Local favourite Dimitri Peters gave the crowd something to smile about when he downed Cuba’s Jose Armenteros in the under 100 kilo final at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 31-year-old, who took bronze at the London Games in 2012, proved unstoppable throughout the competition, winning all his fights by ippon including the showpiece match which lasted just over 2 minutes.
The bronze medals were won by Javad Mahjoub and Russia’s Adlan Bisultanov.
Lakiv Khammo overcame a nervous start to clinch the 100 kilo category. The Ukrainian judoka survived an early scare as he secured a golden score win against Abdullo Tangriev in the first round before stepping it up gear, beating Sung-Min Kim in the semi-finals and Islam El Shehaby of Egypt in the final thanks to a clinical ippon.
In the women’s event, Germany’s Luise Malzahn looked set to hand the hosts their second gold medal of the day but it wasn’t to be as the 25-year-old failed to deliver in the final. Malzahn, who had showed tremendous strength in the semis to down Britain’s Natalie Powell, was then unable to trouble Audrey Tcheumeo as the French sealed the title with a well taken waza-ari.
In the over 78 kilo class, Maria Suelen Altheman dominated France’s Lucie Louette Kanning and Sisi Ma of China before taking her momentum into the final bout. The Brazilian, a two-time world silver medallist, threw her rival Song Yu with a superb harai-goshi and then pinned down the Chinese fighter with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for 15 seconds to seal a convincing win in 56 seconds.
The third and final day was marked by Marcus Nyman’s performance in the under 90 kilo category as the Swede stunned Olympic champion Ilias Iliadis and reigning World champion Dong Han Gwak in the semi-finals. The 2010 European champion, who had already won here five years ago, then outsmarted his younger rival Krisztian Toth of Hungary who was penalised on three occasions for passivity.
The Dusseldorf Grand Prix has treated judo fans to spectacular bouts and memorable ippons. The three-day event came to a close on Sunday with judokas extending their duties off the tatami, taking time to sign autographs and pose for photos. The next Judo Grand Prix will take place in Tbilisi on the 25th of March.