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Judo-loving Tajikistan is victorious at its first-ever Grand Prix in Dushanbe

Obid Dzhebov wowed the crowd as he gave Tajikistan its first Gold.
Obid Dzhebov wowed the crowd as he gave Tajikistan its first Gold. Copyright Tamara Kulumbegashvili/IJF
Copyright Tamara Kulumbegashvili/IJF
By Euronews
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Ecstatic crowds in the Tajikistan capital Dushanbe as the judo-loving country hosted its first-ever Grand Prix

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The stadium was packed to the brim with one of the most enthusiastic crowds on the World Judo Tour.

An electric opening ceremony saw the mayor of Dushanbe and International Judo Federation President, Marius Vizer, officially launch the inaugural Grand Prix.

At -48kg, Slovenia’s Marusa Stangar was coming off the back of a fresh win in Upper Austria and was again determined to make it to the final. She was absolutely delighted to take her second Grand Prix Gold Medal in two weeks as she celebrated along with the excited local youth in the crowd. 

IJF President, Marius Vizer, awarded her the medal.

“It’s really mind-blowing how loud they are," said an excited Stangar afterwards, "it’s a super atmosphere, and my parents were also here. But the crowd is so loud, it’s amazing”

In the under 60kg category, Ramazan Abdulaev executed a fantastic transition to earn a well-deserved win.

He was awarded his medals by Dushanbe Mayor, Rustam Emomali.

At -52kg, seven-time World Judo Tour medallist, Alesya Kuznetsova, also made a triumphant return, with another moment of brilliant Ne-Waza earning her the gold medal.

UFC Lightweight World Champion, Islam Makhachev awarded the medals

At -66kg, the home nation supporters pinned their hopes high on Obid Dzhebov, who brought the roaring crowd to their feet after taking a tactical victory in the final. The stadium exploded with joy as Tajikistan took its first gold!

The medals were awarded by Tajikistan Judo Federation President, Ismoil Mahmadzoir.

“I’m extremely proud of our crowd and how they supported us so passionately, I think it’s the greatest cheering in the world," said Dzhebov after his victory. "It’s been a great honour to have everyone here shouting for me.”

And At -57kg, Shukurjon Aminova of Uzbekistan was brought to tears as she claimed her first-ever Grand Prix Gold.

She was awarded the winning medal by IJF Head Referee Director, Armen Bagdasarov.

And there was even more excitement for Tajikistan as Mehrzod Sufiev executed a fantastic Tomoe Nage attack to bring yet more joy to this passionate crowd, earning him a bronze medal, and roaring adoration from his local supporters.

Cheers of adulation, a historic start to the first-ever Grand Prix here in Tajikistan! 

You can watch a selection of the action in the video above this article.

Additional sources • IJF

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