Former World Championships bronze medallist Yakiv Khammo (UKR) ruled the men’s heavyweight category as he defeated world number 39 Vladut Simionescu (ROU) in the last contest of The Hague Grand Prix 2018. Khammo won his third Grand Prix title and his first IJF gold since the Baku Grand Slam in 2016.
With Khammo's performance the Ukraine added the heaviest title of the competition to the lightest title of the competition with the +100kg and +48kg gold medals set to find a new home in Ukraine. Khammo floored his Romanian rival with a forceful o-uchi-gari for the maximum score.
In the first semi-final world number 173 Vincenzo D Arco (ITA) fell to a buzzer-beating uchi-mata from Simionescu which earned a waza-ari score to send the Romanian into the final. In the second semi-final Khammo threw Glasgow European Open winner Jur Spijkers (NED) with an o-soto-gari for ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by four-time Grand Slam medallist Maciej Sarnacki (POL) who thwarted Spijkers with a majestic sasae-tsurikomi-ashi for ippon. Sarnacki, who took silver last year, scored after 56 seconds to block the hosts’ first medal opportunity in the +100kg category.
The second bronze medal went to 2017 winner Roy Meyer (NED) who bombarded D Arco with attacks which led to the Italian picking up three penalties. It was one-way traffic from Meyer, who finished seventh at the Rio 2016 Olympics, as the Italian was off the pace and was penalised for passivity for the final time before clutching his injured right hand.