Dutch judoka Noël Van T End will remember his trip to Ekaterinburg for the rest of his life. After amassing 1 bronze and 5 silver medals at a Grand Slam, gold was the only color missing. And here in Ekaterinburg he finally succeeded. However, the gold wasn’t presented on a platter. He had to go deep to grab it … very deep.
Noël Van T End (NED) finally grabs a gold at a Grand Slam

“This feels fantastic,” an elated Van T End confirms to IJF Media in the Mixed Zone, still panting after the huge effort. “Gviniashvili was a tough opponent. It was no walk in the park.”

Medal Podium Men's -90kg

Indeed, the final bout went in Golden Score and the Dutchman got the impression he scored a waza-ari. “You think ‘yes, I got it!’, but it was annulled. That was tough. I had to recharge myself with all the energy left. Slapping my face, resetting my mind and I started anew with the same determination to pocket that gold. This gold medal means the world to me. It stands for important points towards Olympic qualification and I need them.”

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