From the second part of the draw, it was a more capped judoka who we found in the final. Noel Van T End is first of all a former world champion, who then went through a bad patch before returning in full possession of his capacity in Paris this year, a tournament which he won very well at the beginning of February. With the approach of the World Judo Championships - Doha 2023, it bodes very well for the Dutchman.
Noel Van T End with this absolute BANGER 30 seconds into the final! 💥— Judo (@Judo) April 2, 2023
He takes his second grand slam gold of the year! Will he carry this momentum to #JudoWorlds? 🇳🇱🥋🥇#Judo #JudoAntalya #Türkiye #WJT #RoadToParis2024 #OlympicQualifier pic.twitter.com/TOKhCT4RlG
Would the better ranking of Van T End play a role? Or the fact that he had a bye in the first round? Everything can be an advantage. 29 seconds were enough for Van T End to propel Cret over his shoulders with a fantastic seoi-nage. The gold for Van T end puts him in a position to look at the next world championships. Cret is young, he still has a lot to learn, but today was definitely a big step up in his career.
Peter Zilka (SVK) and Artem Bubyr (UKR), who both had excellent preliminaries even though they could not make it to the final, came together to play out the first match for a bronze medal. If the massive uchi-mata was expected from Peter Zilka, it was actually Artem Bukyr who produced the effort to score with a flying uchi-mata for ippon. This is the first medal at that level for the 2021 junior world bronze medallist. This morning he was pointing at a far off 125th place in the world. No doubt he will gain some ranking here.
Ivaylo Ivanov (BUL) believed for a long time that he could reach the final, before losing to Cret. He still had a chance to reach the podium against Roland Goz (HUN). As we passed the halfway mark there was just a shido apiece written on the scoreboard. The main attack came from Ivanov right after the final gong and was therefore not counted. The time for golden score has arrived. After 25 seconds of extra time, the same Ivanov dropped under his opponent's centre of gravity with a nicely executed kata-guruma to take the victory and the medal.
For photos of Antalya and all IJF events, go to ijf.org/galleries