France win third gold medal to finish top of Tel Aviv Grand Slam rankings

Romane Dicko continued her country's fine form in the judo tournament, with victory in the +78kg division as Peter Paltchik falls short for hosts Israel on the final day.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by Gwendoline Le Goff / Panoramic

French judoka Romane Dicko continued her nation's fine form at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam on Saturday (20th February) with victory in the women's +78kg division.

In the penultimate gold medal bout of the tournament, the two-time European champion beat Portugal's Rochele Nunes to land France a third title, and see them finish top of the medal haul in Israel.

With three women's gold medals at the 2019 judo world championships, France are perhaps Japan's biggest threat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021.

Elsewhere on the final day of an event that featured several major shocks, Anna Maria Wagner won Germany's first division of the tournament against Fanny Estelle Posvite of France in the -78kg women's final.

The tournament finished with a bang when Gela Zaalishvili of Georgia beat Russia's Tamerlan Bashaev by Ippon in the men's +100kg final.

Fellow Georgian Lasha Bekauri bested Spanish 2018 world champion Nikoloz Sherazadishvili in the -90kg men's final. Georgia finished second overall in Tel Aviv.

And there were high hopes for home hero Peter Paltchik in the -100 kg men's final. But the reigning European champion was undone by a Golden Score waza-ari from Dutch judoka Michael Korrel.