Abu Dhabi Slam: Georgia win third gold in men's draw but disappointing day for UAE's Victor Scvortov
Lasha Shavdatuashvili clinches third gold in four finals for Georgia, and victorious Juul Franssen considers emirate lucky for her
Juul Franssen won her second gold medal in as many visits at the IJF Abu Dhabi Grand Slam on Sunday.
The Dutchwoman beat Andreja Leski in the women’s 63-kilogram final, which lasted just eight minutes and 36 seconds at the Mubadala Arena.
Franssen said she pulled Leski over after the Slovenian attempted a throw.
“It doesn’t matter how long the fight lasted but winning was what mattered at the end,” said world No 2 Franssen, who won gold on her first visit to the capital two years ago. The competition at this level is always hard but I’m glad to win my second gold in Abu Dhabi in two visits."
Franssen, 28, said her first fight against Austria's Tina Zeltner was tough as "it was more challenging mentally than physically", but she conceded fortunate had favoured her whenever she fought in the emirate.
“Abu Dhabi seems to be lucky for me," she said. "I couldn’t make it last year but very glad to return and win again.”
The bronze medallist at the World Championship in Baku last month said her next stop will be Osaka to compete in the Grand Slam in the Japanese city from November 23-25. She will then fight at the Guangzhou Masters in China on December 15-16.
Slovenia's Tina Trstenjak claimed bronze in the same weight class after she overcame Magdalena Krssakova of Austria in the repechage.
The Polish Agata Ozdoba-Blach, who had earlier defeated Trstenjak, went down to Australia's Katharina Haecker, who took home her first Slam medal in the other bronze medal contest.
Margaux Pinot of France got the better of German Miriam Butkereit in the 70kg final to clinch her first Slam gold.
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Meanwhile in the men’s 73kg, defending champion Odbayar Ganbaatar of Mongolia failed to make the podium after being beaten by Sweden's Tommy Macias in the third-place match.
Lasha Shavdatuashvili gave Georgia their third gold in four finals with an emphatic win over Akil Gjakova of Kosovo, a weight division that drew 43 entries - the highest for any category.
It was a disappointing day for Victor Scvortov, the UAE’s Asian Games bronze medallist, after making a second-round exit. The Moldovan-born judoka lost to Austria's Lukas Reiter after beating the German Lukas Vennekold in Round 1.
The country’s hopes of a medal now rest on Sergiu Toma, bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Toma is in the bottom half of the draw and will meet Yahor Varapayeu of Belarus in the first round.
If successful, he will face the winner of the contest between Kazakhstan's Islam Bozbeyev and Mohammedessa Ennaas of Libya in the second round.
Mihail Marchitan, another Moldovan-born judoka in the UAE contingent, is in the top half of the draw and will be up against the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Aleksandar Kukolj of Serbia in the opening round.
Ivan Remarenco, another medal hope for the home country, takes on Philipp Galandi of Germany in the first round of in the 100kg.
The third and final day’s action comprises five finals - three for men and two for women - starting at 11am.
Updated: October 28, 2018 08:07 PM