Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tashkent Grand Prix 2016 - Uzbekistan DAY THREE



Women: -78kg | +78kg 
Men: -90kg | -100kg | +100kg 

The Tashkent Grand Prix 2016, the second IJF Grand Prix following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and penultimate Grand Prix of the year, came to a rip-roaring conclusion on Saturday as the heavyweights had their chance to shine in Uzbekistan.    

The three-day Grand Prix showcased the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories on the last day of competition.

Hosts Uzbekistan, who fielded 55 judoka from a possible from 56 after suffering a late injury in the build-up to their flagship judo event, were engaged in the final block on all three days and were in the medal hunt in every weight category.

Asian Championships winner Komronshokh USTOPIRIYON (TJK) in white - who received IJF support for qualification events for Rio 2016 - was among the medal contenders on day three

The judo-loving nation finished out of sight at the top of the medal table with a phenomenal return of six gold medals, three silver medals and 11 bronze medals. Most crucially for the hosts, their golden haul included -70kg winner Gulnoza MATNIYAZOVA (UZB) who become the first Uzbek woman to win IJF World Judo Tour gold when she triumphed on Friday.

Tashkent’s fourth annual instalment of Grand Prix action will be remembered for that historic feat from MATNIYAZOVA as well as their incredible strength and depth in both their men’s and women’s squads who could be their strongest ever by the time of the next Olympiad in Tokyo. Judo has a special place in the hearts of Uzbek people and that was evident from Thursday morning when the competition started through until Saturday night.

The passion, pride and warmth of the hosts provided a platform for a successful Grand Prix which will continue to be a key leg on the IJF World Judo Tour.

Judo’s elite will now prepare for the Middle East and the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, the fourth Grand Slam of the season following Paris (FRA), Baku (AZE) and Tyumen (RUS), which will take place from Friday 28 – Sunday 30 October. Over 200 judoka from 35 nations will make the trip to the U.A.E with a host of Rio 2016 Olympic medallists set to return to IJF World Judo Tour action. 

Watch #JudoAbuDhabi2016, the last but one Grand Slam of the IJF World Judo Tour 2016, live at


-78kg: Joy for JOO who makes it one from one for Hungary      

Zagreb Grand Prix winner JOO Abigel (HUN) came from behind in the -78kg final to defeat Almaty Grand Prix silver medallist Albina AMANGELDIYEVA (KAZ). JOO was one of the strongest and highest profile judoka in Tashkent but surprisingly fell behind to world number 39 AMANGELDIYEVA. The Kazakh fighter led with a yuko from a tani-otoshi before JOO scored a waza-ari with an uchi-mata and remained in front for the remainder of the contest to win back-to-back Grand Prix. Hungary’s only judoka gave their country an 100% record as their only representative in Uzbekistan. 

In the first semi-final two-time Olympian JOO Abigel (HUN) defeated world number 76 Zarina RAIFOVA (KAZ) after just 15 seconds by ippon from an uchi-mata. In the second semi-final AMANGELDIYEVA bested 21-year-old Kumush YULDASHOVA (UZB) by a yuko in a tight contest.

The first bronze medal was won by YULDASHOVA who saw off 18-year-old Junior Asian Championships silver medallist Nodira YULDASHEVA (UZB). YULDASHOVA scored a yuko from a determined sacrifice throw and added a waza-ari from a kesa-gatame to beat the clock and capture a place on the podium. The second bronze medal contest was won by RAIFOVA who dispatched 17-year-old cadet Dilnoza KAMOLOVA (UZB). Uzbekistan’s KAMOLOVA, who was one of the youngest judoka in the competition, was caught with an osoto-gari for a yuko and was trapped in a modified sankaku-gatame hold for 20 seconds and for ippon.
AMANGELDIYEVA, Albina (KAZ) vs JOO, Abigel (HUN)                                               

Bronze Medal Fights
YULDASHOVA, Kumush (UZB) vs YULDASHEVA, Nodira (UZB)                                     
RAIFOVA, Zarina (KAZ) vs KAMOLOVA, Dilnoza (UZB)                                     

Final Results 
1. JOO, Abigel (HUN)                                                                                              
2. AMANGELDIYEVA, Albina (KAZ)                                                    
3. YULDASHOVA, Kumush (UZB)                                             
3. RAIFOVA, Zarina (KAZ)                                              
5. YULDASHEVA, Nodira (UZB)                                                                            
5. KAMOLOVA, Dilnoza (UZB)                                    

+78kg: Kazakh veteran completes Grand Prix hat-trick in potential swansong  

Asian Championships silver medallist Gulzhan ISSANOVA (KAZ) won her third Grand Prix title with a victory over Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Maryna SLUTSKAYA (BLR). The duo were even in the head-to-head series coming into the contest with one win apiece and it was the veteran ISSANOVA who moved ahead with a nail-biting win on shido penalties 1:2 after a misfiring SLUTSKAYA was twice penalised for passivity while the winner was only penalised once for the same indiscretion. The 33-year-old, who missed out on a place at Rio 2016, may decide to end on a high or with this win and points windfall could target one more World Championships experience with a record $1 million in prize money to be shared among the medallists in Budapest next year.    


