2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Day 3: time for the heavyweights

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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.

“Of course I am very happy because of one more Grand Slam gold medal, I was very well prepared for this event.

I’m also delighted I’ve earned so many medals on the IJF World Tour, but I hope in the future I will win Olympic and World 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

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