IJF and EJU photographer Gabi Juan has been photographing judo since 2007 but has spent his life in judo, training since the age of 3. He has travelled the world in different roles within the sport, including being an official photographer at the last 3, soon to be 4, Olympic Games. On day three of the Qasaqstan Barysy Grand Slam, the technical analysis is his.

“I have to open with this; I loved seeing Wolf as he was on the tatami in Tokyo. The o-uchi to uchi-mata is back to full speed. He was very comfortable against those gripping on the opposite side and we really saw the best of him.

Aaron Wolf and the gold backpatch he fully intends to keep.

We also saw Trippel on fire today. He has suffered a long time without a medal. He’s been lacking focus on competition days but he came here with a sharp, approach. We have watched him fixing things, step by step, and he brought it together well here.

Eduard Trippel (GER).

Some judoka come here as a test for the Games, solving small problems but others are really fighting for the qualification and between them it’s like two different universes; it is likely to be the same in UAE.

I was surprised again to see Olek (GER) coming to the final knowing that with her skill and talent she will not get to the Games. Considering her age, she has a really well constructed game and is difficult to beat for all opponents but also, considering her age again, if she keeps going this way, she will find her way to a future Olympic Games.

Olek (GER).

Pacut-Kloczko (POL) has had a great day at -78 kg. She was explosive and brought a style of judo not expected in the category. She seems to be adaptable, a lot of resources available to her. She lost to Olek but otherwise had great fights and deserved her place in the final block. Fifth place would have been a tough end to the day but I enjoyed watching her judo today and look forward to her next appearance.

Pacut-Kloczko (POL) on great form.

It was the same for Chala (ECU), really unexpected. She had clean gripping, using her hands well to set up the finish while her leg and hip position, with the tai-sabaki, were so well co-ordinated to create the devastating sasae which put very experienced judoka out of today’s medal hunt.

In the heavyweight women’s group, we didn’t know if everyone will show all their cards but here in Astana Dicko dismantled Sone. Maybe Sone is holding something back for Paris but if not, Dicko has this relationship sewn up. Her final with the Chinese could have perhaps required a different type of judo but Dicko fully imposed herself there too, an immense performance.”

Gabi Juan, as well as our top judoka from all over the world, will now complete their final preparations for the Abu Dhabi World Championships, beginning in exactly a week’s time.

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