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Priceless birthday present for Tsogtbaatar Tsend-Ochir
17 Mar 2018 19:45
Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Tsend-Ochir Tsogtbaatar struck U73kg gold as the young Mongolian defeated Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Ferdinand Karapetian of Armenia. Tsogtbaatar became the youngest ever Grand Slam winner for Mongolia. He became 22 on Friday and gave himself a hell of a birthday present.
Two-time Junior world silver medallist Tsend-Ochir, had his breakthrough moment, his first IJF World Judo Tour win, with a battling display as Mongolia excelled on day one. Rio 2016 Olympian at two weight categories below, former U60kg hopeful Tsend-Ochir won the first clash between him and Karapetian in golden score by a waza-ari. Karapetian was the first Armenian male finalist at a Grand Slam since 2012.
Judoka often switch categories and especially at this period before Olympic qualification begins but it is unheard for an athlete to jump up two weight categories. On today’s evidence both judoka look set for a major impact on the U73kg stakes in the upcoming Olympic qualification phase which begins in May.
In the first semi-final Tsend-Ochir strolled past The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Victor Scvortov (UAE) by scoring twice with his seoi-nage which earned a waza-ari on both occasions. In the second semi-final Karapetian threw Olympic champion Fabio Basile (ITA) with an incredible uchi-mata in golden score for ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by Basile who saw off Tunis Grand Prix winner Zhansay Smagulov (KAZ) to win his first medal since winning the -66kg Olympic title in 2016. Basile, 23, won his first Grand Slam honour and also his first prize since moving up to -73kg by a waza-ari score from a de-ashi-barai.
The second and last male bronze medal contest saw Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Uali Kurzhev (RUS) fight his way onto the podium as he pressed Scvortov to the point where the U.A.E judoka was penalised for a third and final time.
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