The incredible spectacle of the Ekaterinburg judo grand slam has come to a close in Russia, where the final block kicked off with an all-Japanese final, in which Sotaro Fujiwara beat Takeshi Sasaki to take the gold. They were both presented their medals Evgeny Kuyvashev, Governor of the Sverdlovsk region.
Niyaz Ilyasov, who was on imperious form in front of his home crowd with one amazing throw following another as he thrilled the crowd by reaching the under 100 kg final.
There he came up with two counter-attacks against Belgium’s Toma Nikiforov, the first after a failed Seoi Otoshi.
The second a moment of pure instinct: Using Nikiforov’s momentum against him! Both scoring waza ari, and sending the crowd wild as he took the gold medal.
He was presented his medal by Mr. Mikhail Cherkasov, the vice president of the Russian Judo Federation. Before the Russian anthem rang out.
“It’s the most pleasing and best moment in a sports person’s life, when you win in front of your home crowd. You are aiming for it for years. And then you think, ok, I’ve finally done it! It’s one of the best moments of my life,” Niyaz Ilyasov said.
Maria Portela was our woman of the day, the Brazilian showed off some explosive judo en route to the final where she took on Russia’s Taisia Kireeva, Portela took advantage of a mistake from Kireeva to secure the pin and hold on for the ippon, earning a third world judo tour gold of her career, all of which, amazingly, have come in Russia.
“Now I love Russia! Even though it’s a bit cold for me, but after all these gold medals here, I definitely love it,” Portela said.
World number one, Aleksandar Kukolj of Serbia found himself in the 90 kilo final, showing some excellent groundwork skills to turn Yahor Varapayeu of Belarus into a vice-like hold down and keep him on his back to secure ippon. Kukolj, solidifying his position at the top of the 90 kilo world rankings.
Larisa Ceric gave Bosnia and Herzegovina a gold medal to cheer in the over 78 kilo category.
And our move of the day came from Austria’s Laurin Boehler. This incredible Ura Nage against Iddir of France, sending his opponent sky high, before crashing him back down to earth.