Chishima Maeda of Japan bested Tel Aviv Grand Prix bronze medallist Fabienne Kocher of Switzerland by a waza-ari score to capture her first gold medal on the IJF World Judo Tour. World number 64 Kocher, who was appearing in her first IJF final, was resolute and went the distance with the impressive Japanese who took silver at the Junior World Championships in 2017.
In the first semi-final Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Maeda shocked Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) in golden score. Kelmendi took the lead with a rolling technique before Maeda scored with a tomoe-nage to restore level terms. The Japanese judoka earned her second and match-winning score in golden score to advance to the final. In the second semi-final The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Eleudis Valentim (BRA) was disqualified after picking up three penalties against Kocher.
The first bronze medal was awarded to three-time world medallist Andreea Chitu (ROU) who held down world number 29 Valentim for ippon with 55 seconds left on the clock.
The second bronze medal was won by Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist Ana Perez Box (ESP) who stunned Kelmendi. Kosovo’s hero, who suffered her first loss this year in the semi-final, took the lead with an o-soto-gari but switched off on the ground and was turned by the hard-working Perez Box who stared at the scoreboard as the seconds ticked away to record a famous win.