In the first semi-final SLUTSKAYA registered a full house of scores against 20-year-old Junior Asian Championships bronze medallist Rahima YULDOSHOVA (UZB). The Belarus judoka improved with every score as an opening yuko was followed by a waza-ari and then ippon to secure a spot in the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final ISSANOVA confidently held down Orenburg European Cup winner Daria KARPOVA (RUS) in osaekomi for 20 seconds and ippon. ISSANOVA used a ushiro-kesa-gatame to pin down the Russian fighter to advance to the final.

The first bronze medal was won by KARPOVA who won her first clash against 18-year-old Grand Prix debutant Gulnoza AZIMOVA (UZB) by ippon from a juji-gatame after 28 seconds.                                 
The second bronze medal was won by world-ranked YULDOSHOVA over young heavyweight Saneayim ERKINBAEVA (UZB). YULDOSHOVA and ERKINBAEVA, who were opposed against each other for the first time on the IJF World Judo Tour, could not be separated after four minutes of relative inaction and needed an additional 72 seconds to decide who would represent Uzbekistan on the women’s heavyweight podium. YULDOSHOVA submitted her teammate with a juji-gatame for an invaluable win as she plots a run of international assignments for her country. 
ISSANOVA, Gulzhan (KAZ) vs SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR)                                    
Bronze Medal Fights
KARPOVA, Daria (RUS) vs AZIMOVA, Gulnoza (UZB)
ERKINBAEVA, Saneayim (UZB) vs YULDOSHOVA, Rahima (UZB)                       

Final Results
1. ISSANOVA, Gulzhan (KAZ)                                      
2. SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR)                                                                                
3. KARPOVA, Daria (RUS)                                         
3. YULDOSHOVA, Rahima (UZB)                        
5. AZIMOVA, Gulnoza (UZB)
5. ERKINBAEVA, Saneayim (UZB)                          
7. KHAMROKULOVA, Shakhlo (UZB)                 


-90kg: IMAMOV defeats young contender on second start at his new weight    

Former Paris Grand Slam winner Yakhyo IMAMOV (UZB) delivered gold on only his second competition in his new weight category as he beat former Minsk World Cup bronze medallist Davronbek SATTOROV (UZB) for gold. The 26-year-old IMAMOV debuted at -90kg at the Budapest Grand Prix this summer and was eliminated in round two. The former -81kg judoka received a shido for not taking a grip, as did his opponent, and they remained level and scoreless after five minutes. After SATTOROV received medical treatment off the tatami for a finger laceration, IMAMOV made a desperate attack which was enough for a yuko score and gold.   

IMAMOV in -90kg semi-final action 

In the first semi-final Asian Championships winner Komronshokh USTOPIRIYON (TJK) was humbled by Davronbek SATTOROV in a dramatic contest which was settled in the final seconds. A yuko with nine seconds remaining handed the Uzbek judoka the win and his first Grand Prix final after a competitive contest which was lapped up by the crowd. In the second semi-final 19-year-old Junior Asian Championships winner Mukhammadkarim KHURRAMOV (UZB) lost out to IMAMOV by a yuko from a seoi-nage as it was the seasoned international who pipped the youngster to the final.

The first bronze medal was awarded to home judoka KHURRAMOV who defeated 21-year-old Meirambek ZHANGABAY (KAZ) in the opening contest of the final block on day in Tashkent. Both judoka were aiming to win their first IJF medal hardware and that honour went to the Uzbek starlet who prevailed on shido penalties 2:3 to resume the medal flow for the hosts at the first opportunity. The second bronze medal went to world number 29 Magomed MAGOMEDOV (RUS) who won a scoreless contest against world number 13 USTOPIRIYON. It was the latter, who was financially supported to attend qualification events for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by the International Judo Federation, who came closest to scoring with his favoured uchi-mata which was also on show in the previous rounds. MAGOMEDOV earned the win and a vital medal on shido penalties 2:3 as he closed in on the world’s top 20 on the world ranking list. 
IMAMOV, Yakhyo (UZB) vs SATTOROV, Davronbek (UZB)                                         
Bronze Medal Fights
KHURRAMOV, Mukhammadkarim (UZB) vs ZHANGABAY, Meirambek (KAZ)                                        
USTOPIRIYON, Komronshokh (TJK) vs MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)            

Final Results
1. IMAMOV, Yakhyo (UZB)                                             
2. SATTOROV, Davronbek (UZB)                                         
3. KHURRAMOV, Mukhammadkarim (UZB)                                      
3. MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)                                                           
5. ZHANGABAY, Meirambek (KAZ)                                                                                  .                                          
5. USTOPIRIYON, Komronshokh (TJK)                                            
7. NAMAZOV, Ziya (AZE)                                       
7. SHARBATLI, Vasif (AZE)                                 

-100kg: KURBONOV repeats 2013 home win for Uzbekistan            

Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Soyib KURBONOV (UZB) went unbeaten on the final day in Tashkent to be crowned -100kg gold medallist as he defeated Madrid European Open bronze medallist Jalil SHUKUROV (AZE) in the final. The Uzbek had won their one and only previous meeting and that outcome was the same today as the world number 25 prevailed 2:3 on shido penalties. Both judoka had two shidos to their names with 10 seconds left and golden score loomed until the Azeri was penalised for a cross-grip and had to rue that grave error which settled the fate of the gold and silver medals.  


