On the strength of his victory in Paris less than two weeks ago, Michael Korrel (NED) is the strong man of the moment. At 28, this uchi-mata specialist, whose technical panoply is much broader, seems to be at the peak of his maturity. Already a winner of the World Judo Masters in Qingdao in 2019 and the holder of two world medals, he still lacks a little something to win world gold or an Olympic medal. His entry into the final of the Tel Aviv Grand Slam was therefore not a surprise, especially as we acknowledge he already has 5 gold medals at this level of competition, so he has the experience.
Final Michael KORREL (NED) vs Zelym KOTSOIEV (AZE)

Would that help him against Zelym Kotsoiev (AZE)? Hard to say, since the Azeri is also a regular on the world circuit. The 2019 junior world champion has already climbed on 8 grand slam podia, including two first places, and he was a bronze medallist at the last world championships and the Jerusalem World Judo Masters. We can therefore say that there is little difference between the two athletes, Korrel being 2nd in the world ranking and Kotsoiev 3rd.

Gold medallist, Zelym KOTSOIEV (AZE)

The public at the Shlomo Arena only had eyes for Peter Paltchik though and it must be said that the Israeli champion gave them hope after eliminating the double world champion Jorge Fonseca (POR), after a golden score of more than seven minutes, which ended with an armlock in favour of Paltchik. In the semi-finals, the latter fell to Korrel. He still had the chance to go for the bronze against Kyle Reyes (CAN), a finalist of the last world championships.

Totally under Kotsoiev's pressure, Korrel was quickly penalised with two shido. The Dutch judoka seemed to be totally out of rhythm and this was confirmed rapidly as Kotsoiev launched a Soto-makikomi that unravelled Korrel for ippon. So today world number 3 defeated world number 2, their respective positions might change.

Bronze medal contest Kyle REYES (CAN) vs Peter PALTCHIK (ISR)

The first three minutes of the bronze medal contest between Paltchik and Reyes were very balanced, both athletes attacking regularly. The first consequence was that no penalties were given. As the last minute commenced, Peter Paltchik launched an attack that was not controlled enough, giving the possibility to Reyes to counterattack and immediately pin down his opponent for ippon. The crowd who supported Peter massively immediately turned into congratulation mode, giving a huge round of applause to both competitors; a true fair-play attitude that honours judo.

Bronze medal contet Leonardo GONCALVES (BRA) vs Gennaro PIRELLI (ITA)

The other bronze medal was disputed by Leonardo Goncalves (BRA) and Gennaro Pirelli (ITA), Goncalves concluding quickly with an armlock for ippon to win his first medal in a grand slam.

Medals cheques and flowers were presented by Dr Lisa ALLAN, Events Director of the International Judo Federation and Ms Michal EFRAT, Board member of the Israeli Judo Association

Final (-100 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (-100 kg)

See also