On day 2 of the IBSA Grand Prix Heidelberg 2024, the categories in action were: J1 -57kg, J1 -90kg, J1 -70kg, J1 +90kg, J1 +70kg, J2 -90kg, J2 -70kg, J2 +90kg, J2 +70kg. The overall medal table is led by China, winning 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal. Ukraine took second spot, whilst Brazil claimed third place. Three nations from three different continents dominated; this speaks volumes. Gold medal performances were delivered by Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Japan and Germany. The elite level continued throughout day two of the competition.

J1 -57kg Final SHI, Yijie (CHN) vs AMRIEVA, Uljon (UZB)

Bronze medal contest GOMEZ, Paula Karina (ARG) vs HAVRYSIUK, Anzhela (UKR) GAGNE, Priscilla (CAN) vs SILVA, Larissa (BRA)

Final Results 1. AMRIEVA, Uljon (UZB) 2. SHI, Yijie (CHN) 3. GOMEZ, Paula Karina (ARG) 3. GAGNE, Priscilla (CAN) 5. HAVRYSIUK, Anzhela (UKR) 5. SILVA, Larissa (BRA)

The first medal contest of the final block saw Gomez (ARG) facing Havrysiuk (UKR), throughout which, the Argentinian judoka governed and stepped across for several maki-komi attempts. Halfway through the contest Havrysiuk fancied trying the same technique but was hit by Gomez’s excellent countering skills which captured bronze for Argentina. The second bronze medal contest lasted only 30 seconds as Gagne (CAN) wrapped herself around the right arm of Silva (BRA) and rolled her down for ippon. The final was just as fast with Shi (CHN) entering bravely for a seoi-nage, instantly, but losing control of the upper half, landing on all fours, at which point Amrieva (UZB) took control with a shime-waza for ippon, ending this gold medal contest.

J1 -90kg Final CAVALCANTE DA SILVA, Arthur (BRA) vs JONARD, Cyril D (FRA)

Bronze medal contest WIDEGREN, Oscar (SWE) vs POWELL, Daniel (GBR) CRETUL, Oleg (MDA) vs ARSTANBEKOV, Bauyrzhan (KAZ)

Final Results 1. CAVALCANTE DA SILVA, Arthur (BRA) 2. JONARD, Cyril D (FRA) 3. POWELL, Daniel (GBR) 3. CRETUL, Oleg (MDA) 5. WIDEGREN, Oscar (SWE) 5. ARSTANBEKOV, Bauyrzhan (KAZ)

Cretul (MDA) stunned Arstanbekov (KAZ) for bronze with an o-uchi-gari, while Powell (GBR) was drilling his tomoe-nage on the next tatami against Widegren (SWE). At the end, Powell’s ne-waza skills allowed him to win the first medal for the British team. French legend, Jonard, struggled to overcome Cavalcante Da Silva (BRA) in the final and despite several seoi-nage attempts, winning gold was not on the cards. Quite the opposite for the Brazilian judoka, who patiently waited for the right time to execute his top class maki-komi, rotating down with his French opponent for ippon.

J1 -70kg Final SOUZA DE FREITAS, Brenda (BRA) vs LIU, Li (CHN)

Bronze medal contest USLU HAJABIPOUR, Merve (TUR) vs PASCHALIDOU, Theodora (GRE) TSUCHIYA, Minako (JPN) vs LKHAIJAV, Turuunaa (MGL)

Final Results 1. LIU, Li (CHN) 2. SOUZA DE FREITAS, Brenda (BRA) 3. PASCHALIDOU, Theodora (GRE) 3. KHAIJAV, Turuunaa (MGL) 5. USLU HAJABIPOUR, Merve (TUR) 5. TSUCHIYA, Minako (JPN)

Greece managed to claim a medal this weekend too when Paschalidou defeated Uslu Hajabipour (TUR) in golden score by waza-ari via a harai-maki-komi throw. Lkhaijav (MGL) decided to opt for o-soto-gari and launched from a fair distance, landing Tsuchiya (JPN) on their back for ippon. With that, Mongolia was able to add a bronze to their medal tally. The final saw a strong head-to-head between Souza De Freitas (BRA) and Liu (CHN). We had to wait for golden score to witness a penalty given to each athlete. The contest continued and a fortunate situation in ne-waza allowed Liu to gain control and pin her opponent. With the contest being already in golden score, 15 seconds was enough for Liu to take glory.

