The competition saw the return of former world champion Nemanja Majdov and the confirmations of two reigning world champions, Arman Adamian and Inal Tasoev.
On day 3 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, the heavyweights as these titans of judo stepped onto the mat. And the stakes were high.
At -90kg, Serbia’s Majdov reigned supreme with a fantastic waza-ari in golden score – clinching the gold medal in spectacular fashion – his first in four years.
“2016 I was Junior, it was my first competition in -90kg, and I won a Grand Slam medal here. So it’s my first senior Grand Slam medal in Abu Dhabi. So I’m very happy, and I always feel very good in Abu Dhabi, the organisation is perfect, everything is perfect,” said Majdov.
Gergely Gulyas, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office of Hungary awarded the medals.
At -78kg, the Italian superstar Bellandi had an extraordinary day, reaching the final. She secured the gold medal for Italy.
Medals were awarded by Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary Aref Alawani. IJF Guest and Board Member of Missoni Ltd, Tania Missoni presented the cheques and flowers.
“When people talk to me and tell me ‘I love your judo, I love your judo’, for me it’s like a medal. Like with the kids here, they are so cute, really cute,” said Bellandi.
Arman Adamian, the world champion, had been on fire all day in -100kg, and the gold medal match was no different. He blazed his way to victory with unmatched determination and skill.
He was awarded his medal by IJF EC Member & Kodokan President Haruki Uemura.
Portugal’s Nunes threw beautifully and secured a hold down to claim the coveted gold medal. A beautiful win for Portugal, and an incredible display of friendship.
She was awarded her medal by the Chairman of the IJF Kata Commission Franco Capelletti.
Another World champion, Inal Tasoev, continued his impressive performance throughout the day, and it all culminated in a spectacular ippon during the +100kg final, securing him the Abu Dhabi gold medal in a fashion that showcased his dominance.
He was awarded his medals by IJF Guest Cosmin Balcacean.