Olympic Silver Medalist Ota Headlines Saturday Night's Hungarian Grand Prix Finals
Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 12:34 By Eric Olanowski
GYOR, Hungary (February 23) - Rio Olympic runner-up Shinobu OTA (JPN) headlines Saturday night's Hungarian Grand Prix finals, where he'll wrestle China's fifth-ranked TUO Erbatu for the 63kg gold medal.
Ota reached the finals handling Olympic bronze medalist Stig-Andre BERGE (NOR), 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Ota and Berg's Hungarian Grand Prix quarterfinals bout was their second meeting since 2016. Their first match came in the quarterfinal round match at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where Ota won 4-0.
Japan's 2018 Asian Games champion defeated Iran's Meysam DALKHANI, 5-2 in the semifinals, reaching his first career Ranking Series gold-medal bout.
Ota will wrestle China's fifth-ranked Tuo Erbatu in the 63kg gold-medal bout. Tuo upset the 2018 world bronze medalist WALIHAN Sailike (CHN), 7-3 in the quarterfinals. Walihan won his world bronze medal down at 60kg, where he's currently ranked No. 3 in the world. Tuo then rolled into the finals thumping America's Travis RICE (USA), 9-0 in the semifinals.
Ota and Tuo's Saturday night matchup will be their first career meeting.
The Hungarian Grand Prix opening day finals begin at 18:00.
Saturday (February 23)
17:00 - Opening Ceremony
18:00 - Finals for GR cat. 55, 63, 72, 82, 97kg Award ceremonies
Sunday (February 24)
8.30 - Medical examination & Weigh-in for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg
10.00 - Qualification rounds and repechage for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg
16.00 - Finals for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg and Award ceremonies
Day One Finals
63kg - Erbatu TUO (CHN) vs. Shinobu OTA (JPN)
72kg - Sachino DAVITAIA (GEO) vs. Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO)
82kg - Gela BOLKVADZE (GEO) vs. Rajbek Alvievich BISULTANOV (DEN)
97kg - Tracy Gangelo HANCOCK (USA) vs. Fatih BASKOY (TUR)