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Mikhail Igolnikov upstages returning Olympic champion for gold
25 Feb 2018 17:45
Russian super talent Mikhail Igolnikov defeated Olympic champion Baker Mashu (JPN) to win his maiden Grand Slam crown. The 21-year-old Russian European U23 Champion, who was appearing in the final block at one of the IJF’s six majors for the first time, was the aggressor and threw the returning Baker with a nidan-kosoto-gari for ippon.
Baker joked ahead of the weigh-in on Saturday night that his previously injured shoulder felt 80% while the other felt 120% and he won’t be too unhappy with silver on his comeback and first competition since 2016. The two finalists could be U90kg rivals for many years to come.
In the first semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP) was beaten by Igolnikov by ippon despite originally leading by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final Tashkent Grand Prix winner Ustopiriyon Komronshokh (TJK) fell to Baker by a waza-ari score in a closely contested match.
The first bronze medal was won by Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Gantulga Altanbagana (MGL) who defeated Ustopiriyon by a waza-ari score in the first contest of the final block on the last day of competition in Germany.
The second bronze medal went to high-flying Sherazadishvili who beat Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Nicholas Mungai (ITA) by a waza-ari which was the only score of the contest.
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