The first day of the Zagreb Judo Grand Prix 2017 was full of thrills and spills.
Man of the day
Georgian lightweight hero Amiran Papinashvili, who was top seeded in the category, won the Grand Prix in Zagreb in his U60kg category.
And the 29 year old was our man of the day.
In the final Papinashvili demonstrated that he was able to think quickly on his feet to counter Robert Mshvidobadze for a clear Ippon.
As the Russian attacked, Papinashvili showed fantastic balance and poise to rotate his opponent over and onto his back.
It was the Georgian’s sixth world tour victory but his first for almost two years.
Woman of the day
Our woman of the day was Brazil’s Eleudis Valentim who beat Hugary’s Reka Pupp.
The Brazilian threw her opponent with a stunning Sode Tsuri Komi Goshi, which involves throwing from a grip on both of the sleeves and rolling her onto her back for waza ari, the second highest score.
The 25 year old then finished the contest by securing a pin and holding on for Ippon. This was Valemtim’s first win on the IJF World Judo Tour for over five years and she was clearly delighted!
Move of the day
The move of the day was executed by Papinashvili, a huge pickup against Japan’s Dai Aoki!
Russia’s Albert Oguzov took U60kg bronze in spectacular fashion, throwing Azerbiajan’s Mehman Sadigov for ippon with a superb Ko Uchi attack.
The other U60kg bronze went to Turkey’s Bekir Ozlu as he threw his compatriot Ahmet Sahin Kaba for ippon as well.
In the U57kg it was Japan’s Tamaoki Momo stood on the top spot of the podium after she beat Britain’s Nekoda Smythe-Davis.
And her teammate Endo Hiromi took U48kg gold as she outclassed Serbia’s Milica Nikolic in the final. The Japanese athlete showed her skill in ground work. Once she held down Nikolic, there would be no escape for the Serbian.
Portugal’s Sergiu Oleinic took on Japan’s Yuuki Hashiguchi in the men’s -66kg final. The man from Japan was dominant, throwing Oleinic first with O-Uchi-Gari.
He then finished his opponent off with a textbook dropping Morote Seoi Nage, a shoulder throw, both scoring waza ari, and giving Hashiguchi the gold.