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Mark Picking – IJF and JudoInside
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation
Dutch heavyweight Roy Meyer was the leading man for the Netherlands as he delivered the +100kg gold medal in the last contest at the 2019 Antalya Grand Prix. Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Levani Matiashvili (GEO) came close to winning his second Grand Prix in seven days but the heavyweight crown belonged to Meyer today who put in arguably the best performance of his career. However two weeks ago he won a bigger price becoming father for the second time.
Meyer demonstrated a tactical and methodical approach when he needed to complement his ferocious power. The Dutch star has now won Grand Prix events in 2014, 2017 and 2019 and will believe that his fourth Grand Prix success will be just around the corner after this showing. Matiashvili came undone from a o-soto-gari after 17 seconds of golden score to cap an action-packed three days of riveting Grand Prix action in Turkey.
In the first semi-final Meyer beat former Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Vladut Simionescu (ROU) by ippon while in the second semi-final MATIASHVILI saw off world silver medallist Ushangi Kokauri (AZE) who was handed his third and final shido.
The first bronze medal was won by -100kg Olympic champion Lukas Krpalek (CZE) who salvaged a place on the podium with a win over Kokauri. Krpalek, who was competing for the first time this year, returned to winning ways by catching his Azeri rival with a sumi-gaeshi for a waza-ari score and then a o-soto-gari.
The second bronze medal went to Simionescu who came from behind to defeat former world silver medallist David Moura (BRA). Brazilian giant Moura scored first with a waza-ari from a o-uchi-gari waza-ari but was thrown with a ko-soto-gake and the Romanian landed on top and kept control for 10 seconds and heavyweight bronze.
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