Glory for Uzbekistan! And Croatia make their mark

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By Euronews  with International Judo Federation
Davlat Bobonov receiving his World Title from The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan His Excellency Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Davlat Bobonov receiving his World Title from The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan His Excellency Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev.   -   Copyright  IJF official twitter page

Day five at the World Judo Championships saw The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, His Excellency Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev, attend the event, where he met Mr Marius Vizer, the President of the International Judo Federation, and they witnessed an historic moment for Judo in Uzbekistan.

Davlat Bobonov was on fire all day, and the home crowd was deafening in their support - cheering him on as he blasted past one opponent after another, including the current Olympic Champion. With Judo Legend Ilias Iliadis in his chair, a former World Champion at -90kg, it seemed the stars were about to align.

Italy’s Parlati would be his opponent in the final, his quick thinking Judo, defeating Georgia’s European Champion Luka Maisuradze.

Stepping out in front of a roaring crowd, with his President, his Prime Minister and the entire Uzbek nation behind him. He outfought his Italian opponent and brought the President, the stadium, and the entire nation to their feet as he cemented his place as a hero in Uzbekistan.

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, His Excellency Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev, proudly awarded Bobonov his gold medal.

"When I went into the final, the Prime Minister himself came to me to tell me that the President was coming to watch the final, and when the President presented me the medal I was in complete shock and I think it is still a dream." Said a thrilled Bobonov.

The winners of the IJF’s “Throw To Tashkent” competition were invited onto the stage to be congratulated by IJF General Secretary, Mr Jean Luc Rouge, IJF General Treasurer, Mr Naser Al Tamimi, and IJF Director General, Vlad Marinescu.

The -70kg category was an all Croatian affair, with reigning World Champion, Barbara Matic, back and determined to defend her title. She blasted through her preliminaries to earn a spot in a second world final in a row.

She would face her teammate and training partner, young Croatian rising star, Lara Cvjetko.

After warming up together all day, the final ended with some well executed groundwork for Matic, earning her second world title. She has officially solidified herself as the best in the category for this upcoming cycle.

IJF Education Director and Croatian Judo Federation President Dr Sanda Corak awarded the medals..

"I think that it is Croatia’s time now. The new leading country in -70kgs is Croatia for now.” said a smiling Barbara Matic.

A beautiful moment of Sportsmanship in the -70kg bronze contest saw World and Olympic Medallist, Sanne Van Dijke, of the Netherlands help her Japanese opponent off the mat, displaying true Judo values.

And Mr Cor van der Geest was awarded his 8th Dan by IJF President Mr Marius Vizer in front of a respectful crowd.

Excited judo fans from all around the world gathered to see our world judo champions once again, as newly crowned -81kg World Champion, Tato Grigalashvili, met with fans inspired the next generation of judoka at the Humo Arena.