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Hifumi Abe again shows mouthwatering judo on Paris debut
11 Feb 2017 18:30
Japanese teen Hifumi Abe is the youngest ever winner of the Grand Slam in Paris and in the top 10 of youngest male winners ever in Paris. Ilias Iliadis was one of the youngest aged 18 in 2005, when the IJF didn’t yet have Grand Slams. Abe grabbed his first chance to perform at one of the sport’s flagship events with both hands as the 19-year-old sensation won the fourth Grand Slam gold medal of his career.
Abe outperformed Russian Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Anzaur Ardanov for all four minutes as he struck with five seconds left with a sode-tsuriukomi-goshi for a waza-ari score.
In the first semi-final Abe who was Youth Olympic Games winner in 2014, dismissed Pan-American Championships bronze medallist Antoine Bouchard of Canada with a fantastic morote-seoi-nage after just one minute. The subsequent semi-final saw Ardanov sweep past Ganbold Kherlen (MGL) by ippon after two minutes.
In the first bronze medal contest European champion Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO) bested Ganbold by a waza-ari to break his Grand Slam duck as the Georgian made a bright start to 2017 with his home event, the Tbilisi Grand Prix, coming up in March. The second bronze medal went to World Judo Masters bronze medallist Nijat Shikhalizada (AZE) who defeated Bouchard with two waza-ari. The Azeri star launched the dogged Canadian backwards with a osoto-gari which was the pick of the throws as Shikhalizada showed his worth.
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Leticia Jung (GER)
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