Kirill Denisov (RUS) had a very tough pool with top players like former World Champion Tiago Camilo (BRA) and Guillaume Elmont (NED) as well as last year's World Silver Medalist Krisztian Toth in way. But he was in good form and would not be denied his place at top of the pool. His match against Camilo featured a lot of heavy grip fighting and in the end, he won on penalties. He had an easier time against Rafael Romo (CHI), taking him down with a standing armlock for yuko, then pinning him for ippon. His match against Elmont was as expected, a heavily tactical one but Denisov's gripping was superior and Elmont got hansoku-make after accruing four shidos. This brought Denisov up against Toth. Again, it was a tactical match but Denisov is as tactical a player as you can get and in the end, he won through penalties.
Powerhouse Beka Gviniashvili (GEO) knocked down Quedjau Nhabali (UKR) for waza-ari and then proceeded to hold him down for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. In his second match, he threw PatryckCiechomski (POL) with a very low hip technique for waza-ari, then with another low hip technique for yuko before pinning him for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. In his next match, he threw Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) with a side takedown for yuko and then pinned him for ippon. His toughest battle in the pool would undoubtedly be against Mashu Baker (JPN) who he had difficulty throwing. However, a poorly executed sumi-gaeshi by Baker allowed Gvniashvili to pin him for a yuko before the Japanese player escaped. That was enough for the Georgian to win the match, though.
At the start of the day, nobody would have expected Komronshokh Ustopiriyon (TJK) to top the pool but he was the man on form in his pool. He beat his first opponent, Karolis Bauza (LTU) with drop seoi-nage for yuko. Then, he beat Isao Cardenas (MEX) with a fantastic uchimata for ippon. After that he unexpectedly took out top favorite, Noel Van T End (NED) with a perfectly timed kouchi-gari against a tomoe-nage attempt, for ippon. He wasn't able to throw his next opponent, Aaron Hilderbrand (GER) and in the end, had to rely on penalties to win. But it didn't matter. He was through to the semi-finals.
In this pool, all eyes were on Varlam Liparteliani (GEO) but it was Gwak Dong Han (KOR) who came through in the end. He threw his first opponent Robert Florentino (DOM) twice with drop morote-seoi-nage, once for yuko and then for ippon. Next, he threw Vadym Synyavsky (UKR) for drop sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for waza-ari. He didn't have to do another throw to get the ippon though because Synyavsky accrued up to four penalties resulting in a hansoku-make. Against Ruiz Zajac (ESP) he got one yuko from reverse seoi-nage and another -- in a rare departure from a drop technique -- through osoto-gari. His toughest battle, of course, was against Liparteliani. He only managed to score a yuko with an ouchi-gari counter against the Georgian's kosoto-gari attempt but that was enough to win him the match.
The battle between the tactician Denisov beats and the powerhouse thrower Gvniashvili promised to be an exciting one. Denisove surprised Gvniashvili by showing that there was much of a thrower in him, taking the Georgian over for waza-ari twice, once with tai-otoshi and once with uchimata.
Ustopiriyon had done remarkably well getting up to the this point but Gwak's throwing power proved too much for him and he conceded a yuko from a very low, rolling morote-seoi-nage.
Baker got his bronze by default as Ustopiriyon was injured and had to forfeit the match. The Japanese didn't seem to happy about his bronze though.
The second bronze medal match was an all-Georgian affair, pitting Liparteliani against Gvniashvili. The more experienced Liparteliani threw the young upstart twice, once with a hip technique for waza-ari and then with soto-makikomi for ippon. Like Baker, Liparteliani didn't seem satisfied with his bronze medal win. When you're aiming for gold, anything less will do.
GOLDThe South Koreans are as tactical as they are capable in throwing and after Gwak dropped under Denisov to throw him for waza-ari with morote-seoi-nage, he fought tactically until time ran out. It was gold for South Korea.