Some categories set the tone from the draw. We know that we will be treated to a great spectacle with very high level athletes. This was the case with the -78kg category. Even before the first contest, several athletes could appropriately claim the gold medal or at least a podium finish.
Final, Alice Bellandi (ITA) vs Fanny Estelle Posvite (FRA)

The first of them was the world number one, Alicia Bellandi (ITA), who had two almost flawless last seasons, six podia in 2022 and four in 2023, including the Masters title in 2022, and a third place at the worlds in 2023. Her current rank is therefore not usurped. Before the final block, we could already announce that Abu Dhabi would be her fifth podium of the year, since she qualified for the final without having to push her talent too much. Such consistency and performances are exceptional.

Gold Medallist, Alice Bellandi (ITA)

In the second part of the draw, the two Germans, Anna-Maria Wagner and Alina Boehm, were preparing to fight a new battle in their race for Olympic qualification but that was without taking into account the presence of Fanny Estelle Posvite, one of the three French women, considering Audrey Tcheumeo and Madeleine Malonga, who hope to win their ticket to Paris 2024, but only one will go. The only French representative in the category present in Abu Dhabi, Posvite was keen to show that she should not be forgotten. She did it very well by eliminating Wagner and Boehm to join Bellandi in the final.

The final was rather balanced between the competitors and they needed golden score to designate the winner. In the end, Bellandi was a little more active and had stronger kumi-kata which led Posvite to be penalised one more time than Bellandi. This is gold medal number three for Italy, which tops the ranking by nation, while Bellandi for sure will remain world number one.

Bronze medallist, Alina Boehm (GER)

In the first match for a bronze medal, Emma Reid (GBR) and Alina Boehm (GER) met. It took less than a minute for Boehm to turn her opponent over and pin her down for ippon.

Bronze medal contest, Anna-Maria Wagner (GER) vs Patricia Sampaio (POR)
Bronze medallist, Anna-Maria Wagner (GER)

Anna-Maria Wagner (GER) still had a chance to reach the podium by facing Patricia Sampaio (POR). This was the tenth time for the two athletes to meet, with a 5-4 advantage to Sampaio before the contest. Eventually Wagner scored a waza-ari in golden score and won the bronze to step on the podium together with her teammate, Boehm. Their story is not finished yet and today they finish the day at the same level.

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by H.E. Aref Alawani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sport Council, and Ms Tania Missoni, Board Member of Missoni Ltd

Bronze Medal Fights (-78 kg)

See also