Olympic champion Tina Trstenjak (SLO) eased to her fifth Grand Slam gold medal at the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi after beating Brasilia Grand Slam bronze medallist Maylin Del Toro Carvajal (CUB) in the U63kg final. Trstenjak extended her head-to-record over the Cuban to 3-1 having fell to the Tokyo 2020 hope in Düsseldorf last year.
Trstenjak, who is one of the calmest and hardest working judoka in the sport, held down Del Toro Carvajal in the first minute of golden score to win the top prize in the last but one Grand Slam of the season.
In the first semi-final Trstenjak beat Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Anriquelis Barrios (VEN) with a booming ippon to take an expected slot in the final.
In the second semi-final world number 34 Prisca Awiti Alcaraz (MEX) came undone against DEL Toro Carvajal (CUB) with 25 seconds left as a single waza-ari score sent the Cuban into the final.
The first bronze medal contest was won by Brasilia Grand Slam winner Ketleyn Quadros (BRA) who took advantage of Awiti Alcaraz being flat-footed and dispatched the Mexican judo with an o-soto-gari for ippon. Former British international Awiti Alcaraz, 23, who came through the ranks at Enfield Judo Club, earned her best result on the Grand Slam stage while Quadros, 32, continued her rich vein of form from Brasilia.
The second bronze medal was won by world number 16 Yang Junxia (CHN) who was too wily for Barrios. Yang took the contest to the Tokyo-based Venezuelan who still achieved a highly-useful fifth-place on the Grand Slam stage. A waza-ari score for the Chinese judoka, who we can expect to see in action at the Masters in Qingdao in December, settled the contest after four minutes.