For the fourth time on the day there was a French competitor in the final and that was a bit of a surprise in this category as Maxime Gobert reached the final of a grand slam for the first time in his career. Bronze medallist at the junior worlds in 2021 and having only won one bronze medal in a grand slam before, being in the final of a major event clearly shows that Gobert has great potential.
Final, Erkhembayar Battogtokh (MGL) vs Maxime Gobert (FRA)

This impression was reinforced by the fact that Gobert's first medal at a grand slam was in Tokyo last year, so not that long ago. Being on the podium in Japan and being in the final today is significant. So if the surprise was real, it was not underserved at all.

Gold medallist, Maxime Gobert (FRA)

To face the French judoka was Erkhembayar Battogtokh (MGL), who was already a finalist at the Paris Grand Slam 2023 and winner in Ulaanbaatar last year at home.

Judo is the best way to express freedom. You can go in all directions, you are not obliged to follow a designated path. If you want to go left, you go left, if it's right, then be right. If you want to attack with a left seoi-nage, it is up to you. In order to guarantee that both athletes can express themselves, there are rules. One of them is that you can not reap the supporting leg from behind because it can be dangerous.

Erkhembayar Battogtokh did not do it on purpose. He was even surprised when the referee announced his disqualification but rules are rules and they are made to protect the integrity of the opponent. Battogtokh's disqualification led to the fourth gold medal for France on day 1 in Antalya. It's been a long time since the French team has performed at that level with the men and the women.

Bronze medal contest, David Garcia Torne (ESP) vs Baruch Shmailov (ISR)

David Garcia Torne (ESP), 67 in the world ranking and Baruch Shmailov (ISR), ranked 5, faced off in the first bronze medal contest. Maybe Baruch Shmailov didn't really pay attention and thought that his ranking would help him to secure the medal, but unfortunately the Israeli did not see the danger coming. Before he realised he was in trouble, he already had his arm locked for an ippon and sent the bronze medal to Garcia Torne.

Bronze medal contest, Willian Lima (BRA) vs Gusman Kyrgyzbaev (KAZ)

Willian Lima (BRA) and Gusman Kyrgybaev (KAZ) were the guests for the second bronze medal contest. It took them a strong and long golden score to decide the winner after they were two shido apiece. Eventually it was Lima who stepped on the podium.

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Juan Carlos BARCOS, Director for International Relations of the International Judo Federation & President of the Spanish Judo Federation and Mr Abdullah YALDIZ, Head of Inspection Board at the Minstry of National Defence

Bronze Medal Fights (-66 kg)

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See also