Uzbekistan strikes gold on opening day

Priscilla Gneto too strong for her opponent
Priscilla Gneto too strong for her opponent Copyright IFJ
Copyright IFJ
By euronews
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There’s no let up on the IJF world judo tour, as after just one weekend of rest we’re back in Tashkent in the judo mad country of Uzbekistan.


The Humo Arena plays host to this year’s Grand Slam, with a raucous crowd in attendance from the get go.

In the under 48 kilo class, individual neutral athlete Sabina GILIAZOVA overcame Abiba ABUZHAKYNOVA of Kazakhstan in golden score, the two both went for the win, but Giliazova expertly directed her opponent for the ippon.

Harvest Group CEO, Almaz ALSENOV was on hand to award the medals

There was anticipation in the air for the home crowd in the under 60 kilo category with home fighter Doston RUZIEV contesting his first World Judo Tour final. There he met Georgian Giorgi SARDALASHVILI but the roars of the crowd served him well as he took his chance in ground work rolling, and then pinning for the win!

He was awarded his medal by Adkham IKRAMOV, Minister of Sport of the Republic of Uzbekistan

“First of all thank you very much to all supporters here today,'' said Doston Ruziev. "It helped me a lot! In the future we will do our best to fulfill the expectations of the Uzbek nation by continuing to win gold medals!”

The crowd were once again making themselves heard for the -52kg final as surprise package, 20-year-old home fighter Gulkhayo JURAEVA was ready to secure her first ever WJT medal after blitzing her way to the gold medal contest. But seasoned French judoka Amandine BUCHARD showed her experience to edge a close battle and sweep her opponent aside to take the title.

They were awarded their medals by Uzbekistan NOC General Secretary, Oybek KASIMOV

“It’s my second time in Tashkent," said Amandine Buchard. "The first time was for the World Championships and I really love the public here because they live judo. And every time when they see some beautiful judo they scream and you know, so I like these kind of vibes and really like to fight here in Tashkent!”

Nurali EMOMALI took the top spot in the under 66 kilo class.

After countering for an early waza-ari, he won as Baruch SHMAILOV was disqualified for failing to engage!

The medals were awarded by Ismoil MAHMADZOIR, Tajikistan Judo Federation President

And age old judo rivalry saw France’s Priscilla GNETO take the victory over Haruka FUNAKUBO of Japan in the under 57 kilo category.

She was awarded the gold medal by Education and Coaching Director, Mohammed MERIDJA.

As well as the medals, the local judoka produced a great display of skillful judo, thrilling the passionate support with some spectacular ippon judo! We’ll be back for more action in Tashkent on Saturday.

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