Katharina Haecker of Australia, took not only her first Grand Prix Gold but also Australia’s first-ever Grand Prix Gold medal today in Tel Aviv, on Day 2 defeating Canada’s Beauchemin-Pinard with a powerful driving Osoto, before holding her down to secure this significant win for Australia.
Haecker transitioned straight from standing to groundwork to ensure the Ippon and was overjoyed to bring about a moment of history, making her our Woman of the day
She was awarded the momentous medal by Mr. Vladimir Barta, Head Sport Director of the International Judo Federation.
"I think it’s very important," Haecker said, "especially for all the young cadets and juniors to see someone actually getting medals, and winning something like a big Grand Prix. There are more coming and I hope they get a bit inspired."
Aslan Lappinagov of Russia took on Greece’s Alexios Ntanatsidis in an explosive affair at under 81kg. An enormous Uchi Mata saw the Russian claim his third IJF World Tour Gold Medal.
He remained completely in control even as his opponent attempted to escape the throw, making the Russian our man of the day. He was awarded his medal by Mr. Armen Bagdasarov, Sport director of the International Judo Federation.
"I have fought with him around five times," said Lappinagov. "We know each other very well. We know what techniques to expect, and how to defend against each other. I knew Uchi Mata was a good option, that’s why I went for it, and luckily it worked."
Great Britain’s Sally Conway used a neat bit of Ashi-Waza in the under 70kg final, which saw her sweep her Korean opponent’s foot, and then capitalise on their instability to drive her over for Ippon.
The World and Olympic Bronze medallist showed just how strong she is in this category.
At under 73kg Fabio Basile took Gold, after a phenomenal day’s Judo, scoring one emphatic Ippon after another.
Due to an injury, his opponent couldn’t fight the final, perhaps not the way he would’ve wanted it, but the Olympic Champion at under 66kg was golden again.
Mr. Juan Carlos Barcos, head Refereeing director of the IJF, awarded Basile his medal.
Our move of the day came from the man who was destined to fight, the eventual silver medallist at under 73kg, Ferdinand Karapetian of Armenia, another Judoka on fire today, shaking the Shlomo stadium with his enormous throws, this one the highlight of the lot.
A colossal Ura Nage, sending his opponent flying and earning the adoration of the enthusiastic and fanatic home crowd.