KURBONOV in -100kg semi-final action 
In the first semi-final KURBONOV defeated Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Kazbek ZANKISHIEV (RUS) after 68 seconds of golden score with a yuko from a makikomi attack. In the second semi-final former Asian Championships bronze medallist Saidzhalol SAIDOV (TJK) succumbed to SHUKUROV by ippon after 10 seconds from a tai-otoshi.

The first bronze medal was won by 25-year-old former Asian Championships bronze medallist Viktor DEMYANENKO (KAZ) who edged out SAIDOV in a scoreless contest on shido penalties. DEMYANENKO won his first IJF Grand Prix medal when his opponent received a fourth and final penalty to receive hansoku-make. The second bronze medal was won by former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Erkin DONIYOROV (UZB) who countered the ashi-waza attack of ZANKISHIEV for a waza-ari and the home judoka landed on top of his opponent and remained there for 15 seconds in osaekomi to win by waza-ari awasette-ippon.                  

SHUKUROV, Jalil (AZE) vs KURBONOV, Soyib (UZB)                                        

Bronze Medal FightsSAIDOV, Saidzhalol (TJK) vs DEMYANENKO, Viktor (KAZ)                            
DONIYOROV, Erkin (UZB) vs ZANKISHIEV, Kazbek (RUS)                 

Final Result
1. KURBONOV, Soyib (UZB)                                               
2. SHUKUROV, Jalil (AZE)                                          
3. DEMYANENKO, Viktor (KAZ)                                                                   
3. DONIYOROV, Erkin (UZB)                                                          
5. SAIDOV, Saidzhalol (TJK)                                                       
5. ZANKISHIEV, Kazbek (RUS)                                                             
7. TUYMURODOV, Avazkhon (UZB)                                          
7. OLTIBOEV, Bekmurod (UZB)                                 

+100kg: Kazakhstan’s SHYNKEYEV wins the last gold medal in Tashkent    

Asian Championships bronze medallist Yerzhan SHYNKEYEV (KAZ) won his first Grand Prix gold medal as he defeated Tyumen Grand Slam winner Andrey VOLKOV (RUS) to clinch the men’s heavyweight title in the last contest of the Tashkent Grand Prix 2016. Both judoka had the appealing incentive of a first Grand Prix gold medal and SHYNKEYEV conjured up the best moment of the contest as he scored a yuko with an uchi-mata after the halfway point of the contest. 

In the first semi-final VOLKOV bested Talllinn European Open winner Aliaksandr VAKHAVIAK (BLR) with a juji-gatame while the second semi-final was a battle of Asian Championships bronze medallists in Iurii KRAKOVETSKII (KGZ) and Yerzhan SHYNKEYEV (KAZ). The Kazakh judoka scored a yuko and a waza-ari without reply to topple his opponent.

The first bronze medal went to former Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Boltoboy BALTAEV (UZB) who defeated world number 21 KRAKOVETSKII. World number 77 BALTAEV won 1:2 on shidos as KRAKOVETSKII never got into his stride at the Uzbekistan Sport Complex despite a more than respectable showing at the Olympic Games. The second bronze medal went to world number 55 VAKHAVIAK who thwarted 25-year-old Shukhrat TUROBOEV (UZB). Belarus’ heavyweight trapped his unranked opponent with a mune-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon to claim the second Grand Prix medal of his late-blooming career.                     
SHYNKEYEV, Yerzhan (KAZ) vs VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS)                                             

Bronze Medal Fights
KRAKOVETSKII, Iurii (KGZ) vs BALTAEV, Boltoboy (UZB)         
TUROBOEV, Shukhrat (UZB) vs VAKHAVIAK, Aliaksandr (BLR)                  

Final Result
1. SHYNKEYEV, Yerzhan (KAZ)                                                
2. VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS)                                                
3. BALTAEV, Boltoboy (UZB)                                                          
3. VAKHAVIAK, Aliaksandr (BLR)                        
5. KRAKOVETSKII, Iurii (KGZ)                
5. TUROBOEV, Shukhrat (UZB)                    
7. NAZMITDINOV, Renat (UZB)                           
7. IMINOV, Akbarzhan (USA)                               

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tashkent Grand Prix 2016 - Uzbekistan DAY TWO

Hosts Uzbekistan overtook Russia at the top of the medal table at the Tashkent Grand Prix as they won three of the four gold medals at stake on day two including history-making Gulnoza MATNIYAZOVA (UZB) who became the first woman from Uzbekistan to win IJF Grand Prix gold at the Uzbekistan Sport Complex on Friday.  

The fourth edition of the Tashkent Grand Prix provided their country’s first female gold medallist as Uzbekistan won gold in the -70kg category while their men charged to victory in the -73kg and -81kg categories.

Gulnoza MATNIYAZOVA has long been at the forefront of her country’s women’s programme as a three-time Grand Prix bronze medallist and is one of a new and exciting generation of young female judoka who are changing the face of Uzbekistan judo.

