Akil Gjakova delivers gold for Kosovo

Akil Gjakova captured Kosovo’s third gold medal in Budapest at the Grand Prix but the first of the golden variety after a faultless display on day two.

2018 Paris winner Gjakova threw 20-year-old Orenburg European Cup winner Georgii Elbakiev (RUS) with a sumptuous sasae-tsurikomi-ashi for his second score to seal gold while Elbakiev will not be too disappointed having announced his arrival on the international stage with his first IJF World Judo Tour medal.

In the first semi-final, Elbakiev powered past Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Telman Valiyev (AZE) by ippon while Gjakova profited from an insipid display by Asian-Pacific Championships bronze medallist Khikmatillokh Turaev (UZB) who has disqualified after receiving three penalties.

The first bronze medal was won by Turaev who beat countryman and world number 19 Giyosjon Boboev (UZB) by ippon after countering a sacrifice technique.                                                     

The second bronze medal went to Valiyev who ended a miserable day for three-time world champion and double Olympic bronze medallist Ebinuma Masashi (JPN). Azeri Valiyev chased Ebinuma around the mat with a barrage of attacks and eventually picked up the Japanese who tried to bridge his way out but in doing so endangered himself and therefore ippon was awarded to his opponent.