Cuba have won 38 Grand Slam medals since the foundation of the IJF World Tour in 2009, only four gold medals and those four were captured in the last 365 days. Kaliema Antomarchi became the second ever of her country to win a Grand Slam. Idalys Ortiz had already won three.
At the Grand Slam of Brasilia Kaliema Antomarchi defeated Welsh star Natalie Powell (GBR) after 56 seconds of golden with a ura-nage for ippon. Powell, who has won 19 Grand Prix medals, was countered in added time as Former world bronze medallist Antomarchi topped a Grand Slam medal podium for the first time and added to Cuba’s medal haul on day three. World number five Powell and world number 13 Antomarchi are always there or there abouts on the IJF stage and will no doubt renew acquaintances in the near future.
In the first semi-final four-time Grand Prix winner Chen Fei (CHN) was disqualified against Antomarchi after going out of the area to receive her third and final shido.
In the second semi-final Powell launched world number seven Anna Maria Wagner (GER) with 42 seconds left with a huge ura-nage for ippon and a place in the final.
The first bronze medal contest was won by Wagner who threw world number 11 Luise Malzahn (GER) for ippon with 62 seconds left on the clock. The Tokyo 2020 candidates travelled to the other side of the world together and ended up fighting each other in their last respective contest of the day. Wagner underlined that she has the edge over the more experienced Malzahn in the race for the Olympics with te-waza before the compatriots showed their respect for each other with a handshake and a hug.
The second bronze medal was won by two-time Olympic medallist and former world champion Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) after an insipid display from Chen. The Chinese judoka disappointed against the out-of-form Frenchwoman who bagged a return to an IJF medal podium for the first time since July 2018 after Chen was disqualified for picking up three penalties.