29 March 2024


Antalya Grand Slam 2024


There were high hopes for Muhammed DEMIREL (TUR) in the -66kg category, defeating both AN Baul (KOR) and David GARCIA TORNE (ESP) on his way to the semi final against Nurali EMOMALI (TJK), however it was Emomali that was quick to put a score on the board, an o uchi gari scoring waza ari in ten seconds. Again, another attack from Emomali in just over a minute gave him the win, to put him in the final against ABE Hifumi (JPN) who won against France’s Olympic hope, Walide KHYAR.

ABE Hifumi (JPN) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili

Demirel will compete for the bronze medal, as will Salih YILDIZ in the -60kg category. The finalists however will be Ayub BLIEV (AIN) who defeated Netherlands up and coming youngster, Emiel JARING, and current European Champion Luka MKHEIDZE (FRA) who bested Tornike TSJAKADOEA (NED) in the other half of the draw, though his was a much closer contest based on shidos.

Luka MKHEIDZE (FRA) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili

Türkiye do have golden potential from their -48kg athlete, Sila ERSIN. Already Ersin has been in a Grand Slam final, taking silver in Abu Dhabi last year as well as a junior World silver. The year started well for her with a bittersweet fifth place finish in Portugal, but today she was different person, defeating the world ranked number one, Assunta SCUTTO (ITA) and GANBAATAR Narantsetseg (MGL) for a chance at glory. Ganbaatar is no stranger to Grand Slam success either, winning this event in 2022, but she was no match for the determination of Ersin today, thrown with ura nage. Meeting Ersin is the current World Champion, TSUNODA Natsumi (JPN), who struggled in her semi final against Abiba ABUZHAKYNOVA (KAZ), with the pair picking up two shidos each, however her champion status was redeemed with a swift kata guruma to take her place in the final.

Sila ERSIN (TUR) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili

Another Abe will grace us in the final block, Uta, in the -52kg category. It was not a difficult day for the current Olympic Champion who simply moved systematically through her half of the draw, securing her place in the final against Chelsie GILES (GBR) by defeating Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) with her ne waza skills. Giles on the other hand, almost went out to Jessica PEREIRA (BRA) in the early rounds, but after the referee commission retraced the final seconds to see that Giles was no longer in the osaekomi. This final contest will be the Olympic quarter final and 2022 World Championships final rematch, and a chance for Giles to change the record against the current Olympic Champion.

As for the -57kg category, we see Christa DEGUCHI (CAN) once again in a final, this time with Jessica LIMA (BRA). Deguchi faced off Faiza MOKDAR (FRA) in a rematch of the Paris Grand Slam final, but on this occasion, there was no space for Mokdar, thrown in the first exchange with tomoe nage, and then again a minute later with o uchi gari. This win isn’t only a Grand Slam win, or of monetary value for Deguchi, but creating a wider gap between herself and team mate, Jessica KLIMKAIT, who is WRL #2, is of greatest importance as we approach the Olympic Games selection for Paris 2024.

Christa DEGUCHI (CAN) © Tamara Kulumbegashvili


Author: Thea Cowen