The whole world knows that Jorge Fonseca would try to execute his famous osoto-gari in the final of the Grand Slam in Ulaanbaatar. Very few can stop it because it is explosive. However, young Matvey Kanikovskiy prepared seriously for the final and responded with the same weapons and a first waza-ari. His young opponent was cold as ice and tactically perfect. Time ran out and Kanikovskiy added a second title for his team this day, the first ever in the World Judo Tour for Matvey Kanikovskiy.
Kazakh Islam Bozbayev entered the tatami like a hurricane. Eleven seconds later, his opponent, Sumiyabayar Batbaatar, was in the dust. What Bozbayev did was announce the tone of an avalanche of ippons proposed by all categories on all the three mats. Jorge Fonseca suffered cold sweats in his first two fights, against the Kazakh Nurlykhan Sharkhan and the Mongolian Gonchisguren Batkhuyag. The first succumbed to penalties and the second to a waza-ari in golden score.
Dutchman Michael Korrel was professional, without making mistakes. Without forgetting the IJF contingent, with a surprising Matvey Kanikovskiy, executioner of Arman Adamian, and that was not expected by many. Finally, the Israeli Peter Paltchik did not stand out in his first fight and his litmus test came in the second against the Japanese Kentaro Iida. The Israeli suffered, but he knew how to endure the first few minutes before scoring ippon with uchi-mata. Thus, the semi-finals provided very attractive pairings, with Fonseca and Korrel on one side, Paltchik and Kanikovskiy on the other.
Fonseca regained strength, it is seen that the smell of gold awakens his passions. The Portuguese finished Korrel in nine seconds. It’s what he likes, fast fighting. Paltchik decided that Fonseca’s formula was not a bad one and scored waza-ari in ten seconds against Kanikovskiy, but neither is Paltchik Fonseca nor Kanikovskiy one of the meek. Kanikovskiy reacted with waza-ari. It was a beautiful fight, each one trying to impose their style, attacking, very clean and very balanced. The Israeli’s error came in golden score. Kanikovskiy won the kumi-kata battle too easily and scored with uchi-mata. First Adamian, then Paltchik, the only thing left was the icing on the cake, a certain Fonseca. This twenty year old man had chosen to present himself in society in Mongolia, with the aristocracy of the category.
Paltchik has one thing: he never gives up. After digesting the frustration of his semi-final loss, the Israeli was undeterred by Korea’s Jae Yun Kim, attacking with a spectacular bronze-flavoured sode-tsuri-komi-goshi. It remained to be seen if Korrel would bring the same digestion for Iida. The Dutchman insisted from the beginning with shoulder movements that were going nowhere. The Japanese accumulated two shido and they reached golden score. Iida was disqualified with a third shido and we’re left feeling like we’ve wasted our time; Not Korrel though, the European champion walked away with the bronze.