Among the strongest fighters
Another tournament of the Judo Grand Prix in Almaty (Kazakhstan), brings success for the Belarus participants
By Igor Leshin
The highest weight category was won by Belarus’ Alexander Vakhovyak, in the super heavyweight 100+. In order to be standing on the highest step of the podium he needed to win three bouts.
In the first fight, Vakhovyak was stronger than the Ukrainian, Stanislav Bondarenko and, in the semi-final, the Belarusian fought and defeated Brazil’s David Moura. This lined him up for a final match against Kazakhstan’s, Yerzhan Shinkeyev. The mighty Belarusian master showed that here also, the best.
In the men’s weight over 81 kg category, Alexander Steshenko reached the final, but lost to Russia’s Khasan Khalmurzayev. In the women’s competition, the Belarusian Marina Slutskaya (over 78 kg) also landed a place in the final, but could not cope with the more powerful Gulzhan Issanova, from Kazakhstan, and took the silver. Like Vakhovyak, both Slutskaya and Steshenko, had achieved two victories to win their places in the final.
Belarus’ Alan Khugayev only managed to reach seventh place in the under 100kg category.
In the same tournament, Belarus’ Dmitry Shershan, won the silver medal in the under 66kg category. This means that in just two days of competition, the Belarusian team won 1 gold and 3 silver medals. The success of the national judo team at this tournament comes a close second to the most successful performance of our athletes in 2013 — the European Cups held in German Sindelfingen in July 2013, where 2 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals were won.