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Junior world champion Gela Zaalishvili golden talent
28 Jul 2019 23:40
Georgian super talent Gela Zaalishvili sealed a remarkable comeback in Zagreb as he recorded a thrilling win over a shell-shocked Olympic silver medallist Harasawa Hisayoshi (JPN). Zaalishvili, 19, who only debuted on the IJF World Judo Tour in March, was caught with a ko-uchi-gari after 22 seconds of golden which was awarded a waza-ari before being cancelled upon a review. That scare gave the Georgian all the impetus to go for broke and he turned over 27-year-old Harasawa for ippon.
In the first semi-final Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Zaalishvili beat Antalya Grand Prix winner Roy Meyer (NED) by a waza-ari score while in the second Harasawa benefited from a lacklustre showing by world number 64 Alen Tskhovrebov (RUS) who was disqualified after being penalised three times.
The first bronze medal was won by Junior Asian Championships silver medallist Alisher Yusupov (UZB) after Tskhovrebov picked up a knee injury during the contest and could no longer continue.
The second bronze medal went to Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Levani Matiashvili (GEO) who attained his 13th Grand Prix at this level at the expense of Meyer who dropped with nine seconds left to pick up his third shido as his ill-advised tactics kept him off the podium.
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Michelle Kamano (ITA)