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Hifumi Abe extends unbeaten run with sixth Grand Slam victory
17 Mar 2018 18:10
World champion Abe Hifumi of Japan won the sixth Grand Slam medal of his staggering young career as the unstoppable Japanese judoka ruled the U66kg category in Ekaterinburg.
Abe, who is still only 20, defeated The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Yakub Shamilov (RUS) by a waza-ari score to extend his winning-streak to 32 consecutive contests. The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games winner is undefeated since 2015 which puts him only behind all-time great Teddy Riner (FRA) who is unbeaten since 2010.
In the first semi-final Abe defeated Tashkent Grand Prix winner Dzmitry Minkou (BLR) by ippon to continue his unstoppable run towards gold. In the second semi-final Shamilov bested teammate and world number nine Abdula Abdulzhalilov (RUS) by ippon.
In the first bronze medal contest Abdulzhalilov defeated world number 104 and Grand Slam debutant Isa Isaev (RUS) with an incredible ashi-waza movement that had the crowd purring with approval.
The second bronze medal went to Minkou after Agadir Grand Prix winner Adrian Gomboc (SLO) was reprimanded with his third shido. Belarus judoka Minkou matched his result from a year ago as Gomboc will have to go again in search of his first Grand Slam medal.
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