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Hidayet Heydarov leads trio of Azeri on the podium
11 May 2019 19:15
Hidayat Heydarov of Azerbaijan won his home Grand Slam for the first time as he beat Tel Aviv Grand Prix bronze medallist Tohar Butbul (ISR) in a nervy U73kg final. The former European Championships gold medallist and World bronze medallist won his first IJF World Judo Tour medal in ideal fashion as he used the home advantage and encouragement of the crowd to fuel his charge to victory in Baku.
Heydarov was awarded the win after Butbul was reprimanded with this third shido for passivity after three and a half minutes of golden score.
In the first semi-final Olympic silver medallist Rustam Orujov (AZE) fell to Heydarov after three and a half minutes of golden score by ippon. In the second semi-final world number 96 Telman Valiyev (AZE) fell to Butbul by ippon from a ko-uchi-gake in golden score.
The first bronze medal was won by Valiyev who beat Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Denis Iartcev (RUS) at his own game with a majestic sasae-tsurikomi-ashi for ippon. Azeri hope Valiyev produced one of the moments of the day against one of the most experienced and accomplished judoka in the weight category.
The second bronze medal went to Orujov who defeated former Paris Grand Slam winner Akil Gjakova (KOS) by two scores. Number one seed Orujov looked relieved after finishing with bronze courtesy of a makikomi effort and a reaching o-soto-gari as Azerbaijan dominated the U73kg category.
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