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Georgia tops judo medals table with three golds after final day of thrilling Abu Dhabi Grand Slam

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Georgia tops judo medals table with three golds after final day of thrilling Abu Dhabi Grand Slam

Georgia tops judo medals table with three golds after final day of thrilling Abu Dhabi Grand Slam
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As the sun set on the third and final day of the Abu Dhabi 2018 judo Grand Slam, Russia’s Inal Tasoev stole the show as our Man of the Day. He defeated Czech Olympic Champion Lukas Krpalek in the over 100kg final, with Russia’s premier heavyweight taking the biggest win of his career.

Gold rush: Russia’s Inal Tasoev rushed to heavyweight gold in just five seconds, defeating Czech Olympic Champion Lukas Krpalek in the over 100kg final

In the opening exchange of the contest Tasoev countered the Czech athlete to take the first Grand Slam gold of his career. And in a wonderful sporting moment, there was a great display of judo etiquette as the two men came together in the centre of the mat at the end of the contest.

''Yes, this is my first medal in a grand slam and before this I took my first gold medal in a Grand Prix. I’ve never fought in a Grand Slam. You know, I didn’t expect to win. It was very surprising for me, but I managed to win, and I’m very happy,'' Inal Tasoev said in an interview.

Woman of the Day

Our Woman of the Day was Guusje Steenhuis of The Netherlands. She met number two seed Natalie Powell of Great Britain in the -78kg final.

Reigning supreme: Guusje Steenhuis of The Netherlands defeated Natalie Powell of Great Britain in the -78kg final

As predicted by the seedings, World number one Steenhuis reigned supreme. She threw with a winding maki-komi attack, resulting in a waza-ari lead to win her the contest and a place on top of the podium.

''I always like the left vs left fights, the high left vs left fights. I can really get my best gripping patterns and I think, because I moved a lot, yeah, it felt comfortable and strong. So it was really nice to feel,'' said Guusje Steenhuis in an interview.

European Champion Mikhail Igolnikov of Russia countered Hungary’s Krisztian Toth to win the under 90kg gold.

Second Grand Slam of the year: European Champion Mikhail Igolnikov of Russia had a narrow win over Hungary’s Krisztian Toth to take the -90kg gold

The Düsseldorf Grand Slam winner added the Abu Dhabi title to his collection by edging out his Hungarian rival by a waza-ari score to win Russia’s first gold medal in the U.A.E.

Female heavyweight champion

Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Maryna Slutskaya of Belarus topped the podium in the heaviest female category, +78kg.

First Grand Slam crown: Maryna Slutskaya of Belarus defeated France’s Anne Fatoumata M Bairo in an explosive +78kg final

Slutskaya threw with an explosive drop shoulder throw for ippon against France’s Anne Fatoumata M Bairo, earning a first Grand Slam title for her.

First Grand Slam title: IJF General Treasurer Mr. Nasser Al Tamimi presented Maryna Slutskaya of Belarus with her gold medal in the -90kg category

IJF General Treasurer Mr. Nasser Al Tamimi presented Slutskaya with her gold medal.

Second gold for Israel

Peter Paltchik won Israel’s second gold of this year's tournament. In the under 100kg final he threw Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan with a dropping sode-tsurikomi-goshi attack, scoring waza-ari.

First Grand Slam title: Peter Paltchik won Israel’s second gold of this year's tournament after defeating Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan in the -100kg final

Move of the Day

Serbia’s Aleksandar Kukolj earned today’s move of the day with a stunning piece of ashi waza, catching his opponent by surprise, and earning himself an -90kg bronze medal in the process.