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Russia’s Bilalov wins clash between first time Grand Slam finalists
28 Oct 2017 18:30
Russian talent Niiaz Bilalov made a winning start to his first foray into a Grand Slam final as he beat former world bronze medallist Toma Nikiforov (BEL) to win U100kg gold. Nikiforov, who will take on judo’s heavyweight titans in the Openweight World Championships blockbuster next month, fell behind to a waza-ari score from a drop seoi-nage but thought he had won the contest when he forced a submission on the ground.
However, a video review showed that he had applied illegal pressure to the lower body of his opponent and the original awarding of ippon was cancelled. The contest continued and FISU Universiade bronze medallist Bilalov made the most of it as he drove over his Belgian rival with an o-uchi-gari with 41 seconds left for ippon.
In the first semi-final Nikiforov downed Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Cirjenics Miklos (HUN) by a waza-ari which was the only score of the contest. In the second semi-final Bilalov saw off Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Giuliano Loporchio (ITA) by two waza-ari scores. The Russian scored his second with a drop seoi-nage towards the edge of the mat which all but ended the hopes of Loporchio as Bilalov comfortably saw out the remaining time.
The first bronze medal was won by five-time world medallist Kirill Denisov (RUS) who beat Loporchio with a late show for a place on the -100kg podium. A ko-uchi-gari earned a waza-ari score with 12 seconds left and there was not enough time for the trailing Italian to launch a comeback.
The second bronze medal went to Cancun Grand Prix winner Peter Paltchik of Israel who defeated Cirjenics by a waza-ari score which was registered after only five seconds. Paltchik rocked his opponent with a sasae-tsurikomi-ashi and he was off balance to the point where he could use his upper body and momentum to complete the scoring technique.
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Souhail Ghuefrachi (TUN)
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