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Georgia’s captain Varlam Liparteliani takes over the U100kg lead
25 Feb 2018 18:30
Varlam Liparteliani of Georgia took control of the U100kg category just 12 months after stepping up from U100kg with five ippons from his five contests. Liparteliani, 29, clinched his first Grand Slam title since the jump as he defeated Tunis Grand Prix winner and world number 14 Ben Fletcher (IRL) in the final.
Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Liparteliani now boasts 11 Grand Slam medals while Fletcher is in the form of his life and would have been thrilled to scoop his country’s first ever honour at this level.
In the first semi-final Liparteliani beat Openweight world silver medallist Toma Nikiforov (BEL) by ippon with four seconds left in their contest. In the second semi-final Fletcher defeated Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Niiaz Bilalov (RUS) when the latter was penalised for the third and final time.
The first bronze medal was won by Bilalov who caught former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner Lkhagvasuren Otgonbaatar (MGL) with ashi-waza for a waza-ari after 66 seconds of golden score.
The second bronze medal went to Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Jorge Fonseca (POR) who countered an osoto-gari attack by Nikiforov with an osoto of his own in spectacular fashion.
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