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Mark Pickering – IJF
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation
World champion Saeid Mollaei of Iran underlined his superiority in a stacked weight category by winning a rematch of the 2018 Worlds final in spectacular fashion. Mollaei earned his first Grand Prix gold medal by throwing Worlds-bound Fujiwara Sotaro (JPN) with a sode-tsurikomi-goshi for ippon which was arguably the ippon of the day.
Japanese number one and three-time Grand Slam winner Fujiwara showed his sportsmanship and respect for his conqueror by raising the hand of Mollaei after a thrilling finish to the second day of competition in Inner Mongolia.
In the first semi-final Mollaei threw Asian-Pacific Championships gold medallist Otgonbaatar Uuganbaatar (MGL) and pinned down the crowd favourite to secure a place in the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final Paris Grand Slam winner Dominic Ressel (GER) fell to Fujiwara who trapped his German adversary with a kata-gatame to wrap up a place in the final after leading by a waza-ari score.
The first bronze medal was won by Ressel who caught African Championships gold medallist Mohamed Abdelaal (EGY) with a sumi-gaeshi for ippon.
The second bronze medal went to Asian-Pacific Championships bronze medallist Lee Sungho (KOR) who launched Otgonbaatar for ippon after 36 seconds of golden score.
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