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Alan Khubetsov retains his Judo Grand Prix title in Tbilisi
26 Mar 2016 19:15
Russian Alan Khubetsov successfully retained his Tbilisi Grand Prix title from 2015 as he beat former Junior world bronze medallist Levan Gugava of Georgia in the U81kg final to conclude an excellent display for the Russian. In an all time Tbilisi record field of 48 athletes Khubetsov was the most skilled.
Khubetsov, 22, is behind judoka such as Olympic bronze medallist Ivan Nifontov and Khasan Khalmurzaev in the Russian pecking order but gave another great account of himself in Tbilisi as one of the best performers in this year’s event so far. The Russian took the lead with a yuko and threw one-handed for waza-ari which was immediately upgraded to ippon by the IJF Refereeing Commission.
In the first semi-final Gugava defeated Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Roman Moustopoulos of Greece as he scored a waza-ari from an uchi-mata which led to the Greek being penalised for passivity. Seconds later Gugava returned to uchi-mata to earn a second and match-winning waza-ari. In the second semi-final Khubetsov stormed past Qingdao Grand Prix medallist Otgonbaatar Uuganbaatar after 72 seconds by ippon as he looked on track to successfully defending his 2015 title. Khubetsov built a commanding advantage with a waza-ari from a morote-eri-seoi-nage before taking the contest with his second attempt at a yoko-otoshi.
The first bronze medal was won by Otgonbaatar who prevailed against Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Alexander Wieczerzak (GER) as a shido against the German fighter for a gripping infringement decided the contest. Otgonbaatar went the closest to scoring with a fine yoko-tomoe-nage attempt but he had still done enough for the result and a Mongolian medal. The second bronze medal was won by Moustopoulos who fought his way back to beat former Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Zebeda Rekhviashvili (GEO). Moustopoulos was penalised twice but his home opponent was sapped of energy and picked up two shidos himself before being thrown with an uchi-mata for a waza-ari score.
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