It took six years and traveling to ten cities but finally, Fabio BASILE (ITA) achieved one of his goals, that of winning a Grand Slam gold medal.
The 26-year old Italian did so quite convincingly in the -73kg category by defeating among others current European champion Victor STERPU (MDA) and former Pan-American champion and number one seed here Arthur MARGELIDON (CAN).
After six fruitless outings over the past 14 months, Basile (the current Olympic champion at -66kg) arrived here almost desperate to be on the podium. In the biggest surprise of the day it was IJF Tour rookie Bayram KANDEMIR (TUR) who made his way to the final to face Basile.
Perhaps as a result of nerves on Basile’s part or, perhaps as a consequence of Kandemir’s yet to be tested raw talent, the Italian gave a somewhat restrained performance in a final that he won with a single score that came from an uchi-mata that only just warranted a score.