2 March 2024


Tashkent Grand Slam 2024


On the second day of the Tashkent Grand Slam 2024, it was almost a complete match for the Paris Grand Slam record with three of the four gold medallists returning to the top of the podium.

Clarisse AGBEGNENOU was fuelled by the home crowd in Paris, but today it was clear she was capable using strength of her own. In both the semi final and final, she was challenged by Team Japan; NABEKURA Nami and TATSUKAWA Momo, in quick succession. On both occasions she went to the ground and showed immediate transitioning skills with the application of juji gatame to bring her the gold medal.

CLARISSE AGBEGNENOU (FRA) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili

Matthias CASSE (BEL) had a day filled with struggle in the -81kg category, and of his five tough contests today, only one was won with a score, contest number three against Mykhailo SVIDIRAK (UKR). Almost on the buzzer, he attacked with a deep drop morote seoi nage and doubled up with a ko uchi gake as his opponent stepped off the initial attack. This of course isn’t the Casse we are used to seeing, and he could probably repeat the feelings from most yesterday as even the top athletes aren’t quite feeling themselves, yet are still managing to make it on to the podium. In his other four contests it was a case of shido accumulation or direct hansoku make by his rivals.

Matthias CASSE (BEL) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili

Team Germany have plenty to celebrate, following day one with a bronze from Pauline STARKE (-57kg), Miriam BUTKEREIT went one step further by entering the final of the -70kg in a Grand Slam for the second time this year, continuing her winning trend. After defeating the Olympic hope, Marie Eve GAHIE (FRA) in Paris, she was set to take on Margaux PINOT (FRA) today. She capitalised very well and countered Pinot with a ko soto gake, shocking her opponent.

Miriam BUTKEREIT (GER) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili

The final gold medallist in the group was Manuel LOMBARDO (ITA). After finally competing in the Paris Grand Slam, feeling fit and healthy, it ended up being a disappointing early exit! Today however, was a different story and his kata guruma was just one of the ways he made it in to the final against Daniel LAVRENTEV (AIN) after defeating the home favourite, Shakhram AKHADOV (UZB). It wasn’t quite the fairytale end as it was concluded by shidos, but a gold medal is a gold medal, and Lombardo will be delighted with this result.

Manuel LOMBARDO (ITA) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili


Author: Thea Cowen