The Judo Federation of Uzbekistan has an illustrious men’s programme which was seen at the Olympics when they won two bronze medals through Rishod SOBIROV and Diyorbek UROZBOEV and dates back to current President Armen BAGDASAROV winning silver at the 1996 Olympics.

The home crowd were ecstatic after Uzbekistan excelled on day two

The country also starred at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as they won 10 medals in judo including three bronze and one silver from their women.

Uzbekistan were able to enter 27 women into the Tashkent Grand Prix 2016 which is one less than the maximum they are allowed to enter as hosts as they suffered a late injury. The 27-strong contingent had a two-week training camp at the IJF Olympic Training Centre in Tashkent before the competition and the results speak for themselves. Youth is the key for Uzbekistan as the majority of those 27 judoka are still juniors and are slowly but surely emerging onto the IJF World Judo Tour.

The Tashkent Grand Prix 2016 will conclude on Saturday with the heavyweights as the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories will grace the two tatami along with the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories.  

Young fans celebrate with their heroes 

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-63kg: Daria’s day as Russia win third gold medal in Tashkent   

Tyumen Grand Slam silver medallist Daria DAVYDOVA (RUS) topped an IJF World Judo Tour medal podium for the first time as she defeated Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Marijana MISKOVIC HASANBEGOVIC (CRO) to win -63kg gold. MISKOVIC HASANBEGOVIC, who finished a career-best seventh at the World Championships last year, is the oldest judoka in the category in Tashkent but also the highest ranked. The world number 23 from Croatia, who was beaten in the first round of the Zagreb Grand Prix two weeks ago, fell behind to waza-ari from an uchi-mata and battled until the end but was second best.

In the first semi-final MISKOVIC HASANBEGOVIC defeated Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Andreja LESKI (SLO). The 34-year-old Croatian beat the 19-year-old Slovenian with shime-waza as an osoto-gari sent the youngster down to a horizontal base and the veteran applied the okuri-eri-jime strangle to force the submission. In the second semi-final DAVYDOVA beat little-known 23-year-old Mukhayyo IBRAGIMOVA (UZB) by a waza-ari to guarantee one more medal for Russia who started day two top of the medal table.

The first bronze medal was won by Tallinn European Open bronze medallist Daniela KAZANOI (BLR) who defeated IBRAGIMOVA by a yuko from an ouchi-gari. The result is a career-best for the 23-year-old from Belarus who will look to become a mainstay on the IJF World Judo Tour. The second bronze medal was won by LESKI over former Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Hannah MARTIN (USA).  It’s no surprise to see Slovenia win a medal at -63kg as they have among their ranks the Rio 2016 Olympic champion (Tina TRSTENJAK) and London 2012 Olympic champion at this weight (Urska ZOLNIR). MARTIN, who travels further and wider than most judoka in search of IJF honours, was penalised after 51 seconds in golden score as both judoka were unable to penetrate the scoreboard in regular time.           
DAVYDOVA, Daria (RUS) vs MISKOVIC HASANBEGOVIC, Marijana (CRO)                                    
Bronze Medal Fights
IBRAGIMOVA, Mukhayyo (UZB) vs KAZANOI, Daniela (BLR)    
LESKI, Andreja (SLO) vs MARTIN, Hannah (USA)                                     

Final Results
1. DAVYDOVA, Daria (RUS)  
2. MISKOVIC HASANBEGOVIC, Marijana (CRO)                                                                       
3. KAZANOI, Daniela (BLR)         
3. LESKI, Andreja (SLO)                                                        
5. IBRAGIMOVA, Mukhayyo (UZB                                                            
5. MARTIN, Hannah (USA)                                        
7. TAVASHAROVA, Shodiya (UZB)                                       
7. ZIYAEVA, Gulnoza (UZB)                   

-70kg: MATNIYAZOVA leads women’s judo revolution in Uzbekistan 

Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Gulnoza MATNIYAZOVA (UZB) defeated Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Anka POGACNIK (SLO) to fulfil her destiny as the first woman to win IJF gold for Uzbekistan. The 22-year-old Asian Championships silver medallist is leading a female revolution for her country and made that point in the most important setting in her homeland with maximum attention on her exploits. The world number 28 faced Sofia European Open winner POGACNIK, 24, in the final as the crowd were salivating when their hero-in-waiting took to the mat to compete for gold. The nervy contest went the distance with no score and no shidos after four minutes which meant that golden score would be required to determine a winner. MATNIYAZOVA delivered the moment she has waited for her entire career as she found a way past POGACNIK with a makikomi after an additional one minute and 23 seconds and jumped for joy on the middle of the mat after being awarded the gold medal-winning score. 

In the first semi-final MATNIYAZOVA showed why she was the top seed as she sent 21-year-old Aelita CHSHERBAKOVA (KAZ) up and over with a breathtaking uchi-mata after 52 seconds for ippon and one of the most spectacular scores of the competition. In the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Anka POGACNIK (SLO) pinned down 23-year-old Iana DIBRINA (RUS) with a kuzure-kami-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds for ippon and a place her first Grand Prix final.  

