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Mark Pickering – IJF
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation
Former world silver medallist Mikail Ozerler of Turkey clinched Turkey’s first gold medal at their home Grand Prix in Antalya as he drove past Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Giorgi Papunashvili (GEO) in golden score. World number 47 Ozerler, who was previously known as Mihael Zgank before switching from Slovenia to Turkey last year, won his first medal for his new employers with a devastating harai-goshi for ippon to kickstart his belated qualification bid for Tokyo 2020.
In the first semi-final Ozerler prevailed against former world champion Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO) who received hansoku-make after his third shido which he picked up for being passive. In the second semi-final Papunashvili dropped under world number 223 Itay Golan (ISR) to throw for ippon after 90 seconds.
The first bronze medal was won by Asian Games bronze medallist Komronshokh Ustopiriyon (TJK) who dominated the little-known Golan from Israel and ended with an emphatic tai-otoshi for ippon.
The second bronze medal went to Tchrikishvili who launched three-time Grand Slam winner Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) for ippon.
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