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Akil Gjakova Kosovo’s first male judo miracle
10 Feb 2018 19:10
Youngster Akil Gjakova of Kosovo made history for his country for the second successive event to maintain his imperious start to 2018. Gjakova, 22, whose older sister Nora Gjakova lost out in the second round of the U57kg category in Paris, became the first male judoka from Kosovo to win a Grand Prix medal in January, but that was just the warm-up.
Gjakova went to the next level today as he accomplished the feat on the Grand Slam stage. London 2012 Olympic champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO) was left perplexed after Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist Gjakova registered the only score of the contest (waza-ari) for a momentous victory on one of the biggest stages in the sport.
In the first semi-final double world bronze medallist An Changrim (KOR) fell to Shavdatuashvili by ippon with a ko-soto-gari. In the second semi-final Gjakova profited from an error-strewn display by Tsend-Ochir Tsogtbaatar (MGL) who received hansoku-make after a third shido.
The first bronze medal was won by Rio 2016 Olympian Tsend-Ochir who produced his best result in his new weight category with a modified kata-guruma earning a match-winning waza-ari score after 44 seconds of golden score.
The second and last male bronze medal contest saw An add to his country’s growing medal haul by dismissing Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Arthur Margelidon (CAN) by ippon with a driving left-sided ko-uchi-gari.
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