The Russian team dominated the men’s tournament in Budapest. In the category U100kg it wasn’t any different with Niyaz Ilyasov (RUS) and Arman Adamian (RUS) persuading everyone in the category to agree, after a day of strong matches. Aside from the Russian onslaught, like Van ‘t End, in the lower category, wearing the red backpatch of a reigning world champion was not a guarantee of success. Jorge Fonseca (POR) lost in the semi-final, obviously not yet fully sharpened to repeat his Tokyo feat of 2019.
Having to face a fellow countryman in the final is always complicated, as they know each other so well. After a moment of observation, during a moment on the ground, the two competitors find themselves mirroring one another, neither wanting to release the pressure. It was ultimately Niyaz Ilyasov who took the upper hand to immobilise his opponent on a ushiro-kesa-gatame hold.
We note the disappearance in the preliminaries of Paris winner Peter Paltchik (ISR), who had driven through a very good series at the beginning of the year, before the Covid crisis. We were happy to find Belgian Toma Nikiforov at his best, absent from the tatami for many months due to injury and to whom the stop of the circuit seems to have gone well, while Alexandre Iddir (FRA), whose style is still as attractive as ever, had a good day of competition, to face Fonseca in the bronze medal contest.
This was interesting with the athletes having a similar style, with big throws. If the Portuguese judoka is not known for his capacity to keep the pace for a long time, he's still one of the most powerful throwers and once again he proved it. As the golden score period was just starting, he caught for one second only, the sleeves of the Frenchman and immediately disappeared under him for a beautiful Ippon.
Toma Nikiforov can certainly be satisfied to return to this level of competition after such a long absence, but even more certainly, he is not satisfied to have lost to Canadian Shady El Nahas, for the bronze medal, on a hip movement of exceptional amplitude. One more medal for team Canada, a team on fire. He was the fourth Canadian to be decorated in Hungary after Jessica Klimkait (U57kg), Antoine Valois-Fortier (U81kg) and Arthur Margelidon (U73kg) won gold, silver and bronze, respectively.