Ivan Felipe Silva Morales of Cuba won the gold medal U81kg at the Grand Prix in Almaty. The Cuban warrior waited for his moment in the final against Matteo Marconini of Italy until he struck by wazari and converted immediately to oseikomi but couldn’t hold it.
Silva was behind though against Marconcini who impressed with good judo and seems the better judoka to represent his country at the Olympic Games with another 180 points. There’s no discussion about Ivan Felipe Silva Morales who convinced with a gold medal this time and five clean victories against good opponents such as Carlos Luz, Jaromir Musil, Frank de Wit again and Leandro Guilheiro before he qualified for the final. Marconcini surprised Vladimir Zoloev (KGZ) in the semi final. After the wazari in the final Silva got two penalties but Marconcini couldn’t prevent the first gold medal in the IJF World Tour ever U81kg for Cuba. Gabriel Arteaga won World Cups in 2000 and 2002 in this category and finally he seems to have a successor in Ivan Felipe Silva Morales.
Vladimir Zoloev of Kyrgyszstan had a lot of fans in the crowd as his judo was absolutely amazing. Zoloev booked five good victories and threw Dutchman Frank de Wit for ippon in the bronze bout. His style is appealing with hiza gurumas from any place. De Wit got surprised again by his own gutsy style but with all the risk of the world and took his fourth fifth place in a row. De Wit lost his quarter final against his rival Ivan Felipe Silva and had a bye in his first repechage match. The second bronze was for Dagvasuren Nyamsuren of Mongolia who defeated Leandro Guilheiro of Brazil, the double Olympic medallist of 2004 and 2008. In London he finished 7th in 2012 U81kg. Today Nyamsuren scored one yuko after seven seconds, enough for the victory against Guilheiro who showed bits of his fabulous judo today.
Ivan Felipe Silva Morales won his pool with number one seed Loic Pietri who came back for one match against Frank de Wit who threw him for ippon, but De Wit got caught by Silva who managed to write history for his country in this category.