On the final day of the Antalya Grand Slam, it was the turn of the heavyweights to put on their show. And Sweden’s Marc Nyman offered a masterclass in newaza, or floor-based judo, taking the -90kg title with a golden score wazari against Hungary’s Krisztian Toth.
Dr Laszlo Toth, the president of the Hungarian Judo Association, handed out the medals.
The 2018 World Champion Shori Hamada offered her own demonstration of precision newaza throughout the day and she claimed her third Grand Slam gold medal with victory over Poland’s Beata Pacut in the -78kg final.
Skander Hachicha, the president of the Tunisian Judo Federation, made the presentations.
Hershko digs deep for first-ever Grand Slam gold
Azerbaijan’s Zelim Kotsoiev won a tactical final against Aaron Wolf of Japan to take his first-ever Grand Slam Gold in the -100kg category.
IJF Events Director, Dr Lisa Allan presented the medals.
Israel’s Raz Hershko won her first-ever Grand Slam in an exciting finale to the +78kg contest against China’s Xu Shiyan. With Hershko a wazari up, Xu scored on the buzzer to take the match to a golden score. But Hershko dug deep with a second wazari to claim the gold.
Ki-Young Jeon, the IJF referee supervisor, gave out the medals.
“Wow, it was crazy. I didn’t know what to do with myself,” said Hershko afterwards. “I was so excited so the first thing I did was scream and shout like crazy because I said 'wow I won this fight'. It was so dramatic and it was my win, it was my first win and it was a big win and I’m so happy.”
Remarkable ippon secures gold for Bashaev
And in the +100kg contest, Russia’s Tamerlan Bashaev was on top form throughout the day, storming through the preliminaries to set up a final against World and Olympic Silver Medallist Harasawa Hisayoshi. It was Bashaev who took the contest, with a remarkable ippon.
Florin Daniel Lascau, the acting IJF refereeing director, presented him with his medal.
“I think it’s a part of judo,” Bashaev said afterwards. “Because when we fight, when I win against my opponent it’s like I destroyed his dream, so I can’t be like, oh I’m the best.”
The home athletes also enjoyed some fine successes throughout the three days of the tournament, contributing to an incredible festival of judo in Antalya, Turkey.