The final of the women’s heavyweight category is certainly not one we have seen before on the grand slam circuit. Ruri Takahashi came to Tashkent for only her second grand slam appearance, unseeded but with courage and skill visible throughout the day, as if she had been on the circuit for years. Her opposition was Xin Su (CHN), a double grand slam finalist and 6th seed in Tashkent.

Raz Hershko was the number one seed but dropped out in the round of 16 to Startseva who is getting stronger and stronger against the big names. Startseva then lost her semi-final, having beaten Ozturk (TUR) in the quarter-final and had to settle for a place in the final block without a possible gold medal.

Hershko (ISR) beat Lucht (GER) in her opening contest.

Rachel Nunes also arrived in Tashkent with serious ranking and she backed it up by beating 4-time Olympic medallist Ortiz (CUB) on her way to the quarter-final but there she came undone losing to Takahashi by ippon and a beautiful tai-otoshi, it was.

Nunes' (POR) round of 16 win.

The other Japanese entry in the category, Maya Segawa, also fought excellently throughout the day from her unseeded position in her second seed’s pool. She beat Xu (CHN) and one of the home team and then beat Bouzigarne (GER) on penalties.

Segawa (JPN) beat Bouzigarne (GER).

Lea Fontaine topped pool D, already knowing she won’t get to the Paris Games as Dicko has that ticket already. She’s here though and continues to improve, bringing more movement and a wider range of techniques through her calendar. She is clearly looking to the future which can only be a good thing. She threw Radic (CRO) first, twice, before winning strategically against Vladimirova (AIN). She didn’t pass Su though and dropped into the repechage where she beat the German judoka.

The first bronze medal was contested by Ozturk (TUR) and Segawa (JPN) with the Japanese judoka out-attacking the Young Turk and eventually turning and holding her for ippon.

Ozturk (TUR) and Segawa (JPN).

The second bronze was fought for by Fontaine and Startseva. Fontaine didn't bring as much activity as she had earlier in the day whereas Startseva attacked often and with a number of different techniques and although it took some time she was able to score with a yoko-guruma for the medal.

Startseva (AIN) won bronze in Tashkent.

The final was a whirlwind of judo commitment, Xin Su offering Takahashi no time, no space and no choice as she opened the space perfectly and threw for waza-ari with seoi-otoshi immediately after the first 'hajime.' She held the position on the ground to seal the victory. It was fast, efficient and dominant. What more could any judoka offer?

Xin Su (CHN) had a brilliant day.
Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Ki-Young Jeon, IJF Head Referee Director & Olympic champion, and Mr Dmitriy Adisman, Director General of Pakhtakor Football Club

Final (+78 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (+78 kg)

See also