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Simeon Catharina breaks through all career barriers
Simeon Catharina breaks through all career barriers
7 May 2021 20:05
IJF Media team by Nicolas Messner
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

The category U100kg is one of those still very uncertain categories where many athletes can claim the final victory. At the Grand Slam guys like Peter Paltchik (ISR), Mukhammadkarim Khurramov (UZB) or Cho Guham (KOR) were expected to perform but only Arman Adamian (RUS), already twice a bronze medallist on the World Judo Tour in 2021, could reach the final against Simeon Catharina (NED), cadet world champion in 2015 and 5th in Doha in January.

Strongly supported by the public, Adamian took the lead with a counterattack for waza-ari and seemed in perfect control of the situation, when Catharina, after a beautiful action-reaction situation, engaged a ko-soto-gari to tani-otoshi combination for a clear and spectacular ippon that instantly silenced the public. Catharina litterly did a complete Kazan take-over.

Even though he has three grand slam victories, the last of which dates back to 2018 in Ekaterinburg, it has been some time since Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) found himself in a position to win a medal. This time it was against Cho Guham (KOR), whose last victory dates back to the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in 2019. After 33 seconds in golden score, Cho found an opportunity to score a beautiful ippon with ippon-seoi-nage.

Niiaz Bilalov (RUS) has been waiting to win his first medal on the international circuit for many months, but before he could celebrate he still had to face Onise Saneblidze (GEO), a young athlete of only 22 years. With just two seconds remaining, Bilalov scored a waza-ari that offered him the victory, much to the delight of the public.