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Andraz Jereb offers Slovenia more glance with Zagreb gold

24 Sep 2016 12:45

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    Carlos Ferreira CJF / Croatian Judo Federation

Slovenian Andraz Jereb won Grand Prix gold in his first final at this level as he narrowly defeated former Junior World Championships bronze medallist Baruch Shmailov of Israel in a highly-competitive gold medal contest. Jereb and Shmailov matched each other for four minutes and 51 seconds until the Slovenian countered the Israeli as he rolled him over for a yuko score which was the decisive action as the late score gave Jereb a golden glow and offered his country their first medal in Zagreb.

Jereb also won the European Open in Prague this year.

In the first semi-final former Miami Grand Prix winner Abdula Abdulzhalilov of Russia lost out to Shmailov by a waza-ari having originally been in front by a yuko score. In the second semi-final Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist  Jereb literally swept aside 20-year-old former Junior European Championships bronze medallist Denis Vieru of Moldova to reach his first IJF World Judo Tour final.

The first bronze medal was won by Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Tal Flicker (ISR) who launched Vieru with an incredible o-goshi for ippon with 38 seconds left, the score of the day. Vieru had fought well and routinely attacked but an moment of magic from the Israeli saw him home having led by a yuko from a yoko-otoshi. The second bronze medal went to Abdulzhalilov who won his third Grand Prix medal at the expense of Lima Pan American Open bronze medallist Ilija Ciganovic (SRB) who was battling for an IJF medal for the first time. Abdulzhalilov delivered the only score of the contest as a seoi-otoshi drove the Serbian fighter over and a waza-ari for the Russian gave him a platform to grasp control of the contest as Ciganovic was denied.

Top seed and Tyumen Grand Slam silver medallist Anzaur Ardanov (RUS) was left disappointed as he suffered two back-to-back defeats by ippon having won his first contest by the maximum score to finish in seventh-place.

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  • Andraz Jereb (SLO), Baruch Shmailov (ISR), Abdula Abdulzhalilov (RUS), Tal Flicker (ISR) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2016, CRO) - © Carlos Ferreira CJF, Croatian Judo Federation
  • Tal Flicker (ISR) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2016, CRO) - © Carlos Ferreira CJF, Croatian Judo Federation
  • Baruch Shmailov (ISR) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2016, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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