The first bronze medal was claimed by DIBRINA who showed her lethal ne-waza to topple 21-year-old Vasila ALIBOEVA (UZB) who has only competed at the Tashkent Grand Prix in 2015 and 2016 on the IJF stage. With famed French ne-waz specialist Jean-Pierre GILBERT in the chair for DIBRINA, the young fighter won her first IJF medal with a performance that her coach will be very proud of. The Russian had finished seventh at the last two Tyumen Grand Slam events and took that experience and disappointment with her into today as she seized her chance to showcase her developing skills in Uzbekistan. DIBRINA, who led by a yuko, held down ALIBOEVA with a sankaku-gatame for 16 seconds for a waza-ari as the home judoka escaped but the former soon regained control on the ground with a mune-gatame for 15 seconds to win by waza-ari awasette-ippon. 
The second bronze medal was captured by CHSHERBAKOVA who defeated 19-year-old Junior Asian Cup winner Umida SAIDOVA (UZB) in the opening minute. The Kazakh fighter beat her neighbour to win her first IJF medal by submitting SAIDOVA with a rapid juji-gatame after 38 seconds.          
POGACNIK, Anka (SLO) vs MATNIYAZOVA, Gulnoza (UZB)                                         

Bronze Medal Fights
DIBRINA, Iana (RUS) vs ALIBOEVA, Vasila (UZB)                                     
CHSHERBAKOVA, Aelita (KAZ) vs SAIDOVA, Umida (UZB)           

Final Results
1. MATNIYAZOVA, Gulnoza (UZB)                                                                                    
2. POGACNIK, Anka (SLO)                                           
3. DIBRINA, Iana (RUS)  
3. CHSHERBAKOVA, Aelita (KAZ)              
5. ALIBOEVA, Vasila (UZB)                                          
5. SAIDOVA, Umida (UZB)                               
7. ISMATULLAEVA, Sangina (UZB)                                        


-73kg: FARMONOV flourishes in Uzbekistan against his teammate               

Asian Games bronze medallist Mirzahid FARMONOV (UZB) had the measure of his younger teammate and heir apparent in Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Giyosjon BOBOEV (UZB) to win the -73kg title on Friday. FARMONOV, 28 and BOBOEV, 23, who warmed up together this morning, matched each other for five minutes and could not be separated. The Uzbekistan faithful relished seeing two of their judoka in the final and were always going to appreciate and applaud both men regardless of the outcome. After 44 seconds of golden score, FARMONOV scored a waza-ari from an uchi-mata sukashi as Uzbekistan made it a one-two at -73kg. 


In the first semi-final BOBOEV profited from a rookie mistake by Junior European Championships winner Hidayat HEYDAROV (AZE). The talented 19-year-old was disqualified for a clear hansoku-make for a waki-gatame and reluctantly accepted the decision. In the second semi-final former Tyumen Grand Slam winner Uali KURZHEV (RUS) was pitted against FARMONOV and the two produced a first-class contest. After trading yuko scores in five minutes of regulation time, there was not a winner so the contest moved into golden score. After 35 seconds the Russian fighter was penalised for passivity to book an all-Uzbek -73kg final.

The first bronze medal was won by KURZHEV who dramatically came from behind to defeat Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Yeldos ZHUMAKANOV (KAZ). The Russian was clearly hampered by a right wrist injury and was fighting to contain his opponent. ZHUMAKANOV took the lead with a yuko but got caught with 25 seconds remaining as his tactics were off in the closing minute. KURZHEV still pressed forward and earned a waza-ari from a ko-soto-gake which decided the contest after five minutes. The gutsy Russian judoka then stopped to sign some autographs for young fans before leaving the field of play. The second bronze medal went to 19-year-old Junior European Cup bronze medallist Muso SOBIROV (UZB) as HEYDAROV was disqualified in his previous contest. 
FARMONOV, Mirzahid (UZB) vs BOBOEV, Giyosjon (UZB)        

Bronze Medal Fights
KURZHEV, Uali (RUS) vs ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)                                      
HEYDAROV, Hidayat (AZE) vs SOBIROV, Muso (UZB)                        

Final Results
1. FARMONOV, Mirzahid (UZB)                                                     
2. BOBOEV, Giyosjon (UZB)                    
3. KURZHEV, Uali (RUS)                                            
3. SOBIROV, Muso (UZB)                        
5. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)                                           
5. HEYDAROV, Hidayat (AZE)                                                    
7. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)                                        
7. HOJAK, Martin (SLO)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

-81kg: Teenage ace BOBONOV thrills his home fans

Junior Asian champion Davlat BOBONOV (UZB) underlined his status as one of his country’s top prospects as he won gold on his Grand Prix debut. The 19-year-old bested 24-year-old WATANABE Hayato (JPN) who was also making his Grand Prix debut. WATANABE, who had made one previous appearance on IJF World Judo Tour at the 2014 Tokyo Grand Slam – when he beat WANG Ki-Chun (KOR) before losing to Victor PENALBER (BRA) - was unable to match the gold medal result of his only teammate in Tashkent in TAKAICHI Kengo (JPN) who claimed -66kg gold on day one. BOBONOV produced the only score of the contest – a yuko from an uchi-mata after two minutes – and lived dangerously as he accumulated three shido penalties and just escaped a fourth in the closing seconds. 

