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Spain is back on the judo map
Spain is back on the judo map
10 Jun 2021 23:50
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

Top seed of the category, the 25 year old 2018 world champion Nikoloz Sherazadishvili from Spain had the perfect start of his World Championships, with wins against Faruch Bulekulov (KAZ), Piotr Kuczera (POL), Altanbagana Gantulga (MGL) and Kenta Nagasawa (JPN) in the semifinal. But it's not only that he won all his preliminary matches, he won them all by ippon without having to go use a golden score period. The tsuri-goshi he applied to Nagasawa was a piece of art. It's always impressive when an athlete knows exactly what he is capable of and he does it with style and precision. This is the mark of great champions, of which Sherazadishvili is definitely one.

To face him in the final was Davlat Bobonov (UZB), second in Tashkent and third in Tbilisi this year. The Uzbek protege of Ilias Iliadis had a tough first preliminary round against Murano Sanshiro and was lucky, after having been thrown, to see his opponent disqualified for a dangerous technique. He then had two 'easier' rounds against Li Kochman (ISR) and Islam Bozbayev, both matches won by ippon, before he faced the local hero, Krisztian Toth, in the semi-final. The two men were separated by a single waza-ari after four intense minutes of judo, but that was enough for Bozbayev to join Sherazadishvili in what was his first world championship final.

A first shido was given to Bobonov for a wrong grip, while Sherazadishvili received the next one for passivity. After a confused action, both went on the floor and Sherazadishvili immediately pinned down Bobonov but the Uzbek athlete escapted after 8 seconds. After the next sequence, Sherazadishvili was penalised a second time. Golden score! The tension increased as Bobonov was always attacking before Sherazadishvili to prevent the Spaniard to launch his spectacular moves. Eventually, Sherazadishvili engaged a o-uchi-gari that was like suspended in the air for a second, before he could finally put all his power to throw Bobonov. Clear ippon for a second brilliant world title.

Nikoloz Sherazadishvili declared, "Bobonov has one of the fastest seoi-nage attacks at -90kg. The plan was to use my strength to stop him in the first 2 minutes and then to go for him and finish the job. These are the best world championships in history for Spain."

Toth wins bronze at  home

Seventh at the World Judo Masters last January and third in Tbilisi on 26th March 2021, Altanbagana Gantulga (MGL), qualified for the first bronze medal contest against Krisztian Toth (HUN), who was in position to win the first medal for the host country and who was massively supported by a cheerful public. After one minute, the two athletes had been penalised with a first shido. Being one head shorter than his opponent, Toth was trying to go under Gantulga's center of gravity while the Mongol was waiting for the attack, which didn't really come. He was then penalised twice for passivity, while Toth got only one shido. As the golden score started, the sound level in the arena raised dramatically. Toth was pushing and attacking to give a third shido to Gantulga, who kept looking for the hip throw. Every single action seemed to be on the edge to score, but both athletes were escaping like cats until the last sequence that put an end to this gladiator battle. Gantulga received a third shido, Toth won the first medal for Hungary. The champion left the tatami in slow motion. He had given all and was happily exhausted. This is medal number two for Toth Krisztian in a world championships.

Nyman peaks in Budapest

After his significant performance at the Antalya and Tbilisi Grand Slams, that he won one after the other, Marcus Nyman (SWE), fifth at the Olympic Games and at the World Championships earlier in his career, met the second Japanese competitor in the category, Nagasawa Kenta (JPN), winner of the Tashkent Grand Slam in March. The match concluded with a superb sumi-gaeshi performed by Marcus Nyman, after twenty second in the golden score period, while only shido had been distributed during the regular time. This is first medal at world championships for Nyman.