Two Georgian men won the Grand Prix in Tbilisi today. Lukhumi Chkhvimiani surprised Amiran Papinashvili in the final U60kg and took the gold. Chkhvimiani was highly impressive with three ippons and two wazari matches. In fact another surprise U66kg was the victory for Lasha Giunashvili of Georgia against Mongolian former world number one Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj in the final U66kg. The Georgian cheered for new heroes and only a few top athletes from Georgia participated in its own event in Tbilisi.
One of the most impressive performances was the gold of Brazilian Stefannie Arissa Koyama who captured her second gold in a month time. The former Japanese who fights for Brazil now surprised everyone again with a good looking victory U48kg. In the final she bested Maryna Cherniak of the Ukraine by wazari. In the semi final she defeated number one seed Taciana Cesar, a former Brazilian lightweight fighting for Guinee Bissau. Koyama also won the gold at the Grand Slam in Baku this month.
French Amandine Buchard was happy took her third victory of the season after the African Open, the Belgium Open and now her World Tour victory in her new weight U52kg. Former World Junior world champion and bronze medallist of the 2014 World Championships had to start over her career in her new category after a period of injuries. However this year started off well and today’s victory was the confirmation she is back in the top. In the final she bested triple World medallist Erika Miranda and these points will give her a boost in the World Ranking and give her a better seeding.
Another silver for Brazil after Rafaela Silva lost her final by an armlock against Irina Zabludina who had a good transition on the ground and converted the chance into a successful armlock against the Olympic Champion. Zabludina won all her four matches, but the real challenge was Silva. Convinced she was about this chance, she proceeded to work on the armlock and succeeded. A good success for Russian women’s judo that won its last World Tour medal in November 2016. Also a personal comeback for Zabludina who won her last World Tour gold medal three years ago… also in Tbilisi. Since then Zabludina couldn’t impress in the top despite some Continental open medals and silver at the Grand Prix Tashkent in 2015. Today she celebrates gold and her comeback.