By Gary Anderson

Russians Alan Khubetsov and Khasan Khalmurzaev competed in the final of the men's under 81kg category in Astana ©IJFRussia's Alan Khubetsov prevailed in the final of the men's under 81 kilogram class against compatriot Khasan Khalmurzaev on the second day of action at the judo Grand Prix in Astana, which also saw wins for judoka from France, Israel and Austria.

The two 21-year-old Russians squared-up in the decider and it was Baku Grand Slam winner Khubetsov who came out on top in a tight battle, registering the only score of the contest which was an ippon seoi-nage to earn a yuko.

Germany's Benjamin Muennich got the better of Swede Robin Pacek to take bronze, while Aziz Kalkamanuly delighted fans at the Cycle track "Saryarka"  by claiming bronze for Kazakhstan with a win over Montenegro's Srdjan Mrvaljevic .

In the other men's category decided on the day, Frenchman Pierre Duprat defeated Israel's Baku Grand Slam winner Sagi Muki in the under 73kg final.

A scrappy affair saw Muki penalised twice for passivity and a false attack, while Duprat was penalised once for negative gripping.

Mongolian's claimed both bronze medals in this category as first, Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar shaded his contest against Japan's Yuki Nishiyama, while Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal followed suit with a win over Vadzim Shoka of Belarus.

There was better news for Israel in the first women's final of the day as World Championship runner-up Yarden Gerbi overcame Sweden's Anna Bernholm.

A trademark uchi-mata for ippon sealed the deal for Gerbi in the under 63kg decider.

Israeli Yarden Gerbi (second from left) topped the podium in the women's under 63kg class at the Grand Prix in Astana ©IJFIsraeli Yarden Gerbi (second from left) topped the podium in the women's under 63kg class at the Grand Prix in Astana ©IJF

Sweden lost out in the first bronze medal match in this category, after Austria's Kathrin Unterwurzacher defeated Mia Hermansson, while Italian Edwige Gwend secured the other bronze.

Former junior world champion Bernadette Graf of Austria topped the podium in the women's under 70kg class.

The 22-year-old was in control throughout the final against Georgia's Esther Stam, dominating the gripping and overpowering her opponent who was penalised twice for passivity.

Szaundra Diedrich and Laura Vargas Koch ensured Germany monopolised the bronze medals after winning their respective contests against Brazilian Nadia Merli and Commonwealth Games champion Megan Fletcher of Great Britain.

Fellow Briton Neil Adams, in Astana attending the Grand Prix, has been impressed with the organisation of the tournament in the Kazakh capital, which will host the World Championships next year.

"The competition here has been very well run and the crowd have created a great atmosphere for the athletes and have encouraged judoka from all countries," said Adams, a former world champion and double Olympic Games silver medallist.

"There is a sense of excitement and anticipation among the fans and officials here regarding the World Championships next year and I am sure the best judoka in the world are looking forward to returning to Kazakhstan next year."

The Grand Prix in Astana concludes tomorrow with the women's under 78kg and over 78kg categories along with the under 90kg, under 100kg and over 100kg classes in the men's competition.

Watch the latest action on Judo TV here.

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