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A victory of Iranian ace Mollaei is not a surprise anymore
24 Feb 2018 19:30
World bronze medallist Saeid Mollaei (IRI) celebrated claiming a new chapter in his career as he stood on the top spot of an IJF podium for the first time. Mollaei has attended 12 Grand Prix and nine Grand Slams and has won his share of medals over the last year during his best spell on the circuit.
Unfancied Frenchman Alpha Oumar Djalo (FRA) was a worthy opponent and gave a good account of himself against the world number four in the first meeting between the two. The 21-year French judoka, who looks short but powerful in the -81kg the category, eventually succumbed by ippon as both judoka attained their best Grand Slam results.
In the first semi-final world number 25 Anri Egutidze (POR) lost out to Djalo in an entertaining contest. The Frenchman saw off his rival in golden score with a ko-uchi-gari for ippon. In the second semi-final Mollaei bested European silver medallist Dominic Ressel (GER) in golden score with a koshi-guruma for a waza-ari.
The first bronze medal was won by Ressel who catapulted The Hague Grand Prix bronze medallist and Junior world champion Matthias Casse (BEL) through the air with an uchi-mata for ippon after 55 seconds of golden score. World number 17 Ressel brought the crowd to their feet with one of the best throws of the competition which even had members of the media out of their seats in awe.
The second bronze medal went to World Judo Masters silver medallist Aslan Lappinagov (RUS) who defeated Egutidze by ippon at the halfway point.
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