FIRST GRAND PRIX MEDAL SIGNALS ARRIVAL ON BIG STAGE FOR PALTCHIK

Grand Prix Cancun 2017

The final day of the Cancun Grand Prix saw 25-year old Peter PALTCHIK (ISR) win his first ever IJF Judo World Tour medal, and a gold at that.

First to face Paltchik was Sergio GARCIA (MEX) who ranked 270 in the world was (on paper at least) unlikely to cause the number three seed many problems. But, apart from a couple of minor errors, Garcia gave a good account of himself. Eventually Paltchik demonstrated the gap between the pair racking up four scores of waza ari first with left sode tsuri komi goshi, second with right sided morote seoi nage, third from an osae waza of 12 seconds and finally from a yoko sutemi waza.

In the quarter final it was the turn of Philip AWITI-ALCARAZ (GBR) to cope with the now well warmed up Paltchik. It was Awiti-Alcaraz who attacked first but was countered with te waza for waza ari. Paltchik was moving well and threw the British fighter for a second waza ari this time with right sided morote seoi nage which he followed up with kesa gatame for ippon. In the semi final Paltchik came up against former world champion Luciano CORREA (BRA). The Israeli dominated the early gripping exchange and pressured his Brazilian before throwing him after a minute and a half with left sided sode tsuri komi goshi for ippon.

In the final Paltchik faced Benjamin FLETCHER (GBR) to whom he had lost in their only previous meeting. It was a finely balanced contest with both fighters searching for scoring opportunities. The contest was heading for golden score when with only 10 seconds left on the clock Paltchik launched a determined right sided morote seoi nage that scored waza ari, the contest ending with Paltchik using up the final seconds in ne waza.

Or SASSON (ISR) had previously graced this category for Israel before moving up to +100kg and winning a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Paltchik is proving a worthy successor and will likely be delighted if he can produce the kind of results achieved by Sasson.

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