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Japan set the pace in Judo Grand Slam

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Japan set the pace in Judo Grand Slam

Daria Bilodid at the 2018 Dusseldorf Judo Grand Slam
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On day one of the 2018 Dusseldorf Judo Grand Slam, from the ISS dome, the Ukrainian wonderkid Daria Bilodid shone once again as she took her third world judo tour gold on the bounce.

After reaching the final in style she faced Hungary's Eva Csernoviczki.

She waited until golden score to produce the goods, a wonderful uchimata ippon flattening her opponent for the full ippon score.

With successes in Tunis, Paris and now Düsseldorf 2018 is turning into a great year for the incredible Bilodid.

She was our woman of the day.

Man of the day was Japan's -66kg, Tagawa Kenzo, who overcame the explosive Georgii Zantaraia who had been unstoppable all day. The Ukrainian had laid down the gauntlet with a fantastic performance in his elimination bouts.

But ranked at just 205, Tagawa was still equal to the challenge in the final, defeating Zantaraia with a dramatic waza ari in golden score. After a disappointing first Grand Slam outing on home soil in Tokyo, Tagawa came up trumps at the second time of asking in Dusseldorf. He gave his thoughts on the competition.

"After my loss at the Tokyo Grand Slam I was not initially part of the Japanese team for this event, so considering this I'm very relieved and happy to win here," he said.

Under 52kg World champion Shishime Ai was back on top of the podium after a win against Poland's Karolina Pieńkowska in the final.

And Japan were on point again at -60 kilograms, Nagayama Ryuju defeating Russia's Robert Mshvidobadze by waza ari in the final.

Great Britain's Nikoda Smythe Davis squared off against Hedvig Karakas of Hungary in the thrilling final of the -57 kilograms division.

Karakas took the lead after a footsweep for waza ari. Smythe Davis then showed her tenacity to pull a waza ari back. Then in golden score, a second waza ari to the Brit completed the comeback, it was her fifth grand slam medal but her first gold and it moved her up to world number three.

Our move of the day came in the -60kg bronze medal contest between Eric Takabatake of Brazil and Tunisia's Fraj Dhoubi.

A fantastic ko uchi gari from Takabatake giving Brazil their only medal of the day.