Amazing Display of Judo at the 2023 Tel Aviv Grand Slam

Amazing Display of Judo at the 2023 Tel Aviv Grand Slam

Full recap from the 2023 Tel Aviv Grand Slam brought to you by the American Judo System

The Tel Aviv Grand Slam provided us with an action packed weekend of Judo! We saw familiar faces make their return after a brief hiatus. It was a special event nonetheless, after 23 countries leave Israel with a medal around their neck.

Fabio Basile (ITA) makes his return to the -66kg category for the first time since the then young Italian judoka took home Olympic Gold in 2016. Following the games, Basile had moved up to the -73kg category. He is now unseeded in the -66kg category in Tel Aviv, Israel. He comes back to the division with a new mindset to ensure he is the reason for his own success, no excuses, no mistakes and no blame, just work and commitment. 

The -57kg category had amazing talent across the division, including 5 World Champions! Pool A has Christa Deguchi’s world gold. Pool B was something very different indeed. Five world medallists lined up against just a handful of other judoka whom had never medalled at that level: Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR), Julia Kowalczyk (POL), Telma Monteiro (POR), including a head-to-head between Tsukasa Yoshida (JPN) and double world champion at -48kg Daria Bilodid (UKR). Pool C featured Jessica Klimkait’s (CAN) world gold and bronze and her Olympic bronze. Pool D included double world champion Rafaela Silva (BRA), not forgetting her Olympic gold and two further world medals.

Following the birth of her daughter 8 months ago, Clarisse Agbegenou (FRA) made her return to competitive action for the first time in 18 months following the Tokyo Olympic Games! She remained at 19 in the World Ranking List during hiatus. She returns eyeing qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games!

Israel’s top 4 seeds could have felt the pressure of home-ground expectation. Baruch Shmailov (#1 at -66kg), Gefen Primo (#3 at -52kg), Timna Nelson-Levy (#4 at -57kg), Gili Sharir (#4 at -63kg), Inbar Lanir #3 at -78kg and Raz Hershko (#1 at +78kg) are all waiting under the microscope. They have carried hope and national pride with them and while wins are celebrated loudly, losses will incur a deafening silence.

Final Medal Count

Israel, in turn, performed well as the host nation finishing third in the medal count at the conclusion of the event with a total of 4 medals. Here is the list of the top four medal rankings:

  1. France - 3 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
  2. Canada - 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze
  3. Israel - 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
  4. Georgia - 2 Gold, 1 Bronze

As always, here is the complete list of medalist from the 2023 Tel Aviv Grand Slam: 

Men's Division

Men -60kg

  1. Luka Mkheidze (FRA)
  2. Francisco Garrigos (ESP)
  3. Jorre Verstraeten (BEL)
  4. Salih Yildiz (TUR)

Men -66kg

  1. Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO)
  2. Orkhan Safarov (AZE)
  3. Alberto Gaitero Martin (ESP)
  4. Lasha Nadiradze (GEO)

Men -73kg

  1. Nils Stump (SUI)
  2. Igor Wandtke (GER)
  3. Mark Hristov (BUL)
  4. Daniel Cargnin (BRA)

Men -81kg

  1. Sagi Muki (ISR)
  2. Vedat Albayrak (TUR)
  3. Francois Gauthier Drapeau (CAN)
  4. Timo Cavelius (GER)

Men -90kg

  1. Beka Gviniashvili (GEO)
  2. Krisztian Toth (HUN)
  3. Altanbagana Gantulga (MGL)
  4. Mammadaki Mehdiyev (AZE)

Men -100kg

  1. Zelym Kotsoiev (AZE)
  2. Michael Korrel (NED)
  3. Leonardo Gongalves (BRA)
  4. Kyle Reyes (CAN)

Men +100kg

  1. Tsetsentsengel Odkhuu (MGL)
  2. Ushangi Kokauri (AZE)
  3. Emre Sanal (FRA)
  4. Rafael Silva (BRA)

Women's Division

Women -48kg

  1. Blandine Pont (FRA)
  2. Tamar Malca (ISR)
  3. Mireia Lapuerta Comas (ESP)
  4. Natasha Ferreira (BRA)

Women -52kg

  1. Chelsie Giles (GBR)
  2. Ana Perez Box (ESP)
  3. Larissa Pimenta (BRA)
  4. Odette Giuffrida (ITA)

Women -57kg

  1. Jessica Klimkait (CAN)
  2. Christa Deguchi (CAN)
  3. Timna Nelson Levy (ISR)
  4. Mina Libeer (BEL)

Women -63kg

  1. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (CAN)
  2. Maylin Del Toro Carvajal (CUB)
  3. Laura Fazliu (KOS)
  4. Lucy Renshall (GBR)

Women -70kg

  1. Margaux Pinot (FRA)
  2. Miriam Butkereit (GER)
  3. Aoife Coughlan (AUS)
  4. Gabriella Willems (BEL)

Women -78kg

  1. Alice Bellandi (ITA)
  2. Madeleine Malonga (FRA)
  3. Patricia Sampaio (POR)
  4. Mami Ukemi (JPN)

Women +78kg

  1. Raz Hershko (ISR)
  2. Kayra Sayit (TUR)
  3. Karen Stevenson (NED)
  4. Milica Zabic (FRA)

Another fantastic weekend of judo wrapped up! The atmosphere throughout the three days of competition was nothing short of magnificent. The third event of this World Judo Tour season, will very soon make way for Grand Slam Tashkent 2023, another major event on the calendar. 

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