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Vincent Manquest claims first Senior Grand Prix gold
24 Sep 2016 12:05
French former World Junior Champion Vincent Manquest won his first IJF gold medal as he submitted former Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Robert Mshvidobadze of Russia for the top prize in Croatia.
Both judoka were confident of wearing IJF gold for the first time but the Russian was never a threat in the final as Manquest brilliantly executed a juji-gatame after just 66 seconds which forced the former to submit and concede the title. Mshvidobadze has not fulfilled his potential and at 27 will find international starts hard to come by now among the stacked Russian squad while Manquest is only 22 and will see this win as the turning point in his career at the elite level.
In the semi-finals Manquest, who was European Open bronze medallist in Glasgow, defeated Tallinn European Open winner Joaquin Gomis (ESP) by ippon after two minutes before Tallinn European Open silver medallist Philip Graf (GER) succumb to Mshvidobadze at the same stage. A ko-uch-gari and a ko-uchi-gake from the Russian were each awarded a waza-ari to send Mshvidobadze into the final.
The first bronze medal was won by Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Cedric Revol (FRA) who controlled Graf for all five minutes as France continued their flying start to day one. The 22-year-old Frenchman went ahead with a low right-sided ouchi-gari and added a waza-ari with an ippon seoi-nage with just under two minutes remaining. Graf could not find a route back into the contest as he was second best and had to settle for fifth-place in Croatia. The second bronze medal went to Gomis who claimed a first IJF medal by defeating Taipei Asian Open winner Matjaz Trbovc (SLO) with a neat piece of shime-waza. Trbovc, who finished fifth at the Rijeka Grand Prix in Croatia in 2013, thought he was able to withstand the pressure but the Spaniard tightened his grip and the Slovenian had to tap out. After securing the best result of his career in just 51 seconds in the final block, Gomis burst into tears and fell to his knees as he showed how important this part of the Olympic cycle is to emerging judoka.
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