The -70kg category was more in line with expectations since the four main seeds, Sanne Van Dijke (NED), Kelly Petersen Pollard (GBR), Miriam Butkereit (GER) and Elisavet Teltsidou (GRE) qualified for the semi-finals. There was nothing very surprising then, but it was a great pleasure to follow these athletes for whom the pressure did not seem to be an aggravating factor.
Final, Sanne Van Dijke (NED) vs Elisavet Teltsidou (GRE)

If the first semi-final was also in line with forecasts, since Van Dijke qualified for the final at the expense of Petersen Pollard, it was different in the second part of the draw, since it was Teltsidou who bought herself a ticket, leaving her opponent to land in the bronze medal match.

Gold medallist, Elisavet Teltsidou (GRE)

With a head to head of 2-0 in favour of the Dutch judoka, Van Dijke had at least a mental advantage over Teltsidou, but the latter has shown some really good judo over recent tournaments. After one and a half minutes, both were penalised with a shido. The sentence was doubled for Teltsidou a little later as she was blocking her opponent. Both being big throwers, we were expecting a significant hip movement, but it didn't come. Van Dijke was also penalised a second time and a third time so it was gold for Teltsidou, for the second time in her career.

Bronze medal contest, Giovanna Scoccimarro (GER) vs Miriam Butkereit (GER)

Germany secured a place on the podium, with its two athletes Giovanna Scoccimarro (GER) and Miriam Butkereit (GER) qualifying for the first contest for a bronze medal. In 16 months time, Germany will have to decide who will go to the Olympic Games. This match between the two Germans can already be decisive. With two similar figures and styles, it must be said that the choice is not going to be easy. Golden score started with two shido apiece, the next one on either side or the first score being the finisher. The first shido in golden score, given to Butkereit, offered the victory to Scoccimarro.

Bronze medal contest, Martina Esposito (ITA) vs Kelly Petersen Pollard (GBR)

Martina Esposito (ITA) and Kelly Petersen Pollard (GBR) completed the final block. Immediately to action, Esposito drove her opponent on her side with a seoi-nage for waza-ari. Then the problems started for the Italian judoka as there was plenty of time to go and she was already penalised with two shido. But the last penalty went to Kelly Petersen Pollard for pushing out and that was enough for Esposito to save the match and win the medal.

Medal, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Giuseppe MADDALONI, Refereeing Supervisor of the International Judo Federation & Olympic Champion and Mr Vladimer BOZHADZE, Member of Tbilisi Council

More images of the Tbilisi Grand Slam 2023 - CLICK HERE

See also