Day 2 of the Tunis Judo Grand Prix saw woman of the day, Kim Polling of the Netherlands, dominate in the under 70kg category. Belgium’s Roxanne Taeymans could do nothing against the Dutch Judoka in the final – as she scored waza-ari twice, the first with a tani otoshi counter attack, and the second with a seoi nage.
After another Grand Prix gold in her last outing at The Hague, a victory here, in this fashion, will give Polling great confidence going into the 2018 season.
She was awarded her Gold medal by President of the Tunisian Judo federation, Skander Hachicha.
The man of the day was Zhansay Smagulov of Kazakhstan, the under 73 kilogram champion.
On his path to the final he came up with a dynamic shoulder throw against Benjamin Axus of France before he then squared off against Akil Gjakova of Kosovo in the final.
Things started well for the Kazakh as he took a waza ari lead early in the contest, but after a Grand Prix gold in Tashkent last year, Smagulov was keen to make a statement by taking his second World Judo tour gold in 6 months in style.
Moments later a scintillating combination caught his opponent off guard, scoring an emphatic ippon and claiming Kazakhstan their first Gold medal in Tunisia.
With judo like this Smagulov could well be one to watch in 2018.
Taking gold at under 63 kilograms, Slovenia’s Olympic Champion Tina Trstenjak defeated Aimi Nouchi of Japan with a waza ari in golden score. She’ll now have her eyes set on regaining her world title in Baku later this year.
In the under 81kg category Russia came out on top after Stanislav Semenov saw off Vedat Albayrak of Turkey in the final.
The Russian took the lead by waza ari, he later drove through with an attack to bundle the turk over onto his back with not enough continuous momentum to score, but it did leave Semenov in prime position as he secured a pin to become Tunis Grand Prix champion.
Kenya Kohara of Japan performed our move of the day with a beautiful Uchi mata against Eoin Coughlan.
But Kohara didn’t stop there, after failing to reach the final he bounced back in style, winning his Bronze medal match against Dominik Druzeta of Croatia with a fabulous osoto otoshi. A consolation bronze, taken in style.