Mollaei floors Gulderen to win judo gold for Iran

14 May 2017
(From L) Algeria's Abderrahmane Benamadi (silver), Azerbaijan's Mammadali Mehdiyev (gold), Turkey's Batuhan Efemgil and Lebanon's Nacif Elias (bronze) attend the Men's Judo -90 kilos event podium ceremony during the Baku 2017.
Azerbaijan's Mammadali Mehdiyev (gold) attends the Men's Judo -90 kilos event podium ceremony during the Baku 2017.

Iran's Saeid Mollaei secured a stunning victory in the first gold-medal bout on day two of the judo at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku on Sunday.
Mollaei was favourite heading into the men's 81kg gold-medal contest against Turkey's Ilker Gulduren, and he made light work of his opponent at the Heydar Aliyev Arena with a wonderful manoeuvre which gained an Ippon victory with barely a minute gone.

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

Gulduren had to settle for silver, while the bronzes went to Kyrgyzstan's Vladimir Zoloev and Davlat Bobonov of Uzbekistan.

Azerbaijan claimed their seventh judo gold of the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games in front of a jubilant crowd as Mammadali Mehdiyev secured an Ippon victory over Algeria's Abderrahmane Benamadi with just one second remaining in a gripping men's 90kg gold-medal match.

Mammadali, who progressed to the repechage at the Rio Olympics, was ahead by waza-ari but he saw off the threat of his Algerian counterpart when he pinned down Benamadi with time running out to secure the Ippon win.

Lebanon's Brazilian-born judoka Nacif Elias grabbed a brilliant bronze after stepping up from the 81kg category 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 both the Asian Games and the Asian Championships - both in the 81kg category - but he stepped up to the 90kg weight class superbly to win Lebanon's first medal of the Games.

There was an upset in the other bronze bout in the men's 90kg category as Turkey's Batuhan Efemgil beat Jordan's Asian Championship gold medallist Ibrahim Khalaf by Golden Score.

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 earnt at last year's Asian Championships in Tashkent.

Turkmenistan's Mariya Lohova grabbed the bronze with an emphatic victory by Ippon inside one minute of her bout against Morocco's Hafsa Yatim.

© Agence France-Presse

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