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“Grand Slam” judo: Russian heavyweights tore opponents on the tatami

The first qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games ended in Ulaanbaatar

Today, one hand is enough to list the sports in which our athletes are admitted to international starts in one form or another with various reservations. And judo, as the international federation proclaimed, is “the sport of peace, unity and friendship.” And it was this federation that was not afraid to translate words into reality: our athletes were admitted to the Olympic qualification, which took place at the Grand Slam tournament in Ulaanbaatar. The result – the first place of Russia in the medal standings.

The final day of the rating judo tournament in Mongolia finally set all the accents: Russia has the first place in the medal standings. Five gold, two silver and two bronze medals are brought from Ulaanbaatar by our judokas. And this, as the athletes themselves say, is already the first step towards the Olympic license. The national team was admitted to the tatami in a neutral status, the athletes scored qualifying points for participation in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The second in the tournament were Japanese athletes (4-1-2), the top three were closed by the representatives of Mongolia (2-4-5).

The third day of the “Grand Slam” in Ulaanbaatar, our team had a triumph. Judoists Mikhail Igolnikov, Matvey Kanikovsky and Inal Tasoev each won gold in their category.

Mikhail Igolnikov (90 kg) in the final met with the vice-world champion, medalist of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Davlat Bobonov from Uzbekistan. Bobonov started the tournament beautifully: he defeated our Mansur Lorsanov in the quarter-finals, then in the semi-finals he took out the Dutch world champion Noel van End from the fight. But Igolnikov was determined: “waza-ari”, and then – “ippon” and gold.

And European champion Arman Adamyan and Matvey Kanikovsky, last year’s junior European champion, bronze medalist of the world championship among athletes under 21, were in the same group in the weight of 100 kg. And met in the quarterfinals. The outcome of the fight was decided by the last seconds: Matvey counterattacked and moved on. In the semi-finals, the young judoka was opposed by the European champion from Israel, Peter Palchik. And again – victory.

And in the final, Kanikovsky went out to fight against the most experienced Portuguese – two-time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist Jorge Fonseca. The Portuguese missed one attack, then another … Twenty years, namely so much for Matvey, is a great time not to recognize authorities.

European champion Inal Tasoev (over 100 kg category) was challenged in the final by two-time world championship medalist, winner of nineteen World Series tournament awards, Dutchman Roy Meyer. But everything happened very quickly, our athlete spent 11 seconds to win. Tasoev even had to make some excuses for such a speed, he said that he was in the mood for a long fight, but he was glad that everything ended so quickly.

As our judoists say, the tournament in Mongolia did not seem easy to them. Yes, it was not like that: there are many serious rivals. And forced downtime in international competitions still made itself felt, our athletes had to worry more than usual. Sparring and home tournaments are very necessary, but the intensity of the fight, refereeing, and the atmosphere at international competitions are still different.

The next Grand Slam tournament will be held in Budapest from 8 to 10 July.

Source From: MK

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