Majlinda Kelmendi claimed victory on her return to the World Judo Tour ©IJF

Kosovo’s Majlinda Kelmendi marked her return to the World Judo Tour by claiming gold at the Paris Grand Slam event in front of a large crowd at the recently renovated Accor Hotels Arena.

The two-time world champion had been dogged by injury in recent months but reached the women’s under 52 kilogram gold medal match with  a series of excellent performances, including coming from a yuko behind against Japan’s Yuki Hashimoto to win her semi-final with waza-ari and yuko scores.

Buoyed by this victory, Kelmendi made light work of Switzerland's Evelyne Tschopp to secure the division’s title with an ippon.

Kelmendi’s compatriot Distria Krasniqi was unable to compete in her bronze medal match, ensuring France’s Priscilla Gneto of a podium finish.

Ai Shishime defeated her team-mate Hashimoto with two waza-aris to earn the other bronze medal in the division.

Slovenia’s Tina Trstenjak continued her excellent form by taking under 63kg gold in Paris
Slovenia’s Tina Trstenjak continued her excellent form by taking under 63kg gold in Paris ©IJF

Slovenia’s Tina Trstenjak appears to be in the best form of her career as she continued her fine set of results, including winning maiden world title win in August, claiming Grand Slam gold in the under 63kg event.

Trstenjak scored early on in the final against The Netherlands’ Juul Franssen with a yuko and it proved to be enough to seal victory as she repelled several attacks from her opponent in the closing stages of the contest.

Israel's fomer world champion Yarden Gerbi defeated Japan’s Miho Minei with a waza-ari to take the first bronze medal before Italy’s Edwige Gwend claimed a dramatic golden score victory to secure a place on the podium.

A golden score was also required to decide the winner of the women’s under 57kg division with European champion Telma Monteiro of Portugal coming out on top after Mongolia’s Sumiya Dorjsuren picked up a shido penalty.

Japan’s Nae Udaka beat compatriot Tsukasa Yoshida via shido penalties to take bronze, while Austria’s Sabrina Filzmoser beat Hungary’s Hedvig Karakas in the same manner for the other medal. 

Urantsetseg Munkhbat earned the final women’s gold of the day after the Mongolian beat Belgium’s Charline van Snick with an ippon in the under 48kg division.

Spain’s Julia Figueroa and Israel’s Shira Rishony defeated China’s Shishi Xie and Maryna Cherniak of Ukraine to win bronze.

Japan’s Naohisa Takato denied the host nation gold in the men's under 60kg event
Japan’s Naohisa Takato denied the host nation gold in the men's under 60kg event ©IJF

The first men’s final saw disappointment for the host country under 60kg division as France’s Vincent Limare was denied victory by Japan’s Naohisa Takato with the 2011 champion triumphing thanks to waza-ari..

Mongolia’s Amartuvshin Dashdavaa defeated Dutch opponent Jeroen Mooren with an ippon to take bronze.

Uzbekistan’s Sharafuddin Lutfillaev earned a rapid ippon victory over Switzerland’s Ludovic Chammartin to secure the other minor medal.

A successful day for Mongolia continued as Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj defeated Ukraine’s Georgii Zantaraia with a yuko to win the under 66kg event.

Mongolia’s Altansukh Dovodon and Japan’s Tomofumi Takajo won their respective bronze medal matches against Azerbaijan’s Nijat Shikhalizada and Portugal’s Sergiu Oleinic.

The first day drew to a close with Japan’s Hiroyuki Akimoto winning under 73kg gold by scoring an ippon against Azerbaijan’s Rustam Orujov.

Germany’s Igor Wandtke and Israel’s Sagi Muki had claimed ippon wins over Slovenia’s Rok Draksic and China’s Shuai Sun.

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