Oh things haven't been easy for Raz Hershko! Seeded number one, she nevertheless started the tournament under the best auspices by clearly beating the local Sophio Somkhishvili. Then she got rid of Milica Zabic (SRB) confidently. All that remained was to face Karen Stevenson (NED) in the semi-final.
Final, Raz Hershko (ISR) vs Xin Su (CHN)

Having made the bet to move up a category, the Dutch judoka did not waver and engaged with all her energy and liveliness in a match that was to last almost 3 minutes 30 into the golden score period. Out of breath, the Israeli champion did not seem to find a solution in front of this wisp Stevenson who kept moving and launching strong and dangerous attacks.

Final, Raz Hershko (ISR) vs Xin Su (CHN)
Gold medallist, Raz Hershko (ISR)

With two shido apiece in added time, everything seemed possible and especially possible for Stevenson, but she finally gave in to Hershko though, who found the resources to throw her hard, quickly, on her back, with control for a clear ippon.

Gold medallist, Raz Hershko (ISR)

In the other part of the table, we witnessed an all-Chinese battle since the two representatives of the Middle Empire, Xin Su and Shiyan Xu, qualified for the semi-final, the advantage going to Xin Su who won by ippon.

On the one hand Hershko needed a good recovery after her marathon match against Stevenson and on the other Su was on a positive dynamic. Everything was still possible.

It seemed that the recovery was good actually. Starting the final on the right foot and with the right pace, Hershko produced a few first attacks to test her opponent, before launching her seoi-nage for ippon. She is world number two and today she showed why.

Bronze medal contest, Adiyasuren Amarsaikhan (MGL) vs Shiyan Xu (CHN)

The first match for third place was 100% Asian as Adiyasuren Amarsaikhan (MGL) and Shiyan Xu (CHN) faced each other. Strongly dominated, Amarsaikhan was penalised twice before she was thrown with o-uchi-gari for waza-ari and later on pinned down for ippon by Shiyan Xu. This meant a bronze medal was heading to China.

Bronze medal contest, Marit Kamps (NED) vs Karen Stevenson (NED)

The Netherlands guaranteed their presence on the podium with a match between Marit Kamps (NED) and Karen Stevenson (NED). Marit Kamps having been penalised three times, it is Karen Stevenson who finally climbed on the third step of the podium.

Medal, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Faissal RAGUIB, International Judo Federation Continental Education Commissioner for Africa and President of the Judo Federation of Djibouti and Mr Zebeda REKHVIASHVILI, Former Georgian Judo National Team Member

Final (+78 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (+78 kg)

More images of the Tbilisi Grand Slam 2023 - CLICK HERE

See also