30 March 2024


Antalya Grand Slam 2024


Europe could boast half of the gold medal haul on the second day of the Antalya Grand Slam, Adil OSMANOV (MDA/-73kg) and Michaela POLLERES (AUT/-70kg) devastated their opponents to claim the Antalya titles and the 1000 points that came with it.

This was the second title for Olympic silver medallist, Polleres, following a win in Tashkent in 2023. Today there was no stopping her, executing a huge ura nage against Madina TAIMAZOVA (AIN) in the semi final. Her final opponent was certainly a surprise, Tais PINA (POR) is a rising star, the 19 year old took 5th place in the Paris Grand Slam, but only last week took silver in a Junior European Cup event. Against Pina, Polleres scored first with tani otoshi and later over rolled Pina for the second waza ari.

Michaela POLLERES (AUT) © Emanuele Di Feliciantonio

For Osmanov, this was his first golden accomplishment at Grand Slam level, and was clearly on a roll following the same achievement in the Upper Austria Grand Prix earlier this month. His final rival was Rashid MAMMADALIYEV (AZE) in both events, and early on it seemed that the Azeri athlete would seek his revenge, putting a waza ari on the board with seoi otoshi, however Osmanov was looking for a clean record and a minute later dragged his opponent back up off the ground before winning with sumi gaeshi.

Though not gold medals, Katarina KRISTO (CRO) was very excited to celebrate her second Grand Slam medal of the year in the -63kg category, following the theme of team mate Ana Viktorija PULJIZ in the -52kg category. Given that her win was against team mate Iva OBERAN, it was an especially important win in the build up to both the European Championships and Olympic Games.

As already mentioned, Pina was a wonderful surprise, a great new talent for Portugal taking her first Grand Slam medal, but another from the team did the same in the -81kg category; Joao FERNANDO. We have seen a little more of Fernando on the IJF World Tour, stunning Paris crowds defeating the likes of Matthias CASSE (BEL) and demonstrating his abilities, but never quite securing the medal to mirror his efforts, but took the bronze against David KARAPETYAN (AIN) with a sharp o soto gari.

Joao FERNANDO (POR) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili

The -63kg and -81kg category golds went to KIM Jisu (KOR) and NAGASE Takanori (JPN), for the latter it was his first gold medal since his Olympic title win in Tokyo.


Author: Thea Cowen