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Uzbek Davlat Bobonov strikes Grand Slam gold
Uzbek Davlat Bobonov strikes Grand Slam gold
23 Feb 2020 17:50
Mark Pickering - IJF / judo news, results and photos

Davlat Bobonov of Uzbekistan needed just 59 seconds to defeat Marrakech Grand Prix bronze medallist Quedjau Nhabali (UKR) to win his first Grand Slam title on Sunday. World number 37 Bobonov, who is one of the leading projects under the leadership of the legendary Ilias Iliadis, emulated the exploits of his new head coach by thrilling the crowd with one of the best performances of the weekend.

Bobonov improved on his Grand Slam silver from Osaka by countering Nhabali with an uchi-mata-sukashi and then picked up his Ukrainian for a second and decisive waza-ari score.

In the first semi-final Bobonov blasted past former world silver medallist Ivan Felipe Silva Morales (CUB) by a seoi-otoshi and then a gigantic pick up as he overwhelmed his Cuban rival.

In the second semi-final Nhabali came from behind to beat world number five Mammadali Mehdiyev (AZE) by ippon to grace a Grand Slam final for the first time.

The first bronze medal was won by Osaka Grand Slam winner Beka Gviniashvili (GEO) in a frenetic contest against Mehdiyev. Gviniashvili stepped up in golden score and countered his Azeri rival after 42 seconds with a ura-nage for a waza-ari score to please the large and vocal contingent of Georgian supporters.

The second bronze medal went to Osaka Grand Slam bronze medallist Mukai Shoichiro (JPN) after Silva Morales got wrapped up by the Japanese and thrown with a o-soto-makikomi after 18 seconds of golden score. Mukai, who prevailed by a waza-ari score, absorbed a barrage of attacks from the Cuban and maintained his 100% record against the world number four to strengthen his Olympic bid.