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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Szymon Szulik shocked with first Polish cadet world title


Givishvili then stepped up in an effort to see the Georgian flag fly over the podium. Antonio Rocha (BRA) stood in front of him, having been the author of Azerbaijan’s disappointment earlier in the day, taking out their massive thrower, Ibadli. His strong left osoto-gari was awkward for the Georgian but Givishvili is capable of disturbing anyone and well inside normal time he switched sides and flew in with a soto-makikomi for ippon. Georgia will be on the podium after all.In the U66 kg category of the Cadet World Championships in Zagreb Poland celebrated its first Cadet World Champion ever in the history. Szymon Szulik wrote that history with a fast seoi nage against Abil Yusubov (AZE) wh arrived with an expectation to win. He was 7th last year in Sarajevo and kept his ranking as high as it could be by winning golds in Teplice and at the European Cadet Championships in June. He’s a big thrower with an immense ability to attack from the tiniest spaces and in Zagreb he proved it again through 4 contests on the way to the final. This time Szuik threw the favourite was totally overwhelmed by the shock of throwing Usubov.With the gold medal around his neck, Szymon Szulik said, “I think I found a good moment in this fight. I don’t know what else to say. I know I still need a lot of work so I will continue to practice the seoi but I will also take something new.” What a great mindset and the perfect springboard into his junior career.Two Georgians fought for bronze, both Dularidze and Givishvili. The former was up first, taking on Uzbek Telmanov, a young judoka who had only lost to the world number one, up to that point. Telmanov was first to score, not giving up in a 50-50 situation and planting Dularidze for waza-ari with only a minute left on the clock. The Georgian answered with a makikomi, also for waza-ari, with half a minute remaining and so the contest went into golden score. Telmanov then set up a clever entry, changing direction to produce just the right reaction to be able to throw and score again.Yusubov would have to fight off a big challenge from Szulik (POL) in the final. They are old rivals from the last couple of years on the cadet circuit but the Azerbaijani so far remains on top. Szulik stormed past Dularidze (GEO), the only semi-finalist not among the top 4 seeds, to take his place in the final.Ribeiro (POR) was seeded third but after a bye and a win he lost out to the explosive Tajik in the group, Loiqov, who then himself lost to Dularidze. Not being able to reach the final block will have been disappointing for the Portuguese seoi-otoshi specialist but Georgia will be celebrating their athlete taking his place.Despite Ibadli’s early exit, the Azeri world number one was still in. His final was not easy, on paper though as the Polish fighter has an outstanding tokui-waza which all of the world’s best have succumbed to at some point this year. The world number 3 launched himself under Givishvili after only 40 seconds of the final had passed and that tokui-waza did its job yet again. He threw the Azeri for ippon with a seoi-otoshi and made up for his 5th place finish at the Europeans only a few weeks ago.

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