Former world bronze medallist Ono Yoko tapped out Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Kim Polling (NED) with shime-waza in added time to deny the Dutch star back-to-back Grand Slam wins on the IJF World Judo Tour. Ono kept her feint Olympic ambitions alive by beating four-time Grand Slam winner Polling who was caught with ashi-waza with 17 seconds left for a waza-ari score.
However, upon a video review that decision was reversed and golden score was summoned. Ono outworked her opponent on the ground and submitted the world number 17 with shime-waza for ippon and Osaka gold.
In the first semi-final Brasilia Grand Slam silver medallist Giovanna Scoccimarro (GER) lost out to Polling who opened the scoring with her sutemi-waza and added a second waza-ari by pinning down her rival for 10 seconds to reach the final in consecutive Grand Slam events.
In the second semi-final Ono defeated former world number one Elvismar Rodriguez (VEN) after three minutes of golden score. Tokai University student RODRIGUEZ was fighting in her adopted homeland and matched her Japanese opponent for seven minutes until an o-uchi-gari sent the Venezuelan over for a waza-ari score.
The first bronze medal was awarded to two-time world champion Arai Chizuru (JPN) who won a lengthy battle against Tokyo-based Rodriguez. Arai and Rodriguez went toe-to-toe for over 10 minutes as the Japanese judoka came up with the one and only score after six minutes and 39 seconds of golden score following four minutes of regulation time. The hosts’ number one in the -70kg category capitalised on her tired opponent being momentarily off balance as she utilised straight forward te-waza for a place on the podium.
The second bronze medal was won by Scoccimarro with a buzzer-beating waza-ari score to defeat world number 18 Miriam Butkereit (GER). World number 16 Scoccimarro earned her third Grand Slam medal as her teammate finished fifth but they both showed their character and team mentality by walking out of the field of play together as they discussed the replays that were being shown on the main screen.