Abu Dhabi Judo Gran Slam day one: battle of the giants

With breathtaking throws and the world's top judo athletes battling for gold, day one at the 2023 Judo Grand Slam has unfolded in Abu Dhabi.

In -48kg, World number one Assunta Scuto of Italy demonstrated why she deserved the top spot. A spectacular ippon score in the final against Turkish judoka Sila Ersin delivered Scutto the Abu Dhabi gold medal.

Marius Vizer, the IJF President, awarded the medals.

At -60kg, France had a golden moment as Revol clinched victory over Brazil's Takaki with a stunning waza-ari. A first Grand Slam gold for the Frenchman.

Final, Matheus Takaki (BRA) vs Cedric Revol (FRA).
Final, Matheus Takaki (BRA) vs Cedric Revol (FRA). - IJF

Balazs Furjes, the IOC Member representing Hungary, awarded the medals.

“It’s my first title, but I did two medals before, so I like this place, it’s good vibes for me. Four participations, three medals, one gold. I like this place, maybe for a holiday next time,” said Revol.

There was an electrifying moment at -52kg as the unstoppable Odette Giuffrida secured the gold medal with an expertly executed counter-attack. Her fifth Grand Slam victory.

Obaid Al Anzi, the IJF Vice President, awarded the medals.

“Yes, I like it here. It’s really hot outside, so for the weight it’s perfect. It’s always magic for me, I have always good memories and this is my third medal I think and I hope there will be much more, so lets see,” said Giuffrida.

In a gripping -66kg final that went into golden score, Georgia’s Vazha Margvelashvili pulled off a waza-ari that earned him the gold medal.

UAE Judo Federation President Mohammed Bin Thaaloob Alderei awarded the medals.

In an epic showdown at -57 kg, it was Canadians Deguchi and Klimkait battled it out for the gold, with the medal ultimately going to Klimkait, who clinched a tactical victory due to penalties.

UAE Minister of State, Jabr Al Suwaidi awarded the medals

There was also an Incredible performance by U.A.E.’s Narmandakh Bayanmunkh, making the home nation proud with numerous big moments, eventually earning a bronze medal.

The competition will be back tomorrow for day two of the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam.