Judo’s third Grand Slam started in style on Saturday in Paris.
Mistakes or misfortune were the decisive factors in the under 60kg class as Japan’s Naohisa Takato got the better of France’s Vincent Limare. He was penalised twice in their five minute bout with the 2013 world champion winning by waza-ari.
Japan also took gold in the under 73kg category as an Ippon and a waza-ari proved to be the decisive at the big business end of the contest. Hiroyuki Akimoto defeating the Azeri Rustam Orujov.
In the men’s under 66kg category, Despite having three penalties against him a Yuko-und gave Mongolia’s Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj victory over Ukraine’s Georgii Zantaria in an closely fought match.
Mongolia’s women walked away with most medals after a series of battling performances
but only Urantsetseg Munkhbat took gold; in the under 48kg class she defeated Belgium’s Charline van Snick to cement her first place in the world rankings.
Kosovo’s Majlinda Kelmendi returned to the mat with force after a lengthy injury lay-off. Fighting for the first time in a year, the double world champion comfortably beat the surprise Swiss finalist Evelyne Schlopp with a perfectly executed o-uchi-gari for ippon.
In the under 57 kg category, Portugal’s European champion Telma Monteiro got the better of Mongolia’s world number two Sumiya Dorjsuren in a bout determined by penalties for passivity.
And finally in the under 63kg class, Slovenia’s world champion Tina Trstenjak continued her winning streak, a single yuko giving her victory over Juul Franssen of the Netherlands.