-78kg: Unstoppable UMEKI rules for Japan
Former world champion UMEKI Mami (JPN) won her third Grand Prix gold medal to remain in the frame for Tokyo 2020 selection. Hohhot Grand Prix winner Fanny Estelle POSVITE (FRA) went the distance with UMEKI with golden score summoned after a scoreless opening stanza. Only five seconds of added time was required as the Japanese threw with her trademark uchi-mata for a waza-ari score.
In the first semi-final POSVITE saw off European Games winner Klara APOTEKAR (SLO) by ippon while in the second semi-final Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Beata PACUT tapped out to UMEKI from a sankaku.
The first bronze medal contest was won by Junior World Championships silver medallist Karla PRODAN (CRO) who earned her country’s first medal at their home Grand Prix by countering a morote-seoi-nage from PACUT for ippon. It was a career-first for the 20-year-old who thrilled the youthful Croatian crowd who themselves graced the same tatami just hours prior for a masterclass.
The second bronze medal was won by 2009 world champion Marhinde VERKERK (NED) who countered APOTEKAR with ashi-waza to claim her 11th Grand Prix medal.
Final UMEKI, Mami (JPN) vs POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)
Bronze Medal Fights PRODAN, Karla (CRO) vs PACUT, Beata (POL) VERKERK, Marhinde (NED) vs APOTEKAR, Klara (SLO)
Bronze Medal Fights
+78kg: SONE heads home for Worlds as one of the favourites after Zagreb win
Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist SONE Akira (JPN) claimed heavyweight gold one month away from making her World Championships debut at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. SONE, 19, did not have to fight in the final as European Games silver medallist Larisa CERIC (BIH) unfortunately was sidelined after picking up an injury in her successful semi-final contest.
CERIC came from behind to deny Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Kayra SAYIT (TUR) as she tapped out the Turkish standout with a koshi-jime but injured herself in the process.
In the second semi-final European Games bronze medallist Iryna KINDZERSKA (AZE) lost to SONE via three shidos, an outcome which is not unusual in this weight category.
The first bronze medal was awarded to KINDZERSKA who threw Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN) with a harai-makikomi before applying a holddown for 10 seconds in a powerful display.
The second bronze medal was won by -78kg Olympic bronze medallist Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) who held down SAYIT to bolster Slovenia’s medal return on neighbouring territory.
Final CERIC, Larisa (BIH) vs SONE, Akira (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights KINDZERSKA, Iryna (AZE) vs CHEIKH ROUHOU, Nihel (TUN) VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO) vs SAYIT, Kayra (TUR)
Bronze Medal Fights
-90kg: Georgian GVINIASHVILI grabs gold as Japanese teen takes silver
Two-time World Judo Masters winner Beka GVINIASHVILI (GEO) put the -90kg category on notice as he struck his first IJF gold medal since 2017. The 23-year-old showed his explosive judo which gave him a reputation as one of the most feared and highly-rated judoka in the category before he switched categories in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Olympics. GVINIASHVILI overpowered Düsseldorf Grand Slam silver medallist MURAO Sanshiro (JPN) as the 18-year-old uchi-mata specialist was lifted up to the rafters with a ura-ange for ippon.
In the first semi-final former world silver medallist TOTH Krisztian (HUN) went all out in the closing seconds as he trailed to a waza-ari against GVINIASHVILI but the Georgian took full advantage and dispatched his long-time Hungarian rival by ippon.
In the second semi-final Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Noel VAN T END (NED) was disqualified against MURAO after being penalised three times.
The first bronze medal was won by VAN T END after exactly 70 seconds after launching Marrakech Grand Prix silver medallist Eduard TRIPPEL (GER) for ippon with a thumping ippon-seoi-nage.
The second bronze medal went to top seed TOTH who squeezed past world number 53 Max STEWART (GBR) who is still without an IJF medal since 2016. Hungary’s TOTH won by a waza-ari score and will expect to challenge at the World Championships next month.
Final MURAO, Sanshiro (JPN) vs GVINIASHVILI, Beka (GEO)
Bronze Medal Fights VAN T END, Noel (NED) vs TRIPPEL, Eduard (GER) STEWART, Max (GBR) vs TOTH, Krisztian (HUN)
Bronze Medal Fights
-100kg: Canadian livewire ELNAHAS, 21, wins first IJF gold medal
Montreal Grand Prix silver medallist Shady ELNAHAS (CAN) delivered gold for Canada as the youngster went one better than his result at home earlier this month. The 21-year-old, who exploded onto the scene by taking a stunning silver medal at the Osaka Grand Slam last year, has progressed from being a raw talent into being an elite judoka and showed that by overcoming Antalya Grand Prix winner Alexandre IDDIR (FRA) in golden score with a juji-gatame.
In the first semi-final IDDIR defeated Marrakech Grand Prix winner Benjamin FLETCHER (IRL) by ippon with a thunderous seoi-nage.
In the second semi-final ELNAHAS bested Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Peter PALTCHIK (ISR) by a waza-ari score to book a place in the final.
The first bronze medal was won by PALTCHIK who squeezed past 2017 Zagreb Grand Prix winner CIRJENICS Miklos (HUN) by a waza-ari score.
The second bronze medal went to world number eight Jorge FONSECA (POR) who grinded out a narrow win over FLETCHER by a waza-ari score from a morote-seoi-nage.
Final ELNAHAS, Shady (CAN) vs IDDIR, Alexandre (FRA)
Bronze Medal Fights PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR) vs CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN) FONSECA, Jorge (POR) vs FLETCHER, Benjamin (IRL)
Bronze Medal Fights
+100kg: Georgia’s Junior world champion upsets Olympic silver medallist HARASAWA
Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Gela ZAALISHVILI (GEO) sealed a remarkable comeback in Zagreb as he recorded a thrilling win over a shell-shocked Olympic silver medallist HARASAWA Hisayoshi (JPN). ZAALISHVILI, 19, who only debuted on the IJF World Judo Tour in March, was caught with a ko-uchi-gari after 22 seconds of golden which was awarded a waza-ari before being cancelled upon a review. That scare gave the Georgian all the impetus to go for broke and he turned over 27—year-old HARASAWA for ippon.
In the first semi-final ZAALISHVILI beat Antalya Grand Prix winner Roy MEYER (NED) by a waza-ari score while in the second HARASAWA benefited from a lacklustre showing by world number 64 Alen TSKHOVREBOV (RUS) who was disqualified after being penalised three times.
The first bronze medal was won by Junior Asian Championships silver medallist Alisher YUSUPOV (UZB) after TSKHOVREBOV picked up a knee injury during the contest and could no longer continue.
The second bronze medal went to Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Levani MATIASHVILI (GEO) who attained his 13th Grand Prix at this level at the expense of MEYER who dropped with nine seconds left to pick up his third shido as his ill-advised tactics kept him off the podium.
Final HARASAWA, Hisayoshi (JPN) vs ZAALISHVILI, Gela (GEO)
Bronze Medal Fights TSKHOVREBOV, Alen (RUS) vs YUSUPOV, Alisher (UZB) MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO) vs MEYER, Roy (NED)