Megumi Horikawa, in white, was one of two Japanese winners in Tel Aviv today ©IJF

Japan have climbed into second in the medals table at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Tel Aviv Grand Slam after triumphs in the women's categories for Megumi Horikawa and Shiho Tanaka.

Horikawa beat Britain's Gemma Howell in the under-63 kilograms final to claim her first IJF Grand Slam gold since 2012 in Tokyo.

Prior to the final, Horikawa beat France's Manon Deketer with a thunderous ippon at the Shlomo Arena, while Howell dispatched 22-year-old Italian Nadia Simeoli after just 24 seconds.

Deketer and Hungary's Szofi Ozbas won the bronze medals.

Tanaka delivered Japan's second gold medal of the day with a thrilling upset victory over double European champion Sanne van Dijke of The Netherlands at under-70kg.

Tanaka, a gold medallist at the 2019 Asian Championships, closed out a cagey affair with an uchi-mata which delivered the win.

Australia's Aoife Coughlan lost to former world champion Marie-Eve Gahié of France in the first fight for bronze, with Kelly Petersen-Pollard of Britain overcoming Austrian Michaela Polleres in the other.

In the men's under-73kg class, Hidayat Heydarov of Azerbaijan managed to secure the gold medal following two third-place finishes in Paris and Baku last year.

It is the top seed's first Grand Slam win since 2019.

Heydarov faced Uzbekistan's Obidkhon Nomonov in the final, which went to extra time. 

It is the first Grand Slam podium finish of Nomonov's career.

The hosts' Tohar Butbul and Zhansay Smagulov from Kazakhstan won bronze medals.

Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Matthias Casse then took home Belgium's first title of this event with a win over Vedat Albayrak in an under-81kg final which lasted 7min 45sec.

Casse, who is reining world champion in the weight class, now has three Grand Slam titles under his belt thanks to a juji-gatame for ippon when both athletes were visibly tired.

After yesterday's stunning performances, France still remain top of the medal standings with three gold medals, while Japan and Azerbaijan follow in second and third, respectively, with two and one gold medals.

The Grand Slam reaches its conclusion tomorrow with the women's under-78kg and over-78kg competitions and the men's under-90kg, under-100kg and over-100kg.