Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, hosted the 2nd day of the Qazaqstan Barysy Grand Slam at the Barys Arena. Young Judoka and local fans filled the stadium, elated to see their heroes and the IJF took advantage of the occasion to present the 7th dan diploma to Olympic silver medallist, Askhat Zhitkeyev, for his contribution to the development of judo in Kazakhstan and internationally.
Joy for Korea
Korea’s Kim Jisu defeated Katharina Haecker to take the -63kg gold, catching her Australian opponent twice with a driving and hooking o-uchi-gari to take her first-ever Grand Slam Gold.
Yesset Baiken, Astana City’s Deputy Mayor, awarded the medals.
Second win in a row for Makhmadbekov
Makhmadbek Makhmadbekov made it two consecutive IJF World Tour victories at -73kg with a turnover and pin on Poland’s Adam Stodolski.
Askhat Zhitkeyev, Kazakhstan Judo Federation General Secretary, handed out the medals.
Second gold for Teltsidou
Greece’s Elisavet Teltsidou was on blistering form all day at -70kg, a trademark hip throw the highlight of her route to the final.
There she defeated the Dutch Olympic Bronze Medallist Sanne Van Dijke to take her second Grand Slam gold of the year.
Armen Bagdasarov, IJF Head Referee Director, gave out the medals.
“Kazakhstan crowd was really warm, and cheering for me in the final,” said Teltisidou. “I want to thank them, it’s a different feeling.”
Gold for Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Somon Makhmadbekov also made it two IJF World Tour victories in a row at -81kg.
After defeating a former Olympic Champion on his way to the final, he won gold with a tactical victory over Brazil’s rising star Guilherme Schmidt.
Mohammed Meridja, IJF Education & Coaching Director, awarded the medals.
“I want to thank the Kazakh crowd,” said Makhmadbekov. “They motivated me. I also saw some of my fans, and I’d like to thank them as well.”
Two bronzes for the hosts
Kazakhstan built on its day-one success with two bronze medallists at -73kg, a beautiful moment of judo followed by a great display of sportsmanship, the crowd in Astana appreciating their heroes putting it all on the line.
The final day in Kazakhstan looks set to be a stunner.