Several athletes deserved to be followed closely. The number one seed, Michael Korrel (NED) exited the tournament prematurely, beaten by Nurlykhan Sharkhan (KAZ). Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) suffered the same fate, also against Sharkhan despite strong wins to that quarter-final, especially beating junior world champion Dota Arai (JPN).
The 2022 world champion Muzaffarbek Turoboyev (UZB) was progressing quietly until he encountered the aforementioned Nikoloz Sherazadishvili. The latter immobilised Turoboyev in the final seconds of a very close quarter-final. In the semi-final, Sherazadishvili defeated Nurlykhan Sharkhan.
At the bottom of the draw Aaron Wolf (JPN) advanced step by step and ippon after ippon without trembling but he nevertheless had to show his highest technical level to eliminate Anton Savytskiy in the semi-final and join Nikoloz Sherazadishvili.
Wolf, like a preying animal, is waits for the right moment to launch his lethal attacks. The final was well balanced between the two champions though. With just less than 30 seconds to go, he finally found the right moment to engage his uchi-mata. It was almost ippon but didn’t meet all criteria as Sherazadishvili landed on his elbows and was therefore penalised with a shido, but it was a waza-ari and that was enough to secure the second victory in a grand slam for the Olympic champion.
Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) and Anton Savytskiy (UKR) advanced on the tatami, aiming to obtain the first bronze medal. It went to Serbia and Aleksandar Kukolj after Anton Savytskiy received his third penalty. This is grand slam medal number four for Aleksandar Kukolj.
It was a solid Daniel Eich (SUI) who faced Nurlykhan Sharkhan (KAZ) for the second bronze medal. Three penalties were also necessary for Sharkhan to win a bronze medal.