November 23 - Italy's Walter Facente provided the most memorable performance on the second day of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi when he secured a thrilling gold medal in the under 90 kilogram division.
After almost two minutes of scoreless but spellbinding judo in the final against Noel Van T End of the Netherlands, Facente opened the scoring with a left handed tai-otoshi for a waza-ari score.
With the contest coming to a thrilling conclusion the Italian made certain his victory with just 17 seconds remaining when he secured an ippon with a ko-uchi gari throw.
Two more Europeans, Russia's Kirill Denisov and Azebaijan's Ramin Gurbanov, secured the bronze medals.
The undisputed highlight for the home crowd came in the under 81kg divison where Sergiu Toma secured a second victory of the event for the host nation.
Gaining encouragement from the vocal home support Toma took an early lead over Germany's Sven Maresch to follow in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Victor Scvortov who won under 73kg gold yesterday.
There was double gold in one day for Germany to celebrate as first Franziska Konitz took the women's over 78kg title, defeating Algeria's Sonia Asselah with an ippon after just nine seconds.
Men's under 100kg fighter Dimitri Peters then repeated the feat but in circumstances which could not have been more different.
With the final against Sweden's Martin Pacek still scoreless after three minutes,world and Olympic bronze medalist Peters eventually broke the deadlock to edge clear in the final stages.
After their under 90kg final defeat, the Netherlands made amends in the women's under 70kg division as Kim Polling overcame Italy's Jennifer Pitzanti, while France's world champion and Olympic bronze medalist Audrey Tcheumeo was as dominant as ever in the under 78kg category.
The final title of the day came, as ever, in the men's over 100kg division where both Roy Meyer of the Netherlands and Russia's Aslan Kambiev received penalties in the early stages.
But, with his legs and arms too long for his opponent, it was Kambiev who ultimately assumed the upper hand to claim victory and conclude two days of top level action.
"I want to congratulate the organisers for the great effort and the great job they did to organise a top event," said IJF President Marius Vizer.
"The level was particularly good this year and I want also to congratulate the UAE Federation for all its efforts to develop judo in the country and in the whole region.
"Today, they have obtained a second gold medal, which represents a fantastic achievement, while a strong educational programme is also starting in Abu Dhabi, which is very positive."
The host nation were also represented in the player of the week accolade when Victor Scvortov took the men's award while another day one victor, Germany's dominant winner Miryam Roper, winner of the under 57kg division, took the female equivalent.
To watch the latest action on Judo TV click here.
November 2013: Scvortov delights home fans in Abu Dhabi on day one of Grand Prix
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