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Kazakh veteran Gulzhan Issanova regains Grand Prix Tashkent title
8 Oct 2016 18:05
Kazakh heavyweight Gulzhan Issanova won her third Grand Prix title with a victory over Maryna Slutskaya of Belarus. The duo were even in the head-to-head series coming into the contest with one win apiece and it was the veteran Issanova who moved ahead with a nail-biting win on shido penalties 1:2 after a misfiring Slutskaya was twice penalised for passivity while the winner was only penalised once for the same indiscretion.
The 33-year-old Asian Championships silver medallist, who missed out on a place at Rio 2016, may decide to end on a high or with this win and points windfall could target one more World Championships experience with a record $1 million in prize money to be shared among the medallists in Budapest next year.
In the first semi-final Slutskaya, Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist, registered a full house of scores against 20-year-old Junior Asian Championships bronze medallist Rahima Yuldoshova (UZB). The Belarus judoka improved with every score as an opening yuko was followed by a waza-ari and then ippon to secure a spot in the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final Issanova confidently held down Orenburg European Cup winner Daria Karpova (RUS) in osaekomi for 20 seconds and ippon. Issanova used a ushiro-kesa-gatame to pin down the Russian fighter to advance to the final.
The first bronze medal was won by Karpova who won her first clash against 18-year-old Grand Prix debutant Gulnoza Azimova (UZB) by ippon from a juji-gatame after 28 seconds.
The second bronze medal was won by world-ranked Yuldoshova over young heavyweight Saneayim Erkinbaeva (UZB). Yuldoshova and Erkinbaeva, who were opposed against each other for the first time on the IJF World Judo Tour, could not be separated after four minutes of relative inaction and needed an additional 72 seconds to decide who would represent Uzbekistan on the women’s heavyweight podium. Yuldoshova submitted her teammate with a juji-gatame for an invaluable win as she plots a run of international assignments for her country.
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