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Mark Pickering – IJF
IJF Marina Mayorova / International Judo Federation
Kilian Le Blouch of France topped an IJF Grand Slam medal podium for the first time at the expense of world number 130 Isa Isaev (RUS) who was unable to win gold for the hosts at the Grand Slam of Ekaterinburg.
Both judoka were in unchartered territory as they graced a Grand Slam final for the first time and it was the world number 46 and Rome European Open gold medallist from France who had the decisive say as he caught the home judoka with an o-uchi-gari for a waza-ari score.
In the first semi-final Isaev benefitted from an error-strewn display by Antalya Grand Prix winner Bagrati Niniashvili (GEO) who was disqualified after receiving three shidos. In the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix winner Tal Flicker (ISR) was second best against Le Blouch.
The first bronze medal was won by Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Baruch Shmailov (ISR) who conquered his teammate Flicker. The latter was disqualified for his third shido after three minutes of golden score for passivity. The second bronze medal went to Niniashvili who stunned Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist Fujisaka Taroh (JPN) by throwing the Japanese on two occasions. Georgia’s Niniashvili launched Fujisaka with a front uchi-mata for a waza-ari and added a second to leave the Japanese reeling.
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