Paris Grand Slam champion Mukai Shoichiro (JPN) won his second Grand Slam of the season after an absorbing final against former World Judo Masters bronze medallist Noel Van ‘t End (NED). Both men went on the attack from the outset which made for an open final.
Mukai went close with a morote-seoi-nage while Van ‘t End almost broke the deadlock with a o-soto-gari. Golden score was required to produce a winner and it went in favour of the Japanese after the Dutchman received his third shido for going out of the area after 19 seconds of added time.
In the first semi-final Van ‘t End defeated Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Eduard Trippel (GER) with a deep ippon-seoi-nage. The Dutchman scored twice without reply to move into the final and guarantee his first IJF medal since January. In the second semi-final Mukai defeated Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Ushangi Margiani (GEO) after 24 seconds of golden score by a waza-ari from a picturesque morote-seoi-nage.
The first bronze medal was won by Junior World Championships silver medallist Murao Sanshiro (JPN) who beat Margiani in golden score. The Georgian was able to turn out of numerous throws from the Japanese but eventually came undone in added time after picking up his third shido for a bear hug. Murao is highly-rated by his Japanese peers and showed why by opening his medal account in his first IJF World Judo Tour event.
The second bronze medal went to Trippel who threw Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Rafael Macedo (BRA) for ippon. In a contest between two young judoka on the rise in this Olympic cycle, Trippel shaped up for a uchi-mata and waited for the reaction from Macedo and then executed a neat sutemi-waza attack to score ippon. Trippel fell down to his knees in celebration and could now feature in China at the World Judo Masters next month as he will break into the top 16 on the IJF World Ranking List after earning his second Grand Slam medal.