BOBONOV (blue) in semi-final action against ISMAYILOV (AZE)

In the first semi-final WATANABE dispatched world number 195 Arman MAKHAMBETOV (KAZ) with a thunderous ippon at the halfway point having led by a waza-ari from a drop seoi-nage. In the second semi-final Prague Junior European Cup bronze medallist Rufat ISMAYILOV (AZE) fell to home judoka BOBONOV by ippon from a koshi-guruma which will be played over and over again on highlight reels.

The first bronze medal was won by ISMAYILOV who shaded 22-year-old Afig SAFARLI (AZE) whose best result before today was fifth at this year’s Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix. ISMAYILOV won the all-Azeri meeting by a yuko score from a reaching osoto-gari. The second bronze medal was won by former world silver medallist Srdjan MRVALJEVIC (MNE) against MAKHAMBETOV. The 32-year-old, who had the day of his life at the 2011 Worlds when he won silver, won his first Grand Prix medal on shido penalties in a scoreless contest as the Kazakh fighter was penalised twice while the veteran from Montenegro was only penalised once.       
BOBONOV, Davlat (UZB) vs WATANABE, Hayato (JPN)                   

Bronze Medal Fights
ISMAYILOV, Rufat (AZE) vs SAFARLI, Afig (AZE)                              
MAKHAMBETOV, Arman (KAZ) vs MRVALJEVIC, Srdjan (MNE)                                   

Final Result
1. BOBONOV, Davlat (UZB)                                                      
2. WATANABE, Hayato (JPN)                       
3. ISMAYILOV, Rufat (AZE)    
3. MRVALJEVIC, Srdjan (MNE)                                                                             
5. SAFARLI, Afig (AZE)                                                               
5. MAKHAMBETOV, Arman (KAZ)                                          
7. SABIROV, Shakhzodbek (UZB)                      
7. ZOLOEV, Vladimir (KGZ)

Tashkent Grand Prix 2016 - Uzbekistan DAY ONE

The Tashkent Grand Prix 2016, the second Grand Prix of the new Olympic cycle, opened on Thursday with a day of compelling judo at the Uzbekistan Sport Complex. 

The IJF World Judo Tour visited Croatia for the Zagreb Grand Prix a fortnight ago for the first competition following the Olympic Games and has now landed in Uzbekistan, Asia. Now in its fourth year, the Tashkent Grand Prix again attracted a capacity crowd as the hosts supported their judoka in their droves.

Tashkent’s leg of the IJF World Judo Tour is the last but one Grand Prix of the year with the Qingdao Grand Prix to come next month, following the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, before the season ends in December with the Tokyo Grand Slam. The post-Olympics period sees many champions enjoy the fruits of their victories and lap up their success as they satisfy media and sponsorship commitments and continue to raise their profiles.

Future champions are being unearthed in Tashkent as the competition has a youthful look as countries are introducing their top prospects to the IJF World Judo Tour. It is worth making a note of the names of the champions in Tashkent as the young field is bursting with talent and many are destined for major honours.    

IJF Vice President and JUA President Mr. Obaid AL-ANZI spoke at the opening ceremony 

Before the medal contests gripped the crowd, the opening ceremony was held as the IJF made a presentation to Judo Federation of Uzbekistan President Mr. Armen BAGDASAROV.

BAGDASAROV is a national hero in his country having won Uzbekistan’s first Olympic medal when he took silver at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

Mr. Obaid AL-ANZI, IJF Vice President and Judo Union of Asia President, presented the IJF World Judo Tour gold card to BAGDASAROV.

Mr. Obaid AL-ANZI makes the special presentation to Judo Federation of Uzbekistan President Mr. Armen BAGDASAROV

Mr. AL-ANZI said: “Dear Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Sport, President of Uzbekistan Olympic Committee, President of JFUz, dear Executive Committee members of IJF, ladies and gentleman, on behalf of the IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER I would like to thank Government of Uzbekistan and the Judo Federation of Uzbekistan for hosting this Grand Prix in Tashkent. Thank you for the good hospitality and I would like to congratulate the Federation on the Rio 2016 results. I also thank the JFUz for successfully hosting the Asian Championships this year and wish you all a good competition.”

Mr. Adkham ILKHAMOV (above), Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, said: “Good evening dear guests, ladies and gentlemen, I would like on behalf of the Government to share my gratitude for your participation in this event. For me it is a great honour to open this Grand Prix  

“I welcome all participants here, sport is very important to the identity of our country. Today judo brings out honest, courage and bravery. More than 20,000 people practice judo all over Uzbekistan. I would like to extend my gratitude to IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER, JUA President Mr. Obaid AL-ANZI and to everyone taking part in this competition. I officially declare the Grand Prix open.”

Day two will see four weight categories in action at the Uzbekistan Sports Complex as the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories will be joined by the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories. 

