Two Olympic champions were in play in Tbilisi in the heavyweight women’s category, Idalys Ortiz (CUB) and Akira Sone (JPN). Both looked set to obliterate the opposition, winning early regardless of challenge.
Gold medallist, Renee Lucht (GER)

They reached their semi-finals, Ortiz beating one of the Chinese Olympic hopefuls and 4th seed Su along the way. It was a stronger and more robust Ortiz than we have seen at recent outings. She’s preparing for a Games and no-one knows how to do that than the four time Olympic medallist from Cuba.

Idalys Ortiz winning her quarter-final.

Sone also had a very sharp morning, passing the number 2 seed, Souza (BRA), countering an osoto-gari attempt for waza-ari and concluding with a hold. In her semi-final though, it all came undone, when Renee Lucht (GER) caught a waza-ari with a counter at the 3 minute mark and protected the score until the end of normal time. Against all predictions, including perhaps those of Renee Lucht herself, the German made it to the final and she did it well.

Renee Lucht (GER) takes out Akira Sone (JPN).

Ortiz then went the same way, losing to an inspired Coralie Hayme (FRA) by hold down. Hayme knows she won’t get the Games this year as her teammate and world number one Dicko already has the ticket but the French heavyweight school remains impressive among the women and today it was the turn of Hayme to step up.

Final, Coralie Hayme (FRA) vs Renee Lucht (GER)

The first bronze medal would go to Hyeonji Lee (KOR), who won against the number one seed in the repechage, or Sone. The Olympic champion struggled throughout the contest to break the balance of her opponent, often losing the grip during her seoi-otoshi attempts. In golden score she earned a 3rd and final penalty and Kim, who had been looking for the stronger, more upright attacks, won the medal.

The second bronze medal was for Tavano (ITA), who had lost to Lucht in her quarter-final but then beat the Brazilian number two seed in the repechage, or Idalys Ortiz. In a long and close battle it was eventually the Italian who won on penalties.

Bronze medal contest, Hyeonji Lee (KOR) vs Akira Sone (JPN)

The final block for the +78 kg category was a catalogue of serious names and the winner will certainly have done something special in Tbilisi. Hayme and Lucht have had a brilliant day regardless of the final outcome but one last fight stood between them and the gold.

Bronze medal contest, Asya Tavano (ITA) vs Idalys Ortiz (CUB)

Renee Lucht kept the momentum going much to Hayme's surprise. The first 3 minutes were quite even but in the last 60 seconds Lucht accelerated and managed to throw for a waza-ari just seconds before the end. Not content with the small score, she held the grip and converted her lead into a hold down, taking the full ippon win and gold.

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Neil Adams, IJF commentator, world champion, double Olympic silver medallist, and member of the IJF Hall of Fame, and Mr Mr Giorgi Aleksidze, Former President of the Georgian Judo Federation

Final (+78 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (+78 kg)

Final Results (+78 kg)

7. XU Shiyan (CHN)
See also