The U70kg category gold medal in Tbilisi’s Grand Slam was for Greek fighter Elisavet Teltsidou who captured her second Grand Slam victory in her career. The top women qualified for the final four which was in line with expectations, but Teltsidou excelled.
Sanne Van Dijke (NED), Kelly Petersen Pollard (GBR), Miriam Butkereit (GER) and Elisavet Teltsidou (GRE) qualified for the semi-finals. There was nothing very surprising then, but it was a great pleasure to follow these athletes for whom the pressure did not seem to be an aggravating factor.
If the first semi-final was also in line with forecasts, since Van Dijke qualified for the final at the expense of Petersen Pollard, it was different in the second part of the draw, since it was Teltsidou who bought herself a ticket, leaving her opponent to land in the bronze medal match.
With a head to head of 2-0 in favour of the Dutch judoka, Van Dijke had at least a mental advantage over Teltsidou, but the latter has shown some really good judo over recent tournaments. It was the comeback for Van Dijke after an elbow injury that kept her away from the mat.
After one and a half minutes, both were penalised with a shido. The sentence was doubled for Teltsidou a little later as she was blocking her opponent. Both being big throwers, we were expecting a significant hip movement, but it didn't come. Van Dijke was also penalised a second time and a third time so it was gold for Teltsidou, for the second time in her career.
Germany secured a place on the podium, with its two athletes Giovanna Scoccimarro (GER) and Miriam Butkereit (GER) qualifying for the first contest for a bronze medal.