As the sun rose on the third day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, the heavyweights of judo were ready for action. Masters’ champions, World Medallists and Olympic Champions were among today’s experienced judoka.
The Georgian world number 4, Beka Gviniashvili, had a great day in the -90kg category and displayed excellent judo on his way to final. There, he faced French newcomer Loris Tassier, who was fighting for the first time in a grand slam final.
Gviniashvili capitalised on his opponent's mistake to throw for a waza-ari straight into a hold down, earning his 27th World Judo Tour medal. This was followed by a great moment of friendship with the French youngster, true judo values on display.
UAE Wrestling and Judo Federation President His Excellency Mohammed Bin Thaaloob Al Derie awarded the medals.
In the -78kg Ma Zhenzhao made a huge statement for China on the World Judo Tour. During the day Ma kept on defeating the world's best in the -78kg category. In the final she defeated 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Natalie Powell of Great Britain with a beautiful tani-otoshi, celebrating her first grand slam title.
The -78kg medals were awarded by IJF General Treasurer Mr Naser Al Tamimi.
At -100kg World Silver medallist Kyle Reyes faced the experienced Nikoloz Sherazadishvili. After a tough fight, Reyes took victory, winning his first World Judo Tour gold. IJF Head Referee Director Mr Florin Daniel Lascau was on hand to award the medals
China had another great victory in the women's +78kg category. In the final Su Xin scored a waza-ari and continued into a strong hold down against Georgia’s Sophio Somkhishvili, getting another waza-ari to celebrate the gold. The medals were awarded by IJF EC Member Dr Lisa Allan.
In the men’s heavyweight category Olympic champion Lukas Krpalek of the Czech Republic fought against European champion Jur Spijkers. After a quick transition into ne-waza Krpalek held down his opponent, winning his third grand slam gold. Tajikistan Judo Federation President Mr Nurullo Loiqov awarded the medals.
U.A.E. judoka, Kostoev, gave the home fans something to cheer about with a stunning moment of Judo!
An inspiration to young judoka all over the U.A.E.
What an amazing event it has been and Abu Dhabi will welcome Judo back again next year!