Thursday, August 28, 2014

Women's -52kg

Pool A
There's no bigger favorite in this category than Majlinda Kelmendi. It took her less than two minutes to dispatch her first opponent, Vanessa Cortesia of Venezuela with her trademark uchimata for ippon.

Her next opponent, Bundmaa Munkhbaatar, proved harder to throw and Kelmendi had to rely on penalties to get her through to the next round. But it wasn't a close fight. The Mongolian had racked up three shidos by the end of the match.

Perhaps incensed by her inability to throw her opponent in the last match, Kelmendi gave it all she got to Cuba's Yanet Bermoy Acosta of Cuba, throwing her first with uchimata for waza-ari and then a counter for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. And with that, she topped her pool.

Pool B
Like many Japanese female players, Yuki Hashimoto is a groundwork specialist and true to form, she won her first match, against Tunisia's Hela Ayari with a pin that transformed into an armlock for ippon. Hashimoto also relied on newaza for her next win, pinning France's Priscilla Gneto for ippon. She didn't have a chance to work her newaza magic on Russia's Natalia Kuziutina though, as she got thrown with the biggest hip throw for an ippon that had the crowd roaring.

The Russian had earlier defeated Ukraine's Oleksandra Starkova with a pin for ippon and Germany's Romy Tarangul through penalties.

Pool C
Brazil's Erika Miranda defeated her first opponent Gulbadam Babamuratova of Turkmenistan with a sankaku hold down for ippon. She scraped through her second match, defeating Spain's Laura Gomez with a rolling hip throw that scored yuko. Her next match, against China's Yingnan Ma, was more decisive with an ippon win from a strangle. She was through to the semi-final.

Pool D
The top seed in this pool was Germany's Mareen Kraeh but it was Romania's Andreea Chitu who prevailed. Chitu had a harrowing first match though against Christianne Legentil from Mauritius who threw her with ouchi-gari for waza-ari (ippon was initially called but it was downgraded by the video judges). Chitu fought back and threw Legentil with a sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi for waza-ari. In the last minute, Legentil struck again with ouch-gari, this time scoring yuko. All seemed lost when Chitu pulled out a stunning uchimata that landed the Mauritian for ippon.

She made short work of her next opponent though, Odette Giