Russia produced a stunning display to end on a high in Uzbekistan. With 3 gold medals on the opening day and another 2 on Sunday, the likes of Kseniia Chibisova and Kazbek Zankishiev once again delighted the world of Judo at the Tashkent Grand Prix.
Russia dominated proceedings and yet our man of the day is Swedish. Marcus Nyman claimed his third title in a Grand Prix after a flawless day.
The 29-year-old scored in every contest, defeated the current Olympic champion, Japan’s Baker Mashu in the quarter finals before outclassing Russia’s Khusen Khalmurzev in the showpiece match.
The woman of the day was Bernadette Graf. Just like Marcus Nyman, the Austrian scored in every single contest and looked in great shape as she defeated Russia’s Antonina Shmeleva in the final to clinch the -78kg category.
“This time it is a different competition,” claimed Bernadette Graf. ”It’s bigger, a lot more people, but I feel very great to fight here and Tashkent is that place for me.”
Outsmarted in the under 78 and under 90 kilo class, it was time for Russia to step it up a gear as Zankishiev reigned supreme in the men’s -100 kilo category.
After a relatively slow start to the final, the 27-year-old, who was up against young sensation Zelym Kotsoiev of Azerbaijan used his experience to get the better of his opponent, eventually sealing the win with this superb Ippon.
The second gold medal of the day for Russia came in the +78 kg category. Kseniia Chibisova got off to a great start and needed less than 30 seconds to beat Korean Hayun Kim thanks to this blistering power move for an early ippon.
The final of the +100kg category kept judo fans on the edge of their seats as World number one Guram Tushishvili locked horns with local favourite Bekmurod Oltiboev.
Same size, same height, same attacking Judo but there could only be one winner.
Tushishvili drew first blood with a delightful waza ari but Oltaboev quickly levelled the score.
With 25 seconds remaining on the clock, the World number One lived up to his billing thanks to a clinical ippon, en route to yet another gold medal.
We conclude with a special mention to Natalie Powell. The British judoka won the bronze contest in the -78kg category, adding to her impressive tally of 28 medals on the world judo tour.