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IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation
Dutch World Champion Noel Van ‘t End had difficult contests throughout the preliminary rounds in Doha but Van ‘t End always found the necessary energy to go through and that energy that he felt in the Kodokan with the spirit of Anton Geesink in his mind gave him wings. In Doha at the IJF Judo Masters he confirmed again that he is capable of winning Olympic gold. The Dutchman captured the only gold for the Netherlands in Qatar.
Top seeded Ivan Felipe Silva Morales (CUB) being immediately defeated in his first round by Eduard Trippel (GER), was not what the Cuban wanted. Trippel was then defeated by Beka Gviniashvili (GEO), who went to the final against the current World Champion.
In the final, high pressure and counter attempts were on show from start to finish from Gviniashvili, but he was too late to avoid Van ‘t End’s waza-ari score. With more and more pressure from the Georgian it looked like the Dutchman might succumb to it, but with an ingenious change in transition he applied a lightning fast strangle for an ippon finish almost at the bell. Gold for the Netherlands, for the first time at the 2021 Masters.
Eduard Trippel (GER) and Mikhail Igolnikov (RUS) faced off for the first bronze medal, but as Mikhail Igolnikov couldn’t compete, Eduard TRIPPEL won the bronze medal.
The second Georgian, Lasha Bekauri was opposed to Mihael Zgank (TUR) for the second bronze medal. Saying that the contest started at an impressive pace is an understatement, as Bekauri with his cross guard was immediately in action to put his opponent out of balance. Looking at the scoreboard with 1 minute 23 seconds left on the clock and already three penalties in Zgank’s name, seemed surprising but actually was not, since the Georgian was so active that he took charge in a way that could only result in a win, either from the disqualification or from finding the throw within his onslaught. Bronze for Lasha Bekauri.
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