Another day, and it’s another gold medal for Ilia Sulamanidze (GEO). The Georgian superstar may only be 22 years old but he has already stacked up a pile of laurels and he added one more -100 kg title today.
FInal, Ilia Sulamanidze (GEO) vs Piotr Kuczera (POL)

There was never any doubt about Sulamanidze and what he could come up with. The defending champion in Baku reached the final as expected, with Baymyrat Majanov (TKM) being the first to be knocked out. The world number one started the proceedings with a tai-otoshi for waza-ari before a smooth kesa-gatame sealed a waza-ari-awasete-ippon victory.

An exceptional ippon took care of London 2012 silver medallist and former world champion Asley Gonzalez (ROU). Sulamanidze was too powerful for 2017 Baku champion Islam Bozbayev (KAZ) in the quarter-final. There is something about good ashi-waza that is so satisfying and the Georgian would agree as he despatched Niiaz Bilalov (AIN) in the semi-final for a waza-ari.

Gold medallist, Ilia Sulamanidze (GEO)

Zelym Kotsoiev (AZE) could have added to the hosts’ tally but luck was not on his side. The second seed’s tsuri-goshi brought him an ippon against Daniel Mukete (AIN) and he troubled Anton Savytskiy (UKR) in round three of Pool C. However, a shock loss to Piotr Kuczera meant that he had to settle for a place in the repechage. That too did not convert as Mukhamed-Ali Mataev (AIN) reached the bronze medal bout after waza-ari-awasete-ippon was logged, which included an impressive osae-komi.

Kuczera’s journey to the final is worth mentioning as he knocked out seventh seed Leonardo Goncalves (BRA). While he was penalised in the contest, an o-soto-gari earned him a waza-ari before he applied the finishing touch with a kuzure-kami-shiho-gatame. Rustam Shorakhmatov (UZB) made it easy for him in round three, offering a hansoku-make win. A golden score waza-ari in the semi-final took care of third seed Michael Korrel (NED).

Bronze medallist, Michael Korrel (NED)

Fourth seed Kyle Reyes (CAN) and fifth seed Peter Paltchik (ISK) bowed out of Pool B to Bilalov and Aurelin Diesse (FRA) respectively. Diesse then went down to Bojan Dosen (SRB) by ippon. Up against a fired up Bozbayev in the repechage, the Serbian was penalised three times and that ended his tournament in Baku.

It was an electric start from Bozbayev against Korrel in the first bronze medal match but he was unable to make an impact with his effort. He received two warnings with more than one and a half minutes to go before golden score. A no-risk approach was all that it took for the Dutchman, who did well to execute ne-waza win.

Bronze medal contest, Mukhamed-Ali Mataev (AIN) vs Niiaz Bilalov (AIN)

The second bronze medal contest saw Ali Mataev and Bilalov fight an even battle that went to golden score with two penalties each. Bilalov’s approach in the end was too much to handle for Ali Mataev, who picked up a third penalty to give his opponent the bronze.

Sulamanidze was lightning fast against Kuczera in the final. Within the first minute, he executed a sumi-gaeshi beautifully for ippon. The way he controlled the back and the sleeve of Kuczera while performing the movement shows why he is the world number one in the category.

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Almaz Alsenov, CEO of Harvest Group, IJF partner, and Mr Tamaz Naveriani, Vice President of the Judo Federation of Georgia

Final (-100 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (-100 kg)

See also