By Nick Butler

Zhang Jie was one of three Chinese winners on the final day of action in the under 78kg eventNovember 1 - Host nation China on top at the Qingdao Grand Prix thanks to a 12 medal haul, including three gold on the final day of action in the heaviest weight categories.

There were cause for home celebrations in the first final of the day in the under 78 kilogram division in the Qingdao Guoxin Stadium. as Zhang Jie, who won a bronze medal at this event in 2011, defeated world number 12 ranked Russian Anastasiya Dmitrieva.

In a tough fight between representatives from two heavyweight nations in the sport Zhang secured a superb ko-uchi-gari for victory.

China also claimed a bronze medal courtesy of Li Xin while the other was taken by Wang Szu-Chu after the Taiwanese recovered strongly from three early penalties.

There was another home victory, and an all Chinese final, in the women's over 78kg division.

The world number 11 Qian Qin took the victory on this occasion after her compatriot Ma Sisi was disqualified for passivity.

Ksenia Cibisova of Russian and the highly regarded German youngster Jasmin Kuelbs took the two bronze medals.

On the men's side, Russia secured another title after the winner of the Bucharest European Open, Murat Gasiev won his first ever Grand Prix after his final opponent. teammate Kirill Voprosov, was forced to withdraw through a head injury.

Murat Gasiev stands on top of a Judo Grand Prix podium for the first time after Russian and German judoka swept the under 90kg medal positionsMurat Gasiev stands on top of a Judo Grand Prix podium for the first time after Russian and German judoka swept the under 90kg medal positions

Gasiev had been on fine form earlier on however and reached the final after defeating the same man he beat to win gold in Bucharest, Germany's Aaron Hildebrand.

Hildebrand recovered to win one of the two bronze medals while the other was taken by another Marc Odenthal, another German.

Germany continued their superb week, after their particularly strong second day as Karl-Richard Frey won the battle of two past winners of the Grand Prix tour in 2013.

Frey, winner of the event in Rijeca, was up against Russia's Miami Grand Prix victor Zafar Makhmadov and sealed victory in a pulsating fight with two wazi-ari throws.

After losing to Frey in the semi-final, Rafael Buzacarina of Brazil fought back to win a bronze medal while a strong start by Russia's Adlan Bisultanov was enough to see him secure the other place on the podium over China's Hu Mingchao.

It was fitting however that the Chinese hosts should have the last word as they ended the week in style as Zhang Lei won a battle of the giants in the men's over 100kg category to defeat Brazil's Gabriel Santos.

Santos is one of the rising stars of the sport but was given little room for manoeuvre as Zhang dispatched him with a wazi-ari followed by an ippon.

China fittingly had the final word when Zhang Lei beat a Brazillian opponent to win the over 100kg goldChina fittingly had the final word when Zhang Lei beat a Brazillian opponent to win the over 100kg gold

Liu Jian secured more home interest on the podium with bronze while South Korea's Gi Geun Bae took the other.

Hosts China finished top of the medal table with 12 medals, four gold, four silver and four bronze.

Russia were second with four gold, three silver and nine bronze as they played a starring role in the event alongside Germany who finished third with three gold, two silver and six bronze medals.

Despite the completion of the action an International Judo Federation (IJF) delegation will remain in China.

They will join officials from the Chinese Judo Association to embark on a pioneering "Judo Journey Through China" as both organisations seek to explore the enormous potential of the sport in the country with a 10-day practical and educational tour.

This event will promote the judo competition along with the Chinese team and the Olympics as much of the country's 1.3 billion population as possible, ahead of the Summer Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing next summer.  

To watch the latest action on Judo TV click here
Photos©IJF Media Team by G. Sabau 

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