Robert Mshvidobadze (RUS) may have taken the gold medal in the -60kg
World Cup in Baku. But it will be silver medalist, Vugar Shirinli
(AZE), who leaves with the most amazing of memories. The 17-year old
junior made it to a World Cup final at his first attempt, quite an
Also, by defeating among others Tadahiro Nomura (JPN) and
Amiran Papinashvili (GEO) along the way Shirinli earned a place in the
top 50 on the IJF World Ranking List. He will be disappointed in
having lost somewhat tamely, Mshvidobadze held him with Kesa Gatame,
in the final. But there is every suggestion that, despite his age, he
has the ability to compete at senior international level.
Perhaps Azerbaijan may send him to Paris for the Junior World Championships or Antalya for the European -23 Championships. For the time being, however, this is a moment for Shirinli to enjoy this early success.
For Robert Mshvidobadze, also just 20 years, it is his also his first World Cup medal for the Russian U23 Champion. After breaking through in the cadets in 2004 as runner up of the European U17 final, today he had his breakthrough in the seniors.
Mshvidobadze had to fight the full five minutes in his previous three matches but now beat Shirinli by ippon. The 20-year old Russian U23 champion knows Shirinli from the junior circuit but was usually fighting in a heavier category as his opponent. Today Mshvidobadze made the difference in the final, Shirinli before the final. Silver with gold edges.
Th last years for Tadahiro Nomura are hard, not qualifying for the Olympics in 2008, today he got beaten by a 17-year old rookie by ippon. Triple Olympic Champion Nomura who is double the age of Shirinli would have thought of a better warm up for the Grand Slam of Tokyo later this year in December.
In the U66kg category Tarian Karimov (AZE) beat his opponent Sarkhan Ahmadov, the world U20 number three, in the final.
In the U73kg category won his 5th World Cup today and 10th medal. The triple European Champion was finally able to win a medal again after losing in the 1/8 final at the World Championships in Rotterdam. Kedelashvili beat his opponent Davit Kuprashvili in the final.