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European Championships bronze medallist Peter Paltchik (ISR) won his country’s second gold medal in the United Arab Emirates. Paltchik took bronze a year ago under the banner of the IJF but topped the podium today and thanks to the groundbreaking work of the International Judo Federation and the U.A.E Judo & Wrestling Federation, did so with the Israel flag on his judogi and his anthem as he won his first Grand Slam title.
Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Elmar Gasimov (AZE) lost out to the Tbilsi Grand Prix winner in golden score by a waza-ari after 29 seconds of added time.
In the first semi-final world number six Jorge Fonseca (POR) missed out on a place in the final after losing out by a waza-ari score to Gasimov. In the second semi-final Paltchik turned to sutemi-waza against Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Karl-Richard Frey (GER) after three minutes of golden score for a waza-ari and place in the final.
The first bronze medal was won by Frey who saw off 2009 Rio Grand Slam bronze medallist Askhab Kostoev (RUS). The Russian returned earlier this year after a five-year absence from the circuit and took fifth-place in Abu Dhabi after losing out by a waza-ari score against Germany’s Frey with a koshi-guruma.
The second bronze medal went to Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Jevgenijs Borodavko (LAT) who held down Fonseca with a kami-shiho-gatame. There are not many judoka who can match the Portuguese for power but the much taller Latvian retained control of his opponent on the ground to win his fifth Grand Slam honour.
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