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Host country Turkey obtained a second chance for a gold medal, with Vedat Albayrak qualifying for the U81kg final of the Grand Slam in Antalya, against Christian Parlati. The Italian was winner of the Tashkent Grand Slam a few weeks ago and who succeeded once again to get out of the pitfalls of the preliminaries, which were numerous.
The host country of this Antalya grand slam was expecting their first gold medal! On this second day the spectators, at home, online, had to wait until the last final of the day to celebrate a well deserved title for Vedat Albayrak, who dominated Parlati. This time the Italian had to accept the silver medal. This gold for Turkey is logical after the performance Albayrak gave throughout the day. Before the start of the competition we were wondering if a home athlete could win this weight category. This was not the case in Israel, nor in Uzbekistan or Georgia, but this time the story was different and everybody can be happy here.
An inspired Italian team placed a new athlete in the final block with the presence of Antonio Esposito (ITA), up against Murad Fatiyev (AZE) for a bronze medal, but the Italian couldn’t stop Fatiyev from winning his second medal at a grand slam, after he scored a waza-ari with o-goshi.
Ungvari Attila (HUN), who was on the verge of approaching the final, managed to brilliantly infiltrate the last six left in the tournament, to face Robin Pacek (SWE) for the second bronze medal. The final was just not quite in reach. This was a tense and close match with two shido on each side as the athletes were running into golden score. Always ahead of his opponent, Ungvari Attila seemed to be able to win that battle, but nothing was certain until he was able to counterattack Pacek’s sasai-tsuri-komi-ashi attack, for a waza-ari. Ungvari immediately stood up, convinced that he had scored, which was then confirmed by the video playback.
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