The third and final day of a thrilling 2019 Hohhot Grand Prix in China provided plenty of excitement for judo fans, with powerhouse performances and some acrobatic displays of world class judo, as well as a few surprises along the way.
In the men's -100kg division, current World Champion Cho Guham of the Republic of Korea won the gold medal to claim his fourth Grand Prix victory.
In his early contests Cho dispatched Arman Adamian of Russia with his trademark drop seoi-nage. On his rise to the final he stepped up to the challenge, overcoming Shady Elnahas of Canada in the semi-final. Cho was on undeniable form, living up to his number one seeding at today’s tournament.
To conclude his spectacular performance, our Man of the Day would have to outwork an in-form Ben Fletcher of Ireland to grasp the gold medal.
"Today was quite tough as I had many golden score matches during the preliminaries, but we have been preparing for this exact scenario and training very hard. Even though I had many golden scores, this preparation really helped me win. I aim to train even harder in the future, to have strong results in my next competitions and at the Olympic Games," Cho Guham said in an interview.
Our Woman of the Day was the spectacular Fanny Estelle Posvite of France. She forced her way through the preliminary rounds to reach the climactic contest of the -78kg category.
Anna Maria Wagner of Germany was the final contestant in her path to glory here in Hohhot. A dramatic o-soto-gari fast tracked Posvite to her maiden Grand Prix gold medal. A remarkable day of dominant attacking Judo.
"It was a difficult fight. It’s the first time I’ve met her in competition. I stayed patient and I picked the right moment to attack in golden score," Fanny Estelle Posvite said in an interview.
In the men's +100kg heavyweight category, 18-year-old teen sensation Kim Minjong of the Republic of Korea proved that youth can overcome experience as he devastated Beijing Olympic Champion Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia with an emphatic uchi-mata. A clear display of euphoria radiated off of the young superstar as he was victorious for the first time on the World Judo Tour.
Kim's gold medal win put Korea on top of the medals standings table at the end of the three-day tournament with four golds and two bronzes, just ahead of Japan in second place with three gold medals, two silvers and a bronze.
Cuba's heavyweight star and world number one Idalys Ortiz, a regular in our final block, met IJF World Tour newcomer Maya Akiba of Japan. Experience prevailed as Ortiz won a tactical +78kg gold medal for Cuba.
Elsewhere in the men's division, Kenta Nagasawa of Japan met Nemanja Majdov of Serbia in the -90kg final and there was some stunning judo on display.
An acrobatic uchi-mata propelled the Japanese dynamo to the number 1 spot on the 2019 Hohhot Grand Prix podium and put a smile on his face to round off a great day's Judo.
Move of the Day
Our Move of the Day was supplied by Georgian heavyweight Levani Matiashvili.
A devastating seoi-otoshi attack sent his opponent Johannes Frey of Germany air bound with no escape to secure the +100kg bronze medal for Georgia.