JudoInside – News – Azeri ace Mehdiyev stops Japanese Murao

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 Mark Pickering – IJF  
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Azeri Mammadali Mehdiyev defeated 18-year-old Osaka Grand Slam bronze medallist Murao Sanshiro (JPN) to strike Grand Slam gold for the first time in his career. The world number seven denied high school student Murao a first IJF World Judo Tour title after the Japanese caught the eye in the preliminary rounds.

Tel Aviv Grand Prix bronze medallist Mehdiyev executed a ura-nage to counter a ko-uchi-gari for a waza-ari score and that proved to be the decisive moment of the contest.

In the first semi-final Tel Aviv Grand Prix bronze medallist Jesper Smink (NED) fell to teenager Murao by ippon from an o-osoto-gari. In the second semi-final former world number one Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) was beaten by Mehdiyev in golden score with a ko-soto-gake.

The first bronze medal was won by European champion Mikhail Igolnikov (RUS) who consigned Kukolj to a lowly fifth-place by his high standards by ippon from a o-soto-gari.      

The second bronze medal was won by Smink after former World Judo Masters silver medallist Joachim Bottieau (BEL), who was covered in medical tape across his face, injured his leg and immediately tapped out to forfeit the contest.

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