On day two of the 2018 Cancun Judo Grand Prix our Woman of the Day was the outstanding Michaela Polleres of Austria. Having previously taken two bronze medals at Grand Prix level on the IJF World Tour, the Austrian judoka was ecstatic to top the podium on the second day of the competition in Mexico.
European Championships bronze medallist Polleres defeated Belgium’s 2017 Junior World Bronze medallist, Gabriella Willems, with an Ippon score in the final of the women's -73kg category. Polleres produced an incredible Uchi mata, which was a fitting way to earn a maiden world tour crown and a moment that she will never forget.
"I feel very happy, it’s just perfect because Magda also won the Gold medal. And it just pushed me to also win the gold medal and I’m very happy," said Michaela Polleres in an interview.
In the men's division, Sweden's world number seven Tommy Macias was our Man of the Day. The -73kg Swedish athlete faced Russia's Denis Iartcev in the Gold medal contest. This was an opponent he’d never previously beaten, but, on the fourth time of asking, Macias dispatched his Russian adversary with a technically brilliant bit of foot work, earning him his second ever Grand Prix victory. Macias won all four contests by ippon and is now on course to move further up the rankings.
"Well, I never lose against the same opponent FOUR times, so, no, but I think that I was really believing in myself and I was fighting. I knew he was strong so I thought if I fight really hard in the beginning to take down his grips I could maybe put him out of balance and I had success with that today. So we’ll see what happens next time," said Tommy Macias in an interview.
"Yeah, the last 3 years have been really good for me, so I think yeah, this time it was a gold medal but in judo anything can happen, next time maybe it’s a bronze medal, but now I was lucky to get the gold medal today," he added.
Austrian double on Day 2
A second Austrian gold medal came from Magdalena Krssakova, who won her third Grand Prix gold and the most important title of her career after she defeated Canada's Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard in the -63kg final.
The final was decided when the Canadian judoka was penalised with her third shido for a gripping infringement after keeping two hands on one side for too long without attacking.
Moves of the Day
European Championships silver medallist Sami Chouchi produced our two moves of the day and earned Belgium's first gold medal in Cancun in the -81kg category.
Chouchi started with an incredible Tai-otoshi - one of judo’s most traditional techniques. This was only topped by his even better Uchi-mata.
Explosive judo from the Belgian athlete, earning him his first ever IJF World Judo tour medal, after he defeated Brazil's Victor Penalber in the final, and it was gold.