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Kazach Smagulov dominates the category but a great day for Kosovo

20 Jan 2018 18:00

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation

The first one to score in the final pf the Grand Prix in Tunis U73kg between Zhansay Smagulov (KAZ) and Akil Gjakova (KOS) was the Kazakh with an opportunistic kata-guruma that was followed a little bit later by another beautiful movement, o-soto-otoshi, for a clear ippon this time. But what a day for Kosovo and Akil Gjakova.

In his 13th Grand Prix, and after a lot of near misses, he has become Kosovo's first male IJF medallist at #JudoTunis2018 This silver medal for Akil, who made his Grand Prix debut in 2014 adds to his sister Nora's gold medal won yesterday in the U57kg.

The first bronze medal match saw Benjamin Axus (FRA) and Farmonov Mirzokhid (UZB) competing for a place on the podium. One minute and 20 seconds were necessary to Farmonov to score ippon with a beautiful piece of ko-soto-gari, which gave no chance to the French to escape. With a nice fairplay gesture, Farmonov helped Axus to stand up.

Yoshida Yuhei (JPN) and Mohammadi Mohammad (IRI) were opposed in the second bronze medal contest. After 1 minute 23 seconds Mohammadi received the first shido for passivity as YOSHIDA in pure Japanese style was the most active. The latter was also penalized with a shido for false attack just before the gong. As nothing else was written on the scoreboard, the two judoka entered the golden score and after 49 seconds were both penalized for passivity. It ws after 3 minutes and 33 seconds that Yoshida finally found a tiny opening inside Mohammadi's strong defense and scored a waza-ari with a drop seoi-nage.

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  • Zhansay Smagulov (KAZ) - Grand Prix Tunis (2018, TUN) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Zhansay Smagulov (KAZ) - Grand Prix Tunis (2018, TUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Akil Gjakova (KOS) - Grand Prix Tunis (2018, TUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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