Germany’s Anna Maria Wagner qualified for a new grand slam final in Kazan, where she found the Dutch fighter Natascha Ausma, another regular in the finals of the world circuit, with a special gold at the Tbilisi Grand Slam on 26th March.
It did not take Wagner too much time. The winner of the Tel Aviv Grand Prix on 18th February and seeded number one here scored a first waza-ari on the edge of the competition area, immediately followed by an immobilisation for ippon.
Third in the 2018 World Championships, Aleksandra Babintseva (RUS) offered herself a new chance for a medal, after several failures this year, against Anastasiya Turchyn (UKR), also settling into a rather disappointing rhythm at the start of the season. One of them was going to be happy to finally win a medal in 2021. Babintseva scored first with the counterattack but Turchyn quickly rebutted and scored a waza-ari with o-uchi-gari, that she copied and pasted a few seconds later for a second waza-ari to win that bronze.
Twelfth in the world and on the circuit for many years, the German Luise Malzahn had to be content with the possibility of a bronze medal, against Karla Prodan (CRO), finalist in Tashkent this season. The German scored a waza-ari that she held until the end to win an impressive 34th medal on the World Judo Tour.