For several minutes, Catarina Costa (POR) remained prostrate on the edge of the tatami. As the defending champion here in Portugal, she was keen to repeat her performance from 2022, when she won the first edition of the grand prix. It must be said that she had started the competition perfectly by winning her first two rounds with skill, against Tamar Malca (ISR) and then Katharina Tanzer (AUS). In the semi-final, against the Kazakh Galiya Tynbayeva, everything seemed to smile on Costa, who, on paper at least, should have been able to take the lead over her opponent. Indeed, Costa being 7th in the world ranking and Tynbayeva pointing to 52nd place, the affairs of the Portuguese competitor could not be clearer.

Judo being judo though and everything being always possible in our sport, it was finally Tynbayeva who won to make her way to the final, to meet the other Kazakh in the category, Abiba Abuzhakynova, whose world ranking is more significant.


Abuzhakynova is no stranger, far from it, since she finished in a very honourable third place at the Tashkent World Championships last October. Before that, in 2017, she had already tasted world silver, but it was in the cadets and it was at -44kg. It is nevertheless interesting to note that the one who climbed the podium in cadets is still present and that she is now one of the best in her category. A career is built in the long run; Abuzhakynova has already understood that.


It's always complicated to compete against your teammate. With 2 minutes already gone, Tynbayeva had two shido to her name, while Abuzhakynova scored a waza-ari with a sutemi-waza. This was enough to reach the final gong and for Abuzhakynova to win the title, a first at the grand prix level for her.

Bronze medal contest: TANZER Katharina (AUT) vs RISHONY Shira (ISR)

The first bronze medal was disputed by Katharina Tanzer (AUT) and Shira Rishony (ISR), who had long believed that she should reach the final. We will remember that Rishony won medal number 10 on the WJT and that it is the first medal of the 2023 season. She scored a waza-ari with a seoi-otoshi at the beginning of the bout and kept it until the end, after she proved to be more tactical than her opponent.

Bronze medallisst: LAPUERTA COMAS Mireia (ESP)

Mireia Lapuerta Comas (ESP) and Catarina Costa (SRB) were opposed in the second match for the bronze medal. The match was well balanced, even if Costa seemed to have a little advantage, but not enough to take the lead. The end of normal time was fast approaching with only one shido to Lapuerta Comas. This was the time she chose to launch her more or less first strong attack of the contest to score a waza-ari. Unfortunately for Costa that came at the worst moment, with only a handful of seconds left on the clock. Portugal missed their first medal opportunity while Lapuerta Comas won her first medal on the World Judo Tour.

Medals and prize money were presented by Mr Vlad MARINESCU, Director General of the International Judo Federation and Mr Sergio PINA, Vice-President of the Portuguese Judo Federation

Final (-48 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (-48 kg)

More images of the Grand Prix Portugal 2023 - CLICK HERE

See also