Russia lead the medal charge at IJF Tashkent Grand Prix
Two final day gold medal victories for Russia ensured they finished top of the medals table at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Prix in Tashkent.
Gold medals for Kazbek Zankishiev and Kseniia Chibisova made it five in total for the Russian contingent as they took top spot ahead of hosts Uzbekistan.
The fourth Russian gold was won by Zankishiev, who beat Azeri judoka Zelym Kotsoiev in the final of the men’s under-100 kilograms category. The bronze medals both went to Belarus, with Daniel Mukete and Mikita Sviryd defeating Serbia’s Bojan Dosen and Viktor Demyanenko of Kazakhstan, respectively.
The final Russian victory went to Chibisova, who triumphed in the women’s over-78kg division. It was a quick and brutal triumph for Chibisova, who threw Kim Ha-yun of South Korea for ippon after just 23 seconds.
Bronze went to Britain’s Sarah Adlington, who beat Sara Alvarez of Spain, and to Serbian Milica Zabic, who defeated Israeli fighter Raz Hershko.
The final gold medal to be awarded in the Uzbek capital from the weekend’s action went to Georgia’s Guram Tushishvili in the men’s over-100kg class. The 2018 World champion, who failed to defend his crown in Tokyo last month with a disappointing fifth place finish, bounced back to beat home hopeful Bekmurod Oltiboev. Both men recorded waza-iris, before Tushishvili dashed the dreams of the vocal home crowd with an ippon.
There was more disappointment for Uzbekistan as Alisher Yusupov lost his bronze medal bout with Austria’s Stephan Hegyi, while Yakiv Khammo of Ukraine also earned a medal by beating Tajikistan’s Temur Rakhimov.
Austria capped off a successful IJF Grand Prix as Bernadette Graf won their second gold medal. Graf topped the podium in the women’s under-78kg competition by defeating Russia’s Antonina Shmeleva. Croatian Karla Prodan beat Nefeli Papadakis of the United States to earn bronze, while top seed Natalie Powell of Britain also had to settle for third place, beating South Korea’s Yoon Hyun-ji.
The other gold on Sunday went to Sweden’s Marcus Nyman in the men’s under-90kg, beating another Russian, Khusen Khalmurzaev. Both men picked up two shido penalties before it went to golden score, where Nyman emerged victorious. Bronze went to Japan’s Olympic champion Mashu Baker, making his first IJF Grand Prix appearance after several months out with a shoulder injury.
Baker lost to Nyman in the quarter-finals, but came through the repechage and beat Georgia’s Lasha Bekauri for third, while bronze also went to Slovakia’s Peter Zilka, who overcame Erlan Sherov of Kyrgyzstan.
A total of 29 countries made it onto the podium at the Tashkent Grand Prix. Russia led the way on the medal count with five golds and two silvers, ahead of Uzbekistan in second spot with two golds, three silvers and two bronze medals. Austria took third place with two golds and two bronze medals, just in front of South Korea and Greece in fourth and fifth respectively with a gold medal apiece; the Koreans earning one silver and two bronze medals.
The next event of the World Judo Tour will be in Brasilia, Brazil from 6 to 8 October.