Rundown from Ekaterinburg

The third Grand Slam of the 2019 season was one to remember in Ekaterinburg with 10 countries claiming a gold medal and 22 countries appearing on the podium.

Grand Slam organisers Russia made a low-key start on day one, before registering in the gold medal column on day two and taking control of the medal table on the last day.

Daria DAVYDOVA (-63kg) won all four of her contests on day two to lead the way for Russia’s women’s team and win her country’s first gold medal at home in front of a packed crowd at the Palace of Sports.

DAVYDOVA improved on her Düsseldorf Grand Slam silver by defeating Cristina CABANA PEREZ (ESP) by a waza-ari and then beat Agata OZDOBA-BLACH (POL), Gili SHARIR (ISR) and Lucy RENSHALL (GBR) all by ippon.

Day three was when the Russian team excelled as -100kg marksman Arman ADAMIAN (RUS) stole the show with his ippon judo. ADAMIAN defeated former world champion HAGA Ryunosuke (JPN) in golden score and then dismissed the big-throwing Laurin BOEHLER (AUT) by ippon. The highly-dangerous Shady ELNAHAS (CAN) was next to feel the power of the 22-year-old Russian and then the top seed Peter PALTCHIK (ISR) was humbled.

Five-time world medallist Kirill DENISOV (RUS) offered a stubborn test in the final but the Grand Slam title belonged to ADAMIAN who prevailed by a waza-ari score.

In the men’s +100kg category, Russia’s third success came courtesy of undersized heavyweight Tamerlan BASHAEV (RUS).

While many have already installed Inal TASOEV (RUS) as Russia’s top male heavyweight, BASHAEV put his hand up for that title with four wins over quality opposition to win his first Grand Slam gold medal.

BASHAEV, who has moved up to fourth place in the world, ahead of teammate and world number 12 TASOEV, who was not in action in Ekaterinburg, saw off OGAWA Yusei (JPN), Stephan HEGYI (AUT), Anton KRIVOBOKOV (RUS) and Or SASSON (ISR).

Israel maintained their strong start to the season with gold medals from -81kg man of the moment Sagi MUKI and the battling Gili COHEN at -52kg.

France enjoyed two victories with Kilian LE BLOUCH an unlikely winner on day one (-66kg) and world number one Marie Eve GAHIE (-70kg) an expected winner on the second day.

A much-changed Japanese team avoided missing out on a medal for the first time since the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam thanks to IZUMI Mao (JPN) who bested two-time world champion Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) in the -78kg final.

Brazil returned to form with a haul of five medals including gold from reliable heavyweight Maria Suelen ALTHEMAN at +78kg.

Canada claimed one gold medal through Christa DEGUCHI (CAN) who matched her Paris Grand Slam result.

The Netherlands had Noel VAN T END to thank for -90kg gold as the relieved Dutchman won on the Grand Slam stage at his 21st attempt.

Mongolia joined the party with an early success from LKHAGVAJAMTS Unubold at -60kg on a day when Argentina’s Olympic champion Paula PARETO continued her run to Tokyo 2020 with -48kg gold.

The vastly-underrated Tommy MACIAS starred for Sweden as he topped the -73kg category with wins over Russian, Uzbek, Tajik and Italian rivals to move up to fourth place on the world ranking list.

Stay tuned to the IJF website for the Top 5 Ippons from Ekaterinburg.

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