The fans arrived at one of Judo’s hallowed halls and they were in for an epic second day of the Paris Grand Slam.
On the eve of the second day, the judo family gathered to celebrate the 50th edition of the historic Paris tournament.
An evening gala hosted by the International Judo Federation and French national federation saw judo friends from around the world honour the legacy of this competition.
The last day started off strong, with Japan’s Sasaki Takeshi. Sasaki came out on top of the under 81kg category to be our man of the day, after scoring two lightning-fast waza-aris against Georgian star Tato Grigalashvili.
His medal was awarded by Mr. Mustapha Berraf, IOC Member and President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa
‘‘I’ve never fought Grigalashvili before and I know he is a dynamic judoka,” Sasaki said. “I didn’t plan a specific strategy, just do what I needed to do and be patient. I think I will face him again soon.’’
Russia’s Aleksandra Babintseva was crowned our women of the day after her dominant performance in the under 78kg. A brilliant Kosto Soto sent her Japanese opponent crashing down in the final, giving Babintseva her first Grand Slam title.
Ms. Donia Kaouach Director-General of Leaders for Peace, was on hand to give the medals.
“I feel very nice, this is my first gold medal at the World Judo Tour,” said Babintseva. “And I’m very happy that I could get into the final and win it.”
The under 90kg category was won by Nagasawa Kenta of Japan after scoring a waza-ari seconds before the buzzer.
Mr. Andrey Kryukov, General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan, bestowed the medals.
In the under 70kg category it was Niizoe Saki of Japan who took gold after holding down Croatia’s reigning world champion, Barbara Matic.
General Secretary of the International Judo Federation Mr. Jean Luc Rouge presented the Gold medal
Arman Adamian put Russian on top of the podium again after a cleverly timed change of direction attack against Romania’s Asley Gonzalez in the under 100kg Final.
Mr. Obaid Al Anzi, Vice President of the IJF handed Adamian his medal
Raz Hershko overcame the odds to establish a confident victory over French home favourite to take the second tournament gold for Israel in the over 78 class!
She was awarded the gold medal by Mr. Siteny Randrianasolo-Niaiko Vice President of the IJF
The final category of the day was the over 100kg class, and it was Inal Tasoev of Russia who was victorious over home favorite Cyrille Maret. With the score level at a waza-ari each, Tasoev seized his opportunity securing the hold down for the win.
Mr. Rehio Davio Vice President of the IJF gave out the medals.
Pleasing the home crowd Alexis Mathieu executed a sublime ura-nage to take our moment of the day, and wrap up another wonderful Paris Grand Slam.