The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam is the last event of a sensational season and it will have some great participants. In total there are 225 clients, 137 men and 88 women. One of them is World Champion Lasha Shavdatuashvili. He became world champion in Budapest this year in Budapest and now won all the titles, Olympic Champion in 2012, Olympic medallist three times and World Champion as well as European Champion in 2013. Abu Dhabi is for him a finishing touch to an extraordinary campaign in which he has also won Olympic silver. He now has all three colours.
Matthias Casse in white judogi
Matthias Casse has been stumbling around since September. The Belgian was proclaimed world champion in Budapest and won the Olympic bronze in Tokyo. Since then he has been walking without pain or glory and has as a pending issue to beat the Japanese, who will not be in Abu Dhabi.
French star Amandine Buchard is Olympic runner-up at -52kg and champion in the team competition. Abu Dhabi will be her first tournament since Tokyo; she is part of the clientele that wants to say goodbye to an excellent 2021 with a great party.
The same can be said of Raz Hershko, +78kg and Primo Gefen, -52kg, who rode the train of success a bit late but finished the year among the most regular on the circuit. A fight between Buchard and Primo would be a very popular ending for regulars at this establishment.
Shady El Nahas is already preparing for 2022. Abu Dhabi is for him the springboard that should catapult him to the top of the –100kg category. Finish well to start taking advantage of the favourites better, those who have shone in 2021 have not appeared in the IJF World Tour for months.