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World Champion An battles with Olympic stars
30 Oct 2015 17:30
A Super Strong Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi with the top fighters U66kg showing the best judo. Some of the elusive stars of the U60kg category until the Olympic Games in 2012 showed their best to the crowd. Korean World World champion An Baul took the gold in the end.
An stepped onto the tatami for the first time in a competition since winning the world title in Astana. The 21-year-old won his first Grand Slam gold medal in a fascinating contest which matched the world champion against the Olympic champion. World number 52 Arsen Galstyan (RUS) has struggled for form since his London 2012 triumph but on this evidence is finally set to make a dent in the category and be in contention for selection for Rio 2016 to defend his title. An reigned supreme in the U66kg category once again as he was penalised twice while Galstyan was penalised on three occasions.
In the first semi-final Georgii Zantaraia (UKR) was humbled by Galstyan by the maximum score in 23 seconds while in the second semi-final An defeated European Games bronze medallist Sebastian Seidl (GER).
The first bronze medal was won by world bronze medallist Rishod Sobirov (UZB) who beat Seidl after one minute of golden score when the German was penalised for a false attack to his surprise. The second bronze medal went to the one and only Zantaraia who defeated European Games winner Kamal Khan-Magomedov (RUS) on shido penalties and helped up the exhausted Russian after the time elapsed.
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