The category leader, Elisavet Teltsidou (GRE) is a big thrower, favouring the koshi-waza range. Sook (DEN), Mun (PRK) and Pedrotti (ITA) each suffered a similar fate, the Greek stamping her name on the semi-final in no uncertain terms.

Ai Tsunoda Roustant (ESP) should have arrived to meet Teltsidou in the semi-final but she lost out to Tanaka (JPN) after a nine minute battle, for a place in the quarter-final. Tanaka had already given De Voogd (NED) pretty short shrift and had, no doubt, planned to deal with Pinot too.

Tanaka (JPN) defeats Tsunoda Roustant (ESP).

Margaux Pinot (FRA) has come to Abu Dhabi in the shape of her life. Already knowing she doesn’t have the Games ahead of her means all her energy has gone into peaking for this world championship and it has paid off in spades. Fit enough to handle the long fights, skilled enough to throw those who pose no risk at the point of entry and savvy enough to play the tactical game with the world’s best, Pinot dispatched one and the next.

Aoife Coughlan, Australia’s powerhouse, seeded at this championship, could have been a problem for Pinot. Drysdale-Daly (JAM) had just thrown Wroblewska (POL) beautifully in the opening round but the Australian thought nothing of holding the Jamaican down, focused on giving Pinot food for thought.

Pinot, however, was patient and dominated the gripping until she found her moment in golden score and threw with her favourite seoi-otoshi. Tanaka then suffered at the hands of Pinot too, a shido-win due to her masterful gripping and a detailed awareness of all rules. She controlled the pace, rhythm, gripping style and position of the contest and gave Tanaka no window of possibility at all.

In the semi-final, Pinot launched at Teltsidou with a tightly wound ko-uchi-gake and threw her for ippon before the Greek’s hips could take root and so Pinot was into her first ever world final.

Pinot (FRA) deals with Teltsidou (GRE).

The pool C and D situation also threw up some interesting moments. Olympic silver medallist Polleres (AUT) was the number two seed of the day but in round 3 she was thrown by Willems (BEL), not long back in competition after a lengthy spell away due to injury. Willems continued and was victorious against Taimazova (AIN) too, to take herself into the second semi-final.

Willems and Taimazova both shocked by the Belgian's excellent win.

It should have been world silver medallist Lara Cvjetko meeting Willems there but Polling (ITA) beat her in the second round and then took out Eriksson (SWE) too. She couldn’t hold her line against Gahie though, who was determined not to let Pinot run away with the event. Gahie is the French pick for the Games and she hasn’t come to Abu Dhabi to play. Gahie stormed past Willems with ease, throwing her twice.

Gahie (FRA).

The first bronze medal contests featured Shiho Tanaka (JPN) and Gabriella Willems (BEL). It was a dominant performance from the Japanese judoka, throwing willems with her favoured left uchi-mata before later turning and holding her down. The bronze was Tanaka's!

The left uchi-mata.

Madina Taimazova (AIN) and Elisavet Teltsidou (GRE) argued it out for the second bronze medal. This was a close contest, decided on penalties. Both attacked and both gripped well; it wasn't lacking in pace but small infingements cost Teltsidou and Taimazova, already an Olympic medallist, adds a world bronze to her prize list.

Taimazova (AIN) vs Teltsidou (GRE).

In the all-French final, it was close, very close, but to begin with it looked like Gahie was edging it as Pinot picked up two penalties. A change of pace for Pinot and Gahie was also penalised but with great feeling she anticipated the osoto-gair entry of Gahie and immediately turned on it and threw with osoto-gaeshi. Margaux Pinot, regradless of the summer Games ahead, illustrated the depth of the field in France becoming world champion for the first time. The 30 year old can be pleased with her day's work. Gahie takes silver and will have plenty to think about as her final weeks of preparation for her home Olympics arrive.

Pinot throws Gahie in the all-French final.
Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by H.E.Mohammed Bin Thaaloob Alderei, President of the UAE Judo Federation, and H.E. Nicolas Niemtchinow, Ambassador of France to the United Arab Emirates

Final (-70 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (-70 kg)

See also