J1 +90kg Final DE ARAUJO, Wilians (BRA) vs BASOC, Ion (MDA)

Bronze medal contest DASHTSEREN, Ganbat (MGL) vs ZAKIYEV, Ilham (AZE) QI, Jilong (CHN) vs KNEGT, Daniel (NED)

Final Results 1. DE ARAUJO, Wilians (BRA) 2. BASOC, Ion (MDA) 3. ZAKIYEV, Ilham (AZE) 3. KNEGT, Daniel (NED) 5. DASHTSEREN, Ganbat (MGL) 5. QI, Jilong (CHN)

Zakiyev (AZE) waited until the end of the first minute of his bronze medal contest against Dashtseren (MGL) to apply his ashi-waza skills and score a waza-ari. He was not done then and continued his action with a smooth transition straight into osae-komi. Ten seconds later, the bronze was won by Zakiyev. Meanwhile, Qi (CHN) and Knegt (NED) went head-to-head during. Entering golden score, Qi picked up a first shido. A minute later, the yellow cards doubled on Qi’s side. Following their next exchange and once mate was called, Qi decided to undo his belt voluntarily, which, following the rules, resulted in him being penalised, in that case for one last time. The bronze went to Knegt. The final was short but rather eventful. Basoc (MDA) scored a waza-ari and landed De Araujo (BRA) straight into osae-komi. Within seconds, the Brazilian judoka virtually bench pressed Basoc, rolled him over and held him down for ippon.

J1 +70kg Final AKIN GUNES, Nazan (TUR) vs HARNYK, Anastasiia (UKR)

Bronze medal contest GARCIA, Christella Josette (USA) vs SANABRIA ALCALA, Danitza Yoccelin (VEN) SISKA, Roma (INA) vs ERGASHEVA, Feruza (UZB)

Final Results 1. HARNYK, Anastasiia (UKR) 2. AKIN GUNES, Nazan (TUR) 3. GARCIA, Christella Josette (USA) 3. SISKA, Roma (INA) 5. SANABRIA ALCALA, Danitza Yoccelin (VEN) 5. ERGASHEVA, Feruza (UZB)

Ergasheva (UZB) became stuck underneath Siska (INA) with her own action when trying to roll her opponent into osae-komi from an initial maki-komi start. Siska managed to pause the action and secure an osae-komi of her own winning the only medal for Indonesia. After a back-to-back battle for almost two minutes, Garcia (USA) threw Sanabria Alcala (VEN) for waza-azi before keeping her opponent down for ten more seconds to secure the second bronze. The final ended quite similarly, Harnyk (UKR) followed up her te-waza move into mune-gatame, giving no chance to Akin Gunes (TUR) to test her for gold.

J2 -90kg Final KAROMATOV, Davurkhon (UZB) vs KIZILASHVILI, Lasha (GEO)

Bronze medal contest MOLLOY, Evan (GBR) vs NAZARENKO, Oleksandr (UKR) CASANOVA, Marcelo, (BRA) vs LATCHOUMANAYA, Helios (FRA)

Final Results 1. KAROMATOV, Davurkhon (UZB) 2. KIZILASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) 3. NAZARENKO, Oleksandr (UKR) 3. LATCHOUMANAYA, Helios (FRA) 5. MOLLOY, Evan (GBR) 5. CASANOVA, Marcelo, (BRA)

Nazarenko (UKR) fast collected another medal for Ukraine as he stunned Molloy (GBR) for ippon within 14 seconds of this bronze medal contest. A few metres away, Latchoumanaya (FRA) held Casanova (BRA) down with a yoko-gatame but the Brazilian escaped. A minute later the exact same opportunity arose for Latchoumanaya and this time, there was no way out. Bronze for France was the conclusion. During this final, we witnessed Karomatov (UZB) trying to outclass Kizilashvili (GEO) during the first few exchanges before committing to throw his opponent. Karomatov managed to gain a waza-ari lead close the end of the first minute. The pressure kept piling on for Kizilashvili after receiving two penalties. The last shido was given to the Georgian judoka when the pair could not settle into a starting grip.

