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Shohei Ono looks concentrated, Azeri men eager to stunt
27 Aug 2019 11:25
In the Preliminaries at the World Championships in Tokyo not so many surprises in the men;s U73kg. Most of the favourites qualified or simply had tough opponents. In pool C opt favourite and Olympic champion Shohei Ono Shohei breezed into the last four with an effortless display as he won all four of his bouts by ippon.
First Miklos Ungvari and later Lasha Shavdatuashvili, both Olympic finallists in 2012 U66kg were the opponents of Ono. In the quarter final he defeated Junior world Champion Bilal Ciloglu (TUR).
Olympic silver medallist Rustam Orujov (AZE) went four from four to sail into the semi-finals where he inevitably will be pitted against teammate Hidayat Heydarov (AZE) who claimed pool B with the same record of 4:0. But this is the World Championships semi-final, anything can happen and even a repetition of the Olympic final between Ono and Orujov. So far he looks sharp and is ready to meet his compatriot.
Heydarov met with Behruzi Kohjazoda one of the two surprising men from Tajikistan. Kohjazoda defeated Akil Gjakova but got caught by Heydarov in the quarter. A big blow was the loss of European Champion Tommy Macias (SWE). He lost to Somon Makhmadbekov (TJK) who reached the last eight but lost in the quarter to Ashi-waza ace Denis Iartcev (RUS). He was on form in pool D as he used all of his fear factor to win his four outings and book a meeting with Ono for a place in the semi final. He beat Ono once in 2014 at the Team World Championships.
Olympic champion from the weight below, Fabio Basile (ITA), failed in his quest to become the first Italian man to win a world judo title as he fell in round four at the hands of Tohar Butbul. The Israelian looks good as he will face Makhmadbekov for a place in the bronze match.
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Marhinde Verkerk (NED)