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Esposito and Osmanov shine in Linz

by editor

The judo family welcomes you back for day two of the Upper Austria Judo Grand Prix!


We are delighted to be here in Linz, the beautiful capital of this amazing region which is known for its stunning landscapes and rich culture. Top judoka have gathered here to compete for glory and the local judo fans are here to support their heroes.

Before the action, Franz Haugeneder, former President of the Austrian Judo Federation was honoured for contributing greatly to the development of judo.

At -63kg, World number 11, Joanne VAN LIESHOUT showed excellent tenacity to chase her opponent, Agatha SCHMIDT, to the floor and pin her for ippon. Her second Grand Prix gold medal. An impressive result for the young judoka! The Austrian crowd cheered for the Dutch athlete!

IJF Co-ordinator for International Refereeing Seminars Juan Carlos BARCOS awarded the medals.

“It’s really great,” said Van Lieshout. “There are a lot of people, a lot of children and they like judo so it’s really nice and they’re shouting and so it’s really nice to be here”.

At -73kg two medallists from last year’s Grand Prix here in Upper Austria once again would compete for medals in Linz. It was Moldova’s Adil OSMANOV who managed two waza-ari scores to upgrade from last year’s bronze to his first gold on the World Judo Tour, whilst Rashid MAMMADALIYEV of Azerbaijan had to once again settle for the silver but judo values were on display from both athletes.

IJF Education & Coaching Director Mohammed MERIDJA awarded the medals.

Interview Adil OSMANOV (MDA) (English)

“Today was very difficult because I am half Azerbaijan and my opponent was also Azerbaijan,” said Osmanov. “Beside the competition we are friends, good friends, this fight was psychologically difficult.”

In -70kg, it was Maria PEREZ, last year’s Upper Austria Grand Prix winner who made it to the final again. In a tough battle with newcomer Irene PEDROTTI, Perez used a perfectly timed footsweep to end the Golden Score with ippon! A fantastic moment of judo which the crowd loved.

Austrian Judo Federation President Martin POIGER awarded the medals.

Italy’s Antonio Esposito produced an absolute buzzer beater to stun Pawel Drzymal in the dying seconds of their final contest in the -81kg category.

Harvest Group CEO Almaz ALSENOV presented an emotional Esposito his gold medal

The local crowd were treated to some amazing displays of judo skill – their home judoka produced an array of masterful ippons.

And that’s it for day 2 in the wonderful city of Linz!

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