On the first day of the 2018 Antalya Judo Grand Prix, our woman of the day was Portugal’s Catarina Costa.
She defeated Kosovo’s Fjolla Kelmendi in the final with a brilliant change of direction. With her opponent bracing backwards, Costa capitalised driving her over for the Ippon.
Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation, presented her with her first ever Gold medal on the World Judo tour.
"I feel very happy and proud to win my first gold medal here," said Costa. "And of course it was a fantastic moment that I will never forget. To hear the national anthem of Portugal was just a special moment. And also because I came to this competition injured so it was tough mentally and to win here was just amazing."
Our man of the day was Albert Oguzov. Known for his excellent groundwork, he didn’t disappoint in the final. He brilliantly turned over Georgia’s Junior World Champion Jaba Papinashvili, locking onto his arm, applying maximum pressure to the elbow joint and prying it free to apply the Juji gatame armlock.
Papinashvili, was left with no other option but to submit and settle for silver. It was a truly masterful display from the Russian. He has been on the world judo tour podium four times before, but today he was presented his first gold medal by IJF referee director Mr Jan Snijders. A proud moment for the Russian as he got to hear his anthem played in the ‘Antalya Spor Salonu’.
“This isn’t my first Grand Prix event," Oguzov said. "But it’s the first time I’ve taken a gold medal in a Grand Prix or a Grand Slam. I’ve been dreaming about this for a long time, and I trained very hard for this, and today everything went to plan.”
Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi took under 52kg gold, throwing Great Britain’s Chelsie Giles twice. First she downed the Briton with an unorthodox osoto gari. She followed this up with a dropping shoulder throw. Both attacks earned a waza-ari, and combined for the match winning Ippon score. Krasniqi was back on top.
Bagrati Niniashvili showed excellent reactions to counter Moldova’s Denis Vieru, eventually securing the hold-down, adding to a day of firsts. It was the Georgian's first ever grand prix competition.
Nora Gjakova produced our move of the day in the under 57kg final displaying excellent footwork against Korea’s Kim Jandi. As the Korean attacked, Gjakova pulled both of her opponent’s legs to land her flat on her back for Ippon. Incredible Judo on the International Day of Sport for development and peace.