Judo: Azeris and Uzbeks dominate on day two

14 May 2017

Azerbaijan added four more golds to their judo collection, while Uzbekistan grabbed three on a gripping second day of judoka action at the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku.

The Azeris won their first gold on Sunday at the Heydar Aliyev Arena in the men's 90kg category as 24-year-old Mammadali Mehdiyev, who progressed to the repechage at the Rio Olympics, floored Algeria's Abderrahmane Benamadi to secure a thrilling victory by Ippon with just one second left.

Lebanon's Brazilian-born judoka Nacif Elias grabbed a brilliant bronze after stepping up a weight division as he defeated Uzbekistan's Davronbek Sattorov in a bruising contest which went well beyond the four minutes.

Elias has silver medals to his name at the Asian Games and the Asian Championships - both in the 81kg category - but he rose to the 90kg weight class superbly to win Lebanon's first medal of the Games.

There was an upset in the other bronze bout as Turkey's Batuhan Efemgil beat Jordan's Asian Championship gold medallist Ibrahim Khalaf by Golden Score.

The 2013 men's -100kg world champion Elkhan Mammadov won the battle of the Azeri heavyweights in the gold-medal bout with Elmar Gasimov as he secured the host country's second judo gold of the day.

Olympic and European silver medallist Gasimov was marginal favourite, but he lost out to 35-year-old Mammadov, who adds Islamic Solidarity Games gold to his European Championship title from earlier this year.

The hosts won gold number three in the men's blind 66kg final with Elchin Talibov beating Azeri compatriot Bayram Mustafayev who took silver by Ippon.

The fourth Azeri gold came shortly after in the men's blind 73kg contest as Ramil Gasimov powered past Uzbekistan's Feruz Sayidov by Ippon.
There was no surprise in the women's 70kg category with Uzbekistan's Gulnoza Matniyazova edging out Turkey's Sukran Bakacak in a gritty gold-medal contest that went the distance.

Matniyazova won by waza-ari to add to the bronze she earned at last year's Asian Championships in Tashkent

Uzbekistan later claimed two golds in the men's blind contests to cap off a haul of three golds and six medals in total.

Firstly, Shukhrat Boboev superbly grounded Iran's Mohammad Ali Shanani in the men's blind 90kg final before Shirin Sharipov repeated the trick in the +100kg bout against home hope Kanan Abdullakhanli.

Iran's Saeid Mollaei secured a stunning victory in the first gold-medal bout as he floored Turkey's Ilker Gulduren with under a minute gone of their 81kg gold-medal contest to secure a rapid Ippon win.

The Iranian adds the gold to his silver medals from the 2014 Asian Games and the 2016 Asian Championships.

Kyrgyzstan's Iurii Krakovetskii - the 2016 Asian Championship bronze medallist - lived up to his favourite's tag as he sneaked past 18-year-old Algerian Nadjib Temmar in the men's +100kg heavyweight gold-medal contest.

Krakovetskii won by Ippon after a tough examination from his opponent, who had to make do with silver. 

Turkey, who won six judo medals on Sunday, lost three gold-medal contests but they finally secured their only gold when Kayra Sayit saw off Azeri Iryna Kindzerska in the women's +78kg heavyweight decider.

Sayit has pedigree having been close to a bronze at the Rio Olympics and she battled past the giant figure of Kindzerska.

It was gold for Tunisia in the women's -78kg event as Sarra Mzougui beat Turkey's Cagri Guzelsoy by Ippon. Kaouthar Ouallal took bronze for Algeria, who ended the day with six medals but not a single gold.

Hosts Azerbaijan finished the day with eleven medals.

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