Upsetting the top order is always a delight to watch and fans couldn’t have hoped for a better end to the grand slam in Tashkent. Pitted against one of the big favourites, Tamerlan Bashaev (AIN), Hyoga Ota (JPN) did exceptionally well to clinch the men’s +100 kg title.
Final, Tamerlan Bashaev (AIN) vs Hyoga Ota (JPN)

Top seed Inal Tasoev (AIN) made his intentions clear in the first match, quickly scoring ippon against Baku bronze medallist Yerassyl Kazhibayev (KAZ). He was in no mood for golden score, tackling Utkirbek Turoboyev with an osoto-gari at a good pace.

Final, Tamerlan Bashaev (AIN) vs Hyoga Ota (JPN)

The home hope in the category was on Alisher Yusupov’s shoulders. An osae-komi helped the world number three secure a two waza-ari win against Emirkhan Zholdoshkaziev (KGZ). Second seed Yusupov however got a taste of his own medicine, exiting to seventh seed Richard Sipocz (HUN) in the quarter-final.

Olympic bronze medallist Bashaev (AIN), who also medalled at the grand prix in Odivelas two months ago, lived up to the hype, registering ippon against Yevheniy Balyevskyy (UKR). The fourth seed benefited from a positive exchange on the ground to leave the mat with the win over former world champion and fifth seed Kokoro Kageura (JPN).

In pool D, it was unlike Andy Granda (CUB) to be penalised three times but the fourth seed lost to Ota. The Japanese went on to register waza-ari and ippon against Shokhrukhkhon Bakhtiyorov (UZB) in the quarter-final.

Bronze medal contest, Shokhrukhkhon Bakhtiyorov (UZB) vs Inal Tasoev (AIN)

Tasoev was up against Bashaev in the semi-final, where he was not able to put on a show. An early waza-ari for the latter did not make things easier either, as the top seed then made errors. He will fight for bronze against Bakhtiyorov, who stunned countryman Yusupov with a two-waza-ari victory.

Ota did not stop at his quarter-final win, overpowering Sipocz in the semi-final. The Hungarian would have to face another Japanese judoka in the bronze medal contest though, Kageura, whose waza-ari brought him through the repechage match, sending Utkirbek Turoboyev (UZB) home in 7th place.

Kageura and Sipocz were not able to get much done angainst each other in the beginning, with both focusing on blocks. Apart from battling for the best grips, there was not much action but the Japanese judoka gathered pace and attacked Sipocz out of the blue to gain a waza-ari win.

Bronze medal contest, Kokoro Kageura (JPN) vs Richard Sipocz (HUN)

Bakhtiyorov and Tasoev also began slowly but when the latter started attacking, it was two fast throws to win the match. After scoring a waza-ari, the reigning world champion opted for a massive ura-nage. The speed at which the throw was executed was what caught Bakhtiyorov by surprise.

Ota could feel the heat in the final against Bashaev. The pressure led to the Japanese getting two penalties before the contest went into golden score. Both athletes were trying to get underneath the other but Ota tagged it with a brilliant change of direction. The o-uchi-gari helped the world mixed team champion to come out on top, as Japan bagged two medals in the category to end the day.

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Naser Al Tamimi, IJF General Treasurer, and Ms Kseniya Gulyamova, Advisor to the president of the Judo Federation of Uzbekistan

Final (+100 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (+100 kg)

See also