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-48kg: PERSIDSKAIA steps up with Grand Prix gold for Russia         

Sofia European Open winner Mariia PERSIDSKAIA (RUS) won her first IJF gold medal in the first final of the Tashkent Grand Prix 2016. The top seed squared off against Orenburg European Cup bronze medallist Lilia LOTFULLINA (RUS) for the right to be Russia’s representative on the top of the medal podium. PERSIDSKAIA, 27, made the grade as she improved on her two previous seventh-place finishes at Grand Prix events and could now feature more regularly for Russia. The fate of the gold medal was decided with 27 seconds left on the clock as an ouchi-gari earned ippon and a career-best gold for PERSIDSKAIA.   

In the first semi-final PERSIDSKAIA bested an overmatched world number 150 Mukaddas KUBEEVA (UZB). A ko-uchi-gari from the Russian fighter earned a waza-ari and was the pick of her scores as she confidently progressed into the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final LOTFULLINA (RUS) threw former Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Nodira GULOVA (UZB) with a beautiful uchi-mata after two minutes to ensure an all-Russian opening final in Tashkent.

The first bronze medal contest was won by GULOVA as she held down her 20-year-old teammate Munira KARIMOVA (UZB) with osaekomi for 20 seconds. KARIMOVA was fighting in her second Grand Prix and will have to wait for her first senior international medal. The second bronze medal was won by KUBEEVA by ippon against 21-year-old IJF Grand Prix newcomer Uldana SAIYL (KAZ). Both judoka were competing in an IJF medal contest for the first time and it was the home judoka who could celebrate as she floored SAIYL with a fantastic ouchi-gari with 26 seconds left.  
Bronze Medal Fights
GULOVA, Nodira (UZB) vs KARIMOVA, Munira (UZB)
KUBEEVA, Mukaddas (UZB) vs SAIYL, Uldana (KAZ)

Final Results
3. GULOVA, Nodira (UZB)
3. KUBEEVA, Mukaddas (UZB)
5. KARIMOVA, Munira (UZB)
5. SAIYL, Uldana (KAZ)

-52kg: TUITEKOVA denies Uzbekistan’s cadet world champion for Kazakhstan victory                      

Aigunim TUITEKOVA (KAZ) was the surprise winner in the -52kg category as she sealed her first IJF World Judo Tour victory by ending the spirited run of 18-year-old cadet world champion Diyora KELDIYOROVA (UZB). Uzbekistan’s starlet was aiming to become the first woman from her country to win a Grand Prix and would have been the second youngest ever Grand Prix winner. TUITEKOVA had other ideas and this was her moment as she prevailed by a yuko as neighbouring Kazakhstan made a bright start to the competition. 

In the first semi-final Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Tena SIKIC (CRO) was narrowly defeated by KELDIYOROVA. The 18-year-old Uzbek tried a tomoe-nage into juji-gatame on multiple occasions with any success but her workrate and the lack of endeavours from the Croatian brought about a shido for SIKIC for passivity. The Uzbek arm hunter guaranteed her first IJF senior medal by winning the scoreless contest by two shidos as SIKIC was penalised a second time for being passive. In the second semi-final Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Aigul TASHTIMIROVA (RUS) was humbled by TUITEKOVA (KAZ) on shido penalties. With no scores registered after four minutes, the contest was settled by shidos with two against the Russian and only one against the Kazakh.

The first bronze medal was clinched by 18-year-old Gulaim JUMABAEVA (UZB) in golden score against TASHTIMIROVA. Junior Asian Cup bronze medallist JUMABAEVA scored with a tomoe-nage as that yuko won the contest for the hosts and the aforementioned judoka could celebrate the greatest moment of her young career. The second bronze medal was won by SIKIC who has been one of the young judoka to make a major impact on the IJF World Judo Tour in this post-Olympics stage. Former Tashkent World Cup bronze medallist Dildora UBAYDULLAEVA (UZB) fell to two waza-ari scores as SIKIC looked composed while taking on the home fighter and this fine result will continue her steady climb up the world rankings.

Bronze Medal Fights

Final Results
1. TUITEKOVA, Aigunim (KAZ)
3. JUMABAEVA, Gulaim (UZB)
3. SIKIC, Tena (CRO)

-57kg: Dream debut for KONKINA sends Russia to the top of the medal table 

Former Orenburg European Cup winner Anastasiia KONKINA (RUS) made a highly-impressive IJF Grand Prix debut as she won all three of her contests by ippon including the final. The 22-year-old proved to be unbeatable in Tashkent as she beat German European Cup bronze medallist Manon DURBACH (LUX) in the -52kg final. A waza-ari from a ko-soto-gake gave the Russian youngster the lead and control of the contest and she followed up by countering an uchi-mata for a second and match-winning waza-ari.  

In the first semi-final DURBACH held down 22-year-old Anna KAZYULINA (KAZ) for 20 seconds and ippon to book a place in the final. In the second semi-final KONKINA defeated former Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Sevara NISHANBAYEVA (KAZ) by the maximum score.

