Bilal Ciloglu produced the best display of his young career as he defeated world number eight Arthur Margelidon (CAN) to claim the U73kg title in Abu Dhabi and became the first Turkish man to win Grand Slam gold. The world number 17 from Turkey, who was in his first Grand Slam final, came up with the only score in the first men’s final of the day as he caught Margelidon with a ko-uchi-gake for a waza-ari score with 20 seconds left on the clock.
In the first semi-final Tashkent Grand Prix winner Khikmatillokh Turaev (UZB) slipped to defeat against Margelidon by a waza-ari score as the Canadian team guaranteed their first medal in Abu Dhabi.
In the second semi-final Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Igor Wandtke (GER) slipped to defeat against surprise package and Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Ciloglu by ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by Wandtke who beat Olympic silver medallist Rustam Orujov (AZE) who was guilty of underestimating his German adversary. A waza-ari score gave Wandtke his first Grand Slam medal since he took silver here in Abu Dhabi in 2015.
The second bronze medal went to Turaev who saw off the veteran and Olympic bronze medallist Dirk Van Tichelt (BEL) by a waza-ari score from a modified kata-guruma. The Uzbek dominated from start to finish and richly-deserved his first Grand Slam medal which will put him into a very healthy position in his quest for qualification and selection for Tokyo 2020.