Germany's Martyna Trajdos defied the odds to claim the women's under 63 kilogram title on day two of the IJF Grand Slam in Tokyo ©IJF

Germany’s Martyna Trajdos overcame world champion Tina Trstenjak of Slovenia to claim gold in the women’s under 63 kilogram category on day two of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Slam at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Trstenjak’s last defeat came against Trajdos in the Baku 2015 European Games final, and despite starting at a high tempo, her German opponent refused to panic and allowed the storm to fade.

Even after Trajdos was thrown for a yuko with a counterattack, an opportunist piece of ground work saw her get her leg out to immobilise Trstenjak for ippon and secure her first Grand Slam gold medal.

The opening bronze medal fight saw the experienced Dutchwoman Anicka van Emden lose out to Japan’s Miku Tashiro, while Russia’s Ekaterina Valkova defeated Mongolia’s Munkhzaya Tsedevsuren in the second.

Victory for Trajdos ended Japan’s run of five consecutive gold medals from yesterday, but the hosts soon got back on track as Chizuru Arai beat compatriot Yoko Ono to the women’s under 70kg title.

During the first four minutes of regular time, nothing seemed to be able to separate the two finalists who were each penalised with three shido.

With attacks coming from both sides but for no score, the two competitors were trying everything possible to register the golden score but it was Arai who ultimately prevailed after seven-and-a-half minutes to regain the crown she won in 2013.

Brazil’s Maria Portela saw off the challenge of Moroccan Assmaa Niang to win the first bronze medal contest, after which Israel’s Linda Bolder got the better of Japan’s Erina Ike.

Japan's Hiroyuki Akimoto successfully defended his men's under 73kg crown
Japan's Hiroyuki Akimoto successfully defended his men's under 73kg crown ©IJF

A seventh gold medal of the competition came Japan’s way in the men’s under 73kg category, which was won by defending champion Hiroyuki Akimoto at the expense of South Korean top seed Changrim An.

After one-and-a-half minutes, Akimoto took the lead with a perfectly executed left handed drop-seoi-nage for waza-ari with An, winner of the recent Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, landing on his side.

Two penalties against Akimoto, one for a false attack and another for blocking his opponent, didn’t have an impact on the final outcome as the Japanese claimed a second Grand Slam gold medal.

Nugzari Tatalashvili overcame the reigning under 66kg Olympic champion Lasha Shavdatuashvili in an all-Georgian bronze medal match and was joined on the third step of the podium by Russia’s Musa Mogushkov, who added a ninth Grand Slam medal to his tally to the detriment of Slovenia’s Rok Draksic.  

Japan's medallists from the opening day of the IJF Grand Slam in Tokyo held a event to meet fans ©IJF
Japan's medallists from the opening day of the IJF Grand Slam in Tokyo held a event to meet fans ©IJF

Meanwhile, in the highly competitive men’s under 81kg category, it was Georgia’s Avtandili Tchrikishvili who came out on top with South Korean outsider Seungsu Lee having to settle for silver.

The final was not the most spectacular as the two fighters cancelled each other throughout the fight, but Tchrikishvili confirmed his world number one position thanks to a narrow victory by two penalties.

World champion and defending gold medallist Takanori Nagase of Japan recovered from semi-final elimination at the hands of Lee for a prohibited leg grab to edge Greece’s Roman Moustopoulos in the first bronze medal fight.

South Korea’s Ki-Chun Wang, a former world number one in the under 73kg category, also bagged third-place honours as the United States’ Travis Stevens fell just short of a podium place.

The final day of action tomorrow is due to feature the women's under 78kg and over 78kg categories, and the men's under 90kg, under 100kg and over 100kg classes. 

To watch the latest action on Judo TV click here

Related stories
December 2015: Hosts Japan claim clean sweep of gold medals on opening day of IJF Tokyo Grand Slam
December 2015: Tokyo Grand Slam to bring down curtain on 2015 World Judo Tour
November 2015: IJF President Vizer hails Abu Dhabi Grand Slam a success despite Israel flag controversy
November 2015: Israeli Minister calls emergency meeting after country's flag is banned from IJF Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi
November 2015: Olympic champion Khaibulaev steps up Rio 2016 quest with victory on final day of IJF Abu Dhabi Grand Slam