325_Tbilisi_66_MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO)

Vazha Margvelashvili was a cut above the opposition in the U66kg category as he won four of his five fights by ippon to tantalise and delight the home fans at the Grand Prix of Tbilisi. Margvelashvili, Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist and just 22 years, sealed his first IJF gold medal in a dream result as he defeated gritty Glasgow European Open bronze medallist Fabio Basile of Italy with a ko-soto-gake earning waza-ari with a minute left on the clock and the result was never in doubt.

In the first semi-final Margvelashvili swept past Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Tal Flicker (ISR) by waza-ari-awasette-ippon before Basile (ITA) progressed at the expense of Yeldos Zhumakanov (KAZ) by ippon.

The first bronze medal was won by Lima Pan American Open bronze medallist Sinan Sandal (TUR) who defeated Zhumakanov as his waza-ari saw him past a a yuko offered up by the Kazakh. Sandal now heads into his home event next week in Samsun full of confidence and will be one of the judoka to beat in the -66kg category. The second bronze medal went to Budapest Grand Prix winner Zhansay Smagulov (KAZ) who struck with 50 seconds remaining as he executed a sumptuous spinning uchi-mata for ippon as Flicker had to settle for fifth-place.

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  • Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO), Fabio Basile (ITA) - Grand Prix Tbilisi (2016, GEO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO), Fabio Basile (ITA), Sinan Sandal (TUR), Zhansay Smagulov (KAZ) - Grand Prix Tbilisi (2016, GEO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO), Fabio Basile (ITA) - Grand Prix Tbilisi (2016, GEO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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