Judo

Orujov, Albayrak and Trstenjak star on Day 2 at the IJF Judo Grand Slam Hungary 2020

With four titles on the line Olympic sized reputations were reinforced and some new new ones forged in Budapest

Judo was back to stay on Day 2 of the Grand Slam Hungary with Olympic and World champions getting down to business.

Reigning women's -63kg Olympic champ Tina Trstenjak confirmed on Saturday that she's a class act in the absence of a certain Clarisse Agbenenou, while World No.2 Rustam Orujov who won silver in Rio was made to work for his victory in the men's -73kg category.

There was drama too in the men's -81kg class as Turkey's Vedat Albayrak proved best in a brilliant field.

And the women's -70kg threw up the shock of the day as reigning world champion Marie-Eve Gahie of France looked unsure and Croatia's Barbara Matic took advantage.

Judo Grand slam Hungary 2020 Highlights

Women's -63kg: Tina Trstenjak on top

With four-time running World champion Clarisse Agbegnenou absent, there was a chance for an unfamiliar face at the top of the podium, but in the end the world order remained relatively unshaken.

Olympic champion Tina Trstenjak from Slovenia was imperious throughout the day, winning the final against rising Venezuelan Anriquelis Barrios in less than two minutes, immobilising her opponent.

Special mention has to go to Hungary's Szofi Ozbas, Buenos Aires YOG gold medallist two years ago and 2019 Junior World champion. She won bronze in Budapest defeating Canada's Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard with two waza-ari, much to the delight of the Hungarian onlookers.

Russia's Daria Davydova won the second bronze medal, defeating the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Ketleyn Quadros of Brazil.

Women's 63kg Judo Bronze Contest A | Rio 2016 Replays

Yarden Gerbi wins bronze for Israel in women's judo 63kg.

Women's -70kg: Matic seizes the moment

The time away from training and competition has affected everyone differently and Hungary gave us a glimpse at who is on top of their game physically and mentally.

French world champ and world number one Marie-Eve Gahie came to Hungary as favourite but failed to convince throughout the day.

In the third round Croatia's Barbara Matic stunned Gahie before eliminating Portugal's current world silver medalist, Barbara Timo to make the final.

Matic faced another Frenchwoman in the final, and when Margeaux Pinot pushed too hard and lost her balance, Matic countered brilliantly throwing her opponent with a soto-makikomi, which was awarded waza-ari.

Gahie finished fifth, and with Margeaux accepting the silver medal it gives the French Federation a difficult choice to make before Tokyo 2020.

Gahie still has a few months to rediscover her form, but watch this space.

Rustam Orujov reigns at -73kg

Orujov thought it was over in seconds, but an o-uchi-gari ippon on his first grip with Swiss judoka Nils Stump was downgraded to a waza-ari in the final.

Stump dug in and made a fight of it but World No.2 Orujov held out to win by ippon in the end, justifying his top-seed ranking with reigning Olympic champ Shohei Ono not travelling.

Canada's Arthur Margelidon and surprise package Petru Pelivan from Macedonia bagged a bronze medal each.

Men's -81kg: Vedat Albayrak victorious

In a draw that included Russia's reigning Olympic Champion Khasan Khalmurzaev, World and Olympic medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier from Canada, Iranian-born Mongolian grappler and 2018 World Champion Saeid Mollaei, and current World No.4 from Turkey Vedat Albayrak, there were always going to be fireworks.

In the end Albayrak brought his best magic to the mat, emerging victorious in a thrilling competition from start to finish.

The semi-final between Mollaei and Valois-Fortier was memorable, the Canadian getting the better of the Mongolian on this occasion, flipping the result last year in Tokyo.

Energised by that win Valois-Fortier faced Albayrak in the final after he eliminated the Olympic champion. The Turkish contender won out with a big ko-soto gari, immediately followed by an immobilisation for ippon.

France's Nicolas Chilard and Saeid Mollaei representing Mongolia were awarded the bronze medals on day celebrated by judo fans far and wide.

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