The day began with the absence of the number 1 seed, Davlat Bobonov (UZB), who did not show up during the first round. This opened the door to an outsider and it was Guy Gurevitch (ISR) who took advantage of the situation with both opportunism and realism. Not responsible for Bobonov's absence, Gurevitch did not ask any questions and did the work to reach the semi-final against Mihael Zgank (TUR), who since the morning showed signs of good form. It was ultimately the Turkish judoka who took the upper hand to reach the final.
Final, Mihael Zgank (TUR) vs Klen Kristofer Kaljulaid (EST)

In the second half of the draw, we expected the emergence of the indestructible Krisztian Toth (HUN), who had every chance of extricating himself from pool C, even if serious contenders appeared there, such as Sami Chouchi (BEL) or Li Kochman (ISR). There was also the unknown Japanese of the day, Kenshin Mori, with his only reference being a team silver medal at the 2017 Cadet World Championships. But faced with Toth's experience, the young Japanese judoka could do nothing. The Hungarian champion headed towards the quarter-final, where he lost to the Estonian Klen Kristofer Kaljulaid, before also losing in the repechage. It was a day without for Toth.

For Kaljulaid remained a major pitfall since in the semi-final he faced the 2015 world champion and 2016 Olympic medallist, Donghan Gwak (KOR). Even if the latter struggles to regain his best level, he remains a benchmark judoka in the category. Following the momentum of his quarter-final against Toth, Klen Kristofer Kaljulaid continued his progression to join Zgank in the final.

Gold medallist, Mihael Zgank (TUR)

Its the 75th position in the ranking list, Klen Kristofer Kaljulaid was present for the first time in a grand prix final, when Mihael Zgank, being ranked 13th in the world, already has some experience. Both were looking for the same technique, sumi-gaeshi and as golden score started, they just had one shido each to their name. With a second penalty picked up by Kaljulaid, things started to get a little more difficult for him. It became impossible and so he was penalised a third time. The gold medal was for Mihael Zgank and Türkiye; a job well done!

Bronze medal contest, Mark Van Dijk (NED) vs Donghan Gwak (KOR)

Author of a good first part of the competition, Mark Van Dijk (NED) offered himself the possibility of a medal by meeting Donghan Gwak (KOR) in the first match for a bronze medal but that would be a difficult contest for the Dutch athlete, who was quickly thrown, actually overthrown, so for no score. The rest of the normal time just flew out, both judoka being active. So, no penalty was given, the first shido coming at the beginning of the golden score period was for Van Dijk. It really seemed that even if he was not scoring yet, Gwak was the stronger of the two. The Korean judoka then launched a seoi-nage that was for sure not prepared enough and Mark Van Dijk took advantage of the situation to counter-attack and score a waza-ari, winning a welcome bronze medal.

Bronze medal contest, Eljan Hajiyev (AZE)

Eljan Hajiyev (AZE) and Guy Gurevitch (ISR) faced each other in the second match for a bronze medal. Inside the first minute, Gurevitch was already penalised twice for breaking the grip and stepping out of the tatami. Eljan Hajiyev, very confident, was just waiting for the right opportunity, which came after a failed atempt from his opponent. He immediately applied a submission and Eljan Hajiyev was obliged to give away the victory. The bronze medal was assigned to Eljan Hajiyev (AZE).

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Moshe Ponti, Member of the IJF Coordination Committee of Directors, President of the Israel Judo Assocation and Development Director of the EJU, and Mrs Catarina Rodrigues, Event Director of the Portuguese Judo Federation and Head Sport Director of the European Judo Union

Bronze Medal Fights (-90 kg)

See also