The first bronze medal was won by NISHANBAYEVA who pinned down 22-year-old Amangul ALLANAZAROVA (UZB) - who has only ever competed in Uzbekistan – with a yoko-shiho-gatame. The second bronze medal was won by 17-year-old Sanobar SULTANOVA (UZB) who bested KAZYULINA as the Kazakh fighter was disqualified for an illegal head dive. 

KONKINA, Anastasiia (RUS) vs DURBACH, Manon (LUX)

Bronze Medal Fights

Final Results 
1. KONKINA, Anastasiia (RUS)
2. DURBACH, Manon (LUX)
3. SULTANOVA, Sanobar (UZB)
7. MAMEDOVA, Amina (UZB)
7. MIRZAEVA, Malikabonu (UZB)


-60kg:  Home newcomer TILOVOV unstoppable in first IJF appearance    

Complete unknown Mukhriddin TILOVOV (UZB) won the first men’s final as he stunned the opposition to give his country a golden start to their home event. Former Taipei Asian Open winner Matjaz TRBOVC (SLO) was contesting his first IJF final and gave it everything as the two judoka fought into golden score. Two and a half minutes of added time was required as a riveting final had spectators out of their seats throughout. A ko-soto-gari brought the contest two a conclusion as TILOVOV made the most of his first IJF event for Uzbekistan.   

In the semi-finals former world silver medallist DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) surprisingly succumb to TRBOVC. The Slovenian guaranteed his first Grand Prix medal by catching his more fancied Mongolian foe with an ouchi-gari for a waza-ari and held on for an eye-catching win. In the second semi-final 19-year-old Bauyrzhan ZHAUYNTAYEV (KAZ) lost out to 22-year-old IJF World Judo Tour debutant TILOVOV. With a shido apiece going into the last 50 seconds and no scores registered the contest looked set for golden score but national champion TILOVOV had other plans as he burst forward and won by ippon to the delight of the home supporters.

The first bronze medal was won by ZHAUYNTAYEV who defeated 18-year-old IJF World Judo Tour debutant Tofig MAMMADOV (AZE) by a shido penalty. The second bronze medal went to Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) who defeated the disappointing DASHDAVAA. The Mongolian led with a yuko from a standing seoi-nage before LUTFILLAEV levelled the score. DASHDAVAA received a shido for a gripping infringement and was thrown with a ko-soto-gake for a waza-ari as Uzbekistan chalked up one more medal. 
TRBOVC, Matjaz (SLO) vs TILOVOV, Mukhriddin (UZB)

Bronze Medal Fights
DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL) vs LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)

Final Results
1. TILOVOV, Mukhriddin (UZB)
2. TRBOVC, Matjaz (SLO)
3. ZHAUYNTAYEV, Bauyrzhan (KAZ)
3. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
5. MAMMADOV, Tofig (AZE)            
5. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
7. SEIDUALY, Assylzhan (KAZ)
7. BESTAEV, Otar (KGZ)

-66kg: Tokyo 2020 hopeful TAKAICHI untouchable for Japan       

Former World Judo Masters bronze medallist TAKAICHI Kengo (JPN) won -66kg gold for Japan with a determined display on day one. TAKAICHI, 23, who was behind EBINUMA Masashi in the domestic pecking order in the race for Rio, looks poised to be in a battle with boy wonder ABE Hifumi on the road to Tokyo 2020. The Japanese judoka, who is part of a two-man team in Tashkent, was locked in a battle for grips with former world silver medallist Azamat MUKANOV (KAZ) before scoring a waza-ari with a drop seoi-nage. TAKAICHI used up as much time as possible on the ground as a ne-waza scramble ensured and the former was in no rush to return to a vertical base.

In the first semi-final TAKAICHI held down Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner DOVDON Altansukh (MGL) with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon. In the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix winner Andraz JEREB (SLO) fell to former world silver medallist Azamat MUKANOV (KAZ) by ippon.

The first bronze medal was won by world number 19 JEREB who defeated 20-year-old Dzmitry MINKOU (BLR). Slovenia have been one of the countries to lay down a marker in these post-Olympic events as they have been highly-active and successful. MINKOU, who finished seventh on his IJF debut at the Samsun Grand Prix, was thrown for a waza-ari to at last move in the right direction and finish fifth in Tashkent. The second bronze medal went to world number four DOVDON who defeated unranked 21-year-old IJF debutant Sardor NURILLAEV (UZB). DOVDON trailed to a yuko score going into the final minute and NURILLAEV had been penalised three times which made for an intriguing last 60 seconds. The Mongolian tied up the score with a sumi-gaeshi with 40 seconds left and won the bronze medal on shido penalties as the inexperience of NURILLAEV showed.                      
MUKANOV, Azamat (KAZ) vs TAKAICHI, Kengo (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
JEREB, Andraz (SLO) vs MINKOU, Dzmitry (BLR)
DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL) vs NURILLAEV, Sardor (UZB)

Final Result
1. TAKAICHI, Kengo (JPN)
2. MUKANOV, Azamat (KAZ)
3. JEREB, Andraz (SLO)
3. DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)
5. MINKOU, Dzmitry (BLR)                    
5. NURILLAEV, Sardor (UZB)
7. SEYIDI, Mir Elturan (AZE)
7. YUSUPOV, Abdujalil (UZB)