Judoka preview Grand Prix season in Tbilisi
Date: February 24, 2020
A series of world and Paralympic medallists delivered the perfect preview to the 2020 Grand Prix season from 22-23 February at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo World Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia, .
Around 75 judoka from 14 countries competed ahead of the first IBSA Judo Grand Prix of 2020 which takes place in Nottingham, Great Britain, from 11-12 April.
The latest chapter in the rivalry between Georgia’s world and Paralympic champion Zviad Gogotchuri and Great Britain’s Christopher Skelley was written in the men’s up to 100kg.
Skelley repeatedly gets very close to beating the Georgian but once again Gogotchuri had the edge in the final to claim gold.
The USA’s Benjamin Goodrich put in a great performance against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Pominov for bronze. Uzbekistan’s Sharif Khalilov also secured a place on the podium.
Romania’s Alex Bologa reached his latest victory in the men’s up to 60kg.
Fighting Uzbekistan’s Paralympic title-holder Sherzod Namozov for gold, Bologa was delighted to keep his great form from 2019 going. The B1 judoka won the European title last year as well as the final Grand Prix. At Tokyo 2020 he will aim to improve on his bronze from four years ago from Rio 2016.
Azerbaijan’s Murad Aliyev and Spain’s Luis Daniel Gavilan Lorenzo were third.
Azerbaijan’s Huseyn Rahimli clinched the win in the men’s up to 81kg. France’s Nathan Petit was second whilst Uzbekistan’s Davurkhon Karomotov and South Korean world champion Jungmin Lee were third.
Three more countries topped the podium in other events.
Azeri world title-holder Bayram Mustfayev triumphed in the men’s up to 66kg; Kazakshstan’s Termizhan Daulet won the men’s up to 73kg and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Nazarenko was the victor in the men’s up to 90kg.