Russian 2016 Olympic champion U60kg Beslan Mudranov came in action at the Grand Slam in Brasilia on Sunday. Two-time European silver medallist Matteo Medves (ITA) was his opponent in the first round. Mudranov (RUS) who has won five Grand Prix events, four Grand Slam medals and a world silver survived this first round against 25-year old Medves.
Mudranov finished seventh in the end after he lost to that other super talent from Italy, Manuel Lombardo. Both are in the same weight category and only one can go to the Olympics. Mudranov reached the final and again made a decisive gap to Medves.
Mudranov, 33, who won his Olympic crown at -60kg here in Brazil, is in the twilight years of his career and moved up to the unfamiliar territory of -66kg last year.
The highly-popular Russian is still the rightful owner of the gold Olympic backpatch but has failed to do it justice in recent outings and will need to roll back to years to make an impression in Brazil and to extend his career and see out this Olympic cycle. A seventh place was not enough to impress today in Brasilia.