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Russian heavyweight Inal Tasoev took the biggest win of his burgeoning career as he defeated Olympic champion Lukas Krpalek (CZE) five seconds into their +100kg final. Russia’s premier heavyweight, who was overlooked for selection to the World Championships in September, faced off with Krpalek for the first time and humbled the owner of the U100kg gold backpatch with an o-uchi-gari after his distinguished heavyweight rival rushed in.
Georgia finished top of the medal table at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam with three gold medals as Russia claimed second place after winning two gold medals on the last day of a historic competition in the U.A.E.
In the last contest of the competition, 2017 Junior World Championships gold medallist and Antalya Grand Prix winner Tasoev enhanced his reputation with a first Grand Slam crown and the pair could be engaged in chapter two at the season-ending World judo Masters in Guangzhou, China, from 15 – 16 December.
In the first semi-final Krpalek held down Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Or Sasson (ISR) who elected to tap out after appearing to pick up an arm injury. The former U100kg rivals, who last faced off at the 2013 Samsun Grand Prix, collided for the first time in the heavyweight category and it was the Czech Republic judoka who prevailed and remained undefeated against his lsraeli rival. In the second semi-final Henk Grol (NED) was pinned down by Tasoev for 10 seconds after the Russian went in front by a waza-ari from a te-waza movement.
The first bronze medal was won by rugged veteran Grol who launched Minsk European Open winner Uladzislau Tsiarpitski (BLR) with an uchi-mata for ippon and his sixth Grand Slam medal.
The second bronze medal went to Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Iurii Krakovetskii (KGZ) as Sasson could not compete due to injury.
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