IJF Media Department
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation
A Grand Slam final for Karla Prodan, it doesn’t surprise anymore. At the Grand Slam in Tashkent he delivered her second consecutive Grand Slam Medal for Croatia. In a category largely dominated by France for a few years, but in the absence of the French representatives, the games were quite open. In a slightly less competitive context, it was therefore the Croatian Karla Prodan, cadet world champion in 2015 and the Japanese Mami Umeki, world champion the same year, but in the senior division, who found the solutions during the eliminatory phases to thwart all the traps of their competitors.
Nothing really surprising to find the two young women at this level of competition, but interesting to see how the less experienced Prodan would find a way to counter the Japanese domination on the occasion of this Grand Slam.
From the first hajime on, Prodan did not seem impressed by her opponent and began to advance bravely on Umeki. In a rush, she stepped out of the tatami, collecting a penalty on the way. Gradually, however, Umeki began to gain the upper hand. After scoring a first waza-ari, she continued in immobilisation to win her third gold medal in a Grand Slam.
Beata Pacut (POL), third in Tbilisi in 2015 (Tbilisi will be the next stop of the WJT) and the first Korean in the category, Lee Jeongyun, competed for a place on the podium. With a superb shoulder movement, Lee Jeongyun won her first bronze medal in a Grand Slam.
The second Korean in the U78 kg category, Yoon Hyunji, had to face Inbar Lanir (ISR), winner of the U23 European Championships last year, to complete the podium. The young Israeli was not impressed and took her chance to win her first major medal on the international stage after she had scored a waza-ari with an immobilisation and a second one with a counterattack.