When the categories are as open as in Linz, due to the absence of some tenors, resting after the World Judo Championships - Doha 2023, and the will of the underdog to show their teeth, we can expect many surprises and we had some during the first qualifying session of the Upper Austria Grand Prix. However, for the first athlete qualified for the men's -60kg final, it was not a surprise, since it was the number one seed Dilshot Khalmatov (UKR) who came out on top.
Final, Dilshot Khalmatov (UKR) vs Romain Valadier Picard (FRA)

The second finalist, Romain Valadier Picard (FRA) was not really a surprise either, since he was among the four best athletes entered into the tournament. Already a two-time grand slam bronze medallist, this time he reached the final of a World Judo Tour event for the first time, after having perfectly mastered the elimination phases with powerful and effective shoulder movements.

Final, Dilshot Khalmatov (UKR) vs Romain Valadier Picard (FRA)

Still dangerous with his attack despite a hand injury sustained at the very beginning of the final, it was difficult for Khalmatov to resist Valadier Picard's storm of attacks. Almost at the end of the contest, Khalmatov was penalised a third time, offering the victory to Romain Valadier Picard.

Gold medallist, Romain Valadier Picard (FRA)

The first match for a bronze medal saw Nazir Talibov (AZE) and Artem Lesiuk (UKR) face off. Talibov was quickly penalised with two shido, the first one after he grabbed under the belt to avoid being thrown and the second for passivity. The third penalty was not likely to be long in coming but Nazir Talibov was penalised with hansoku-make for a head dive. The bronze medal was for Artem Lesiuk.

Emiel Jaring (NED) vs Petros Christodoulides (CYP)
Bronze medal contest, Nazir Talibov (AZE) vs Artem Lesiuk (UKR)

Emiel Jaring (NED) and Petros Christodoulides (CYP) battled for the second bronze medal. After a fairly balanced contest, the athletes reached golden score with only one shido to his name for Jaring. It was after 3:15 of golden score that Petros Christodoulides could eventually score a waza-ari, with a superb ippon-ko-uchi-gari, to win the bronze medal. This is the first medal on the World Judo Tour for Christodoulides, a good sign of the development of judo in Cyprus.

Medals, cheques and gifts were presented by Mr Mohammed MERIDJA, Education & Coaching Director of the International Judo Federation, and Mr Hans-Peter ZOPF, Vice President of the Austrian Judo Federation

Bronze Medal Fights (-60 kg)

See also