The show was on in Abu Dhabi for the penultimate Grand Slam of the year. Two months after the World championships, revenge time has come for the disappointed champions of Baku, starting with the Georgian fighters.
Lasha Shavdatuashvili (-73kg), the two-time Olympic medalist, 7th in Azerbaijan, won the first Grand Slam of his career by beating the new Cancun winner, Sweden’s Macias (Ippon) in the semi-final and Kosovo’s Gjakova in the final (Waza).
His compatriot and childhood’s friend, Vazha Margvelashvili imitated him by taking gold in -66 kg. He won Russia’s Shamilov in the semi-finals before dominating Kazakhstan’s World runner-up Serikzhanov in the final (Seoi Otoshi in Golden score). The 3rd Georgian victory being the work of Papinashvili in -60 kg.
The Israel team did not make the trip for nothing either. The reigning -81 kg European champion, Sagi Muki won his second Grand Slam of the year. He defeated by Ippon Dutchman Frank De Wit (3rd of the event) in the semi final before winning in the final against the former World junior champion, Matthias Casse of Belgium (Golden score).
In -100 kg, Peter Paltchik also opens his gold medal counter in Grand Slam. 3rd at the European championships, he beat Germany’s Frey in the semi-final after 3 minutes of Golden score and then the Silver Olympic medalist of Azerbaijan, Gasimov (Waza in Golden score).
With the 3rd places of Baruch Shmailov (-66 kg), Gili Cohen (-52 kg) and Timma Nelson-Levy (-57 kg), not to mention the semi final of Or Sasson (+100 kg), beaten by Krpalek and finally 5th, the Israelis were in great shape.
One has also largely shown his best face in Abu Dhabi, it’s the running European champion of Russia, Mikhail Igolnikov (-90 kg). After missing his tournament in Baku, he won Mehdiyev in the semi-final and Hungary’s Toth in the final.