Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist Marcelo CONTINI (BRA) won his first Grand Prix medal in dream fashion as he beat the top seed to clinch -73kg gold in Cancun. World number 13 CONTINI, who has gained the upper hand of teammate and Brazil’s Rio 2016 pick Alex William POMBO SILVA (who lost to BUTBUL in the second round in the morning session) avenged his compatriot’s defeat as he submitted BUTBUL – who is being tipped as the hottest commodity in Israeli judo – with a sankaku-jime.
In the first semi-final BUTBUL dismissed Pan American Championships bronze medallist Alexander TURNER (USA) after the American received a third shido in the closing seconds of regulation time for passivity. In the second semi-final CONTINI defeated Bucharest European Open bronze medallist Javier RAMIREZ (ESP) in golden score by a waza-ari.
The first bronze medal contest saw Buenos Aires Pan American Open winner Alonso WONG (PER) defeat RAMIREZ with two waza-ari scores which both came from seoi-nage throws. WONG delivered his country’s second Grand Prix medal in as many days and his first with a strong outing and will now hope to become a permanent fixture on the IJF World Judo Tour.
The second bronze medal went to TURNER who defeated Pan American Championships silver medallist Eduardo ARAUJO (MEX) after two minutes of golden score in a hugely exciting contest which had the crowd out of their seats for the duration. The 21-year-old Mexican judoka was fighting for a Grand Prix medal for the first time which could also be said of his American adversary. TURNER launched ARAUJO with a stunning ippon seoi-nage after two minutes of added time for ippon and pointed up to his teammates in the crowd who jumped for joy in celebration of his first Grand Prix medal.
CONTINI, Marcelo (BRA) vs BUTBUL, Tohar (ISR)
Bronze Medal Fights
RAMIREZ, Javier (ESP) vs WONG, Alonso (PER)
ARAUJO, Eduardo (MEX) vs TURNER, Alexander (USA)
1. CONTINI, Marcelo (BRA)
2. BUTBUL, Tohar (ISR)
3. WONG, Alonso (PER)
3. TURNER, Alexander (USA)
5. RAMIREZ, Javier (ESP)
5. ARAUJO, Eduardo (MEX)
7. GONZALEZ MARTINEZ, Dasnel (ESP)
7. DAWSON, Patrick (GBR)