Romane Dicko continues to bring exciting, determined judo to the tatami. On the back of her Paris Grand Slam gold, she has arrived in Baku with the sole intention of doubling down. She started in exactly that vein throwing and holding Diacenco in just over half a minute. It was a harai-maikikomi for ippon next, in just 27 seconds; getting even faster!
Dicko's (FRA) round 2 win.

Marit Kamps (NED) was unable to meet her seeding, losing out to young Elis Startseva (AIN) in the quarter-final. Berlikash of Kazakhstan, ranked highest in pool D, went the same way, losing in the quarter-final to Italian judoka Tavano by armlock.

Bronze medal contest, Marit Kamps (NED) vs Milica Zabic (SRB)

Milica Zabic (SRB), however, followed Dicko’s line and won her quarter of the table, including taking a win over 4-time Olympic medallist Idalys Ortiz (CUB), in round two. Ortiz is campaigning for not only a 5th Olympic appearance but perhaps even a 5th Olympic medal. Such a goal is not mainstream, not to be attempted by the majority.

Idalys Ortiz in Baku.

The proceedings may not have gone in her favour today but she’ll be back, an almost omni-present figure in world judo for so many years, with 8 world medals on her CV. Her presence gives energy to all those around her. It is special to see her fight even when she isn’t winning.

Always good energy.

Zabic continued past Lucht (GER) but came undone in her semi-final, most unexpectedly. Judo throws up all sorts of lessons and anomalies and Zabic has been served with a huge lesson today. She threw and held Tavano (ITA) very quickly and the contest looked to be over but as the waza-ari-awasete-ippon loomed, Tavano reversed the hold and applied her own Yoko-shiho-gatame to step into the final in front of a shocked Milica Zabic.

How it started...
... how it's going.

Kamps and Lucht beat their respective Kazakh opponents in their repechage finals to earn their places in the final block. Kamps would be facing Zabic and Lucht would have to leapfrog over Startseva in order to reach the podium.

Kamps (NED) winning in the repechage.

Marit Kamps continued her positive and honestly humble run, winning the bronze medal with a surprised look on her face. It was a ne-waza win just into golden score, taking her to the podium.

Bronze medallist, Elis Startseva (AIN)

Startseva took the second bronze medal, armlocking Lucht right on the bell.

Final, Romane Dicko (FRA) vs Asya Tavano (ITA)

The Dicko-Tavano final should only go one way but as Tavano has already proven, it isn’t over until it’s over. The final was much trickier for Dicko than she may have expected but without frustration or error she continued to work right to the wire while the Italian picked up penalties steadily. A third came and Dicko was the gold medallist but her reduced power shows what a toll it takes when travelling and competing heavily. She has earned herself a rest and a pat on the back.

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Mohammed Meridja, IJF Education & Coaching Director, and Mr Kamran Talibov, Sport Director of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation

Final (+78 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (+78 kg)

See also