Japanese judokas prove their dominance at the Düsseldorf Grand Slam, winning nine gold medals out of a total 14 on offer at the thrilling tournament
Excited judo fans were in attendance for the third and final day of the Düsseldorf Grand Slam where Japanese judokas again proved their dominance, comfortably topping the medals tally as they won a total of nine gold medals out of a sum of 14 on offer at the thrilling three-day tournament.
Brazil's Aguiar and Cuba's Ortiz our Women of the Day
Mr Thomas Geisel, the Lord Mayor of the City of Düsseldorf, presented the -78kg medals to our Woman of the Day, Mayra Aguiar.
The Brazilian former World Champion took on Anna Maria Wagner of Germany, scoring osoto gari to claim her 5th Grand Slam gold.
Our second Woman of the Day was Idalys Ortiz of Cuba, who met current World Champion Sarah Asahina in the +78kg women’s final.
A tactical battle gave the London Olympic Champion a momentous victory in Düsseldorf and gold for Cuba, proving Ortiz’s seeding as number one, true.
The medals were awarded by German Judo Federation President Mr Peter Frese.
"We are both good athletes, but in a battle it’s inevitable that somebody has to be victorious," said Idalys Ortiz in an interview.
Powerful performance from Azerbaijan's Mehdiyev
The top spot of the -90kg rostrum was claimed by Mammadali Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan. He was on electrifying form in his preliminaries, proving his ippon scoring judo could take him all the way to gold.
In the final, Mehdiyev defeated Sanshiro Murao of Japan, meaning the Azerbaijan flag would fly highest for the first time in this year's Düsseldorf competition.
"I think for Japanese fighters there is no age difference between the young and old. It doesn’t matter because they are Japanese and they are all technically gifted, I think. But early in the fight he was penalised twice - and I tried to save this up for the end of the match. I did my best as I said, and I won, and I’m really happy," said Mammadali Mehdiyev in an interview.
Elsewhere, Olympic silver medalist Hisayoshi Harasawa was our champion at over 100kg. An absolutely enormous uchi-mata, his favourite technique, launched Russia’s Inal Tasoev sky high, before planting him on his back for ippon.
Harasawa was awarded his gold medal by IJF guest Mr Wim Vogel.
In a tense battle of strength, Kentaro Iida of Japan swept away Korean current World Champion Cho Guham's hopes of gold in the -100kg division, with a delightful piece of ashi-waza.
Move of the Day
Our Move of the Day was the big shock early on, as Japan’s current World Champion Shori Hamada was knocked out by Russia’s Antonina Shmeleva in the women's -78kg division. A beautiful osoto gari to round off a beautiful tournament.