Chelsie Giles shocks Majlinda Kelmendi at Tel Aviv Grand Slam

The Olympic judo champ was coasting through the rounds in Israel, but had no answer for Giles’ semi-final masterclass.

Chelsie Giles is through to judo’s Tel Aviv Grand Slam final after eliminating Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi on Thursday (18 February).

Kosovo’s Kelmendi was the heavy favorite for the -58kg semi-final, having shown good form in her victories against Annika Wurfel and Alesya Kuznetsova to top Pool A earlier in the day.

But she had no answer for Giles’ Ippon during the Golden Score period, which secured the Great Britain judoka her biggest career win to date.

Team GB Tokyo 2020 hopeful Giles will take on local favorite Cohen Gili for the trophy later today.

Elsewhere, two-time world champion Daria Bilodid was made to work hard for her place in the -48kg final.

The Ukrainian started her day confidently, cruising past Chile’s Mary Dee Vargas Ley in a matter of seconds through Ippon, before beating Andrea Stojadinov of Serbia in the quarter-finals.

But in an epic semi-final against Catarina Costa of Portugal, Bioldid was only able to secure an Ippon deep into Golden Score time.

She will take on Shirine Boukli of France in the gold medal match.

With Tokyo 2020 qualification spots still available, ranking points earned at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam event could be crucial to many of the judokas in action.