The fantastic Mubadala Arena heated up on day three of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam — and none other than one of Judo’s biggest characters, Roy Meyer, stepped up to the plate.
After launching his way through his preliminaries he took on Ukraine’s Khammo in the final, and there he decided to show off his versatility, scoring Ippon in groundwork.
«I knew that if I wanted to win that I had to give it all my all, to push him in that zone where he would feel uncomfortable, and I’ve trained to be comfortable in the uncomfortable,» Meyer said.
Korea’s Han Mi Jin took her first ever Grand Slam medal today, and it was gold. Looking totally dominant she scored one incredible Ippon after the other, blasting through the competition.
She took on France’s M Bairo in the final, and countered her Kosoto attack with a strong Uchi-mata — the Korean was thrilled to make her mark on the international scene.
«I lose by Ippon all the time, but I wot by many Ippons today. Ah, I can’t think how to say it, I was just able to use my techniques naturally today, as I have been practising a lot,» Han Mi Jin said.
Former world champion Nikoloz Sherazadishvili made it two Grand Slam victories in a row, making a strong comeback from Tokyo. The Spanish Judoka put on his usual impressive display, throwing some of the best in the world with style and grace.
In the semi-final he launched another former world champion Majdov of Serbia, only to meet yet another former world champion in the final, Gwak Donghan of Korea. After a lengthy contest, a clever change of direction meant he managed to take the gold medal.
He was awarded his medal by his excellency, Mr Abdullah Al Neyadi, president of UAE Muay Thai and Kick Boxing federation.
At 78kg, Slovenia’s Apotekar took gold, with an attack that was a great moment in her day. She was awarded her medal by his excellency, Mohamed Bin Thaloob Al Derai.
At 100kg, Cho of Korea was victorious and made his way through to the final. He was awarded his medal by Mr Nis Hatt — the managing director of SportAccord.
Cho’s team-mate Kim Sung Min gave us our move of the day in the +100kg bronze medal match — with a massive pick-up before planting his opponent flat on his back — perfectly demonstrating how exciting heavyweight Judo can be.