Excitement at the Osaka Grand Slam on its third and final day.
Georgian powerhouse Beka Gviniashvili was Man of the Day, after a thrilling contest against Uzbekistan’s Davlat Bobonov. The Uzbek pulled ahead, scoring waza-ari, but Gviniashvili evened up. The drama continued, with Bobonov thinking he had scored again, but the Georgian kept his head, and mustered the energy for an emphatic i ppon, winning him his first Grand Slam since 2016.
Gviniashvili received his medal from Mr Armen Bagdasarov, Sport Director of the International Judo Federation.
“Of course I’m happy because this is the first time I’ve won a Grand Slam in Japan," Gviniashvili said after the match. "This is a major event and a very difficult tournament for me. I lost at the Tokyo World Championships, so I wanted to make a comeback. I’m very happy because I did it, the final result is excellent, I am Osaka Grand Slam Champion”
Sone wins gold - and a spot for Tokyo 2020
Japan's Akira Sone sealed her spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a win against Idalys Ortiz of Cuba in the +78kg final. The reigning World Champion defeated the former Olympic Champion with an attack deep into Golden Score.
Ouchi Gari, an inner reaping technique, classical Judo, and winning her a place at the Tokyo Olympics.
Mr. Sato Nobuyuki, honorary member of the IJF awarded Sone her medal.
“Ortiz is a very very strong Judoka," Sone said, "I just made sure that I always took the lead, I was always a step forward. I wanted to do an attack, and I made sure that I was able to do it, and so I was able to win.”
Moment of Sportsmanship
At -100kg former World Champion Ryunosuke Haga was here to prove a point, and that he did, against one of the toughest fighters in the category – a spectacular uchi-mata scored waza-ari before a beautiful moment of sportsmanship with Olympic Silver Medallist Elmar Gasimov, as Gasimov congratulated his opponent with a warm hug.
Haga received his medal from Dr Lisa Allan, Competition Manager of the IJF.
The -78kg category saw yet another all Japan final. After going a waza-ari down Mami Umeki countered her compatriot to score Ippon and take her one step closer to the Tokyo Olympics.
At +100kg Hyoga Ota of Japan took on Russia's Inal Tasoev whoscored waza-ari against Ota, and held out to take his second Grand Slam title.
Move of the Day
Our move of the day came from 2015 World Champion Gwak Donghan, executing a simply magical tai otoshi attack on Shochiro Mukai, devastating Japan’s World Silver Medallist with a perfect bit of Judo. A fantastic way to wrap up the last Grand Slam of the year.