J2 -70kg Final WANG, Yue (CHN) vs MALDONADO, Alana (BRA)

Bronze medal contest THONGSRI, Pornnapa (THA) vs OGAWA, Kazusa (JPN) MEREKE, Ayala (KAZ) vs AZELIONYTE, Monika (LTU)

Final Results 1. WANG, Yue (CHN) 2. MALDONADO, Alana (BRA) 3. OGAWA, Kazusa (JPN) 3. MEREKE, Ayala (KAZ) 5. THONGSRI, Pornnapa (THA) 5. AZELIONYTE, Monika (LTU)

Ogawa (JPN) overcame Thongsri (THA) with a classical o-uchi-gari, scoring ippon to claim the first bronze. An exceptionally well timed uchi-mata-sukashi resulted in Mereke (KAZ) taking the other bronze medal instead of Azelionyte (LTU). During the final contest of this division there were sufficient sasae attempts from both parties. Wang (CHN) topped it with plenty of other attacks, such as uchi-mata and o-uchi-gari, and although she did not manage to score against Maldonado, (BRA) the Brazilian collected the maximum of three penalties.

J2 +90kg Final NOURI, Vahid (IRI) vs BOLUKBASI, Ibrahim (TUR)

Bronze medal contest SHUKURBEKOV, Zhurkamyrza (KAZ) vs KONKIYEV, Yerlan (KAZ) JUNIOR, Sergio (BRA) vs HODGSON, Jack (GBR)

Final Results 1. NOURI, Vahid (IRI) 2. BOLUKBASI, Ibrahim (TUR) 3. SHUKURBEKOV, Zhurkamyrza (KAZ) 3. HODGSON, Jack (GBR) 5. KONKIYEV, Yerlan (KAZ) 5. JUNIOR, Sergio (BRA)

Junior (BRA) fell short against Hodgson (GBR) who excelled with a ko-soto-gake action accompanied by tate-shiho-gatame, securing a second bronze for the British team. The same technique was applied on the adjoining mat by Shukurbekov (KAZ) as he faced teammate Konkiyev (KAZ) during this bronze medal contest. The initial ko-soto from Shukurbekov scored waza-ari. Shortly after that he added another via an ashi-waza attempt, which instantly wrapped up the all-Kazakh bout. Nouri (IRI) outclassed Bolukbasi (TUR) in the final of this category. To claim victory, he applied his signature move twice, uchi-mata, to make waza-ari-awasete-ippon.

J2 +70kg Final RAIFOVA, Zarina (KAZ) vs HERNANDEZ ESTUPINAN, Sheyla Samarian (CUB)

Bronze medal contest SILVA, Rebeca (BRA) vs GAZIZKYZY, Aidana (KAZ) TAYLOR, Kirsten (GBR) vs PARMONOVA, Mokhinur (UZB)

Final Results 1. RAIFOVA, Zarina (KAZ) 2. HERNANDEZ ESTUPINAN, Sheyla Samarian (CUB) 3. SILVA, Rebeca (BRA) 3. PARMONOVA, Mokhinur (UZB) 5. GAZIZKYZY, Aidana (KAZ) 5. TAYLOR, Kirsten (GBR)

Silva (BRA) relied on her ne-waza skills to win bronze against Gazizkyzy (KAZ). This was only possible during golden score as prior to that they presented an even level of ability. It was also in ne-waza that Parmonova (UZB) managed to overcome Taylor (GBR) during the second bronze medal contest. Both, Raifova (KAZ) and Hernandez Estupinan (CUB) picked up two penalties and with 16 seconds left to go, Raifova took the lead by waza-ari after catching her opponent with a ko-soto-gake. Although the Cuban judoka tried her outmost, today she left with a silver souvenir.

Heidelberg once again confirmed their status of being the city of para sports as they delivered a premium qualifying event for para judo. The next stop for these top-class judoka is Antalya, 1st to 2nd April 2024. With qualifying points being doubled for this year, this race is far from over.

Images © Ralf Kuckuck, DBS

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