It was the turn of the heavyweights on day 3 of the International Judo Federation Grand Slam in Kazan, Russia, the final event of this year’s tour. And the honours were evenly shared, with Japan, Russia, Germany, France and the Netherlands all picking up one gold apiece.
Murao wins with textbook uchi-mata
Murao Sanshiro shone in the -90kg final. The young japanese judoka faced Germany’s Eduard Trippel and won it with a textbook uchi-mata for ippon. It was a timely reminder for the Olympics selectors.
“Not only did my coach, Kosei Inoue, travel here just for me,” said Murao. “But he is a teacher at my university, and he is an athlete I really look up to. I’ve been aspiring to be like him since my childhood. So it is a great honour to be here with him, and fight together.”
Vladimir Barta, Head Sport Director of the IJF, presented the medals.
Anna Maria Wagner from Germany faced Natascha Ausma from the Netherlands in the -78kg final and it didn’t take her long to pick up a second successive grand slam gold, using Uchi Mata for waza-ari before immediately following up with an immobilisation for Ippon.
Armen Bagdasarov, Sports Director of the IJF, made the presentation.
“It was an amazing day, I felt really good, and I came to this tournament to win gold, and now I have gold, so it’s the best day,” said Wagner.
Bashaev overcomes 47 kilo weight disadvantage
Tamerlan Bashaev took the +100kg gold in Antalya and the Russian repeated his feat in front of the home fans in Kazan. Bashaev had a 47 kilo weight disadvantage in the final against Brazil’s Rafael Silva - but took the contest after his opponent was penalised for stalling.
Florin Daniel Lascau, Acting Referee Director for the IJF, awarded the medals.
Romane Dicko received her +78kg gold from IJF Hall of Fame member and referee Supervisor Ki-Young Jeon. It was the French star’s ninth gold in a row - as she again showed why she’ll be the one to beat in Tokyo.
Simeon Catharina from the Netherlands faced Russia’s Arman Adamian in the -100kg final. A remarkable ko-soto-gari to tani-otoshi combination gave the dutchman victory and his first ever Grand Slam medal. Catharina was clearly overjoyed, even if his win left the home fans deflated.
Lisa Allan, Events Director for the IJF awarded him his medal
The ippons came thick and fast throughout this final day. Russia has produced some of the greatest heavyweight Judoka in history - and on display were those hoping to become the legends of the next generation.