Israel home fighter Baruch Shmailov brought joy at the tribunes by showing a golden performance at the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv.
Shmailov who ignited the public of the arena, particularly after his spectacular ippon in the semi-final against Gusman Kyrgyzbayev (Kaz). For one second, Shmailov, who countered his opponent, appeared to be flying in mid-air before landing to score ippon, but the most important step to climb still remained, against Yashar Najafov (AZE), who emerged from the depths of the draw and who also qualified for the final with some super-sharp and spectacular judo.
With both competitors being massive throwers, the public, which became so excited when Shmailov stepped on to the tatami, expected some spectacular judo to happen. Chanting, cheering as if there were dozens of thousands, the Israeli judo fans were definitely the third actor of the final and they were so happy when just at the beginning of golden score their hero tried a ko-soto-gari unsuccessfully, but like an acrobat he immediately followed with a superb turn-over for ippon. Initially a bit incredulous, Yashar Najafov had to accept his loss.
The public exploded with joy. The first medal for the host country is a gold medal!
Bogdan Iadov (UKR) and Gusman Kyrgyzbayev (KAZ) still had a chance to win a medal in the first match for a bronze medal. With less than a minute to go, Bogdan Iadov scored a clean ippon with ko-soto-gake.
Discreetly but surely, Daikii Bouda (FRA), who finished at the foot of the podium in Paris two weeks ago, made his way through the competition to meet Kerlen Ganbold (MGL) for the second third place of the category but once again the French competitor finished at the foot of the podium via a third penalty in golden score. Bronze for Kerlen Ganbold!