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Russian judoka Musa Mogushkov beat Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Akil Gjakova of Kosovo for the first time to win his third Grand Prix title. Gjakova beat Mogushkov in the semi-finals at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam two weeks ago but the latter avenged that result in today’s U73kg final after three and a half minutes of golden score.
Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Mogushkov caught his rival with a ko-uchi-gari for a waza-ari score to claim his country’s first medal in The Hague.
In the first semi-final two-time Grand Prix bronze medallist Eduardo Barbosa (BRA) was held down by Mogushkov (RUS) for the full 20 seconds for ippon. In the second semi-final Gjakova defeated Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Anthony Zingg (GER) by a waza-ari score. The rising star from Kosovo threw beautifully with a sasae-tsurikomi-ashi having used the edge of the area to generate a reaction from his opponent who circled back into the area and onto the foot of Gjakova.
The first bronze medal was won by London 2012 Olympic champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO) over Zingg. Shavdatuashvili won a battle of attrition against the German which required eight minutes and 19 seconds of golden score to produce a winner. The rivals, who spent over 15 minutes on the mat, were separated when a third shido was given to Zingg for ducking under an attack from the Georgian who claimed his 10th Grand Prix medal.
The second bronze medal went to Romanian Junior European Cup winner Victor Sterpu (MDA) who outfought Barbosa. The Moldovan judoka, who was fighting for an IJF medal for the first time, won a surprise place on the podium when the Brazilian, a two-time Grand Prix bronze medallist, was reprimanded with his third shido in a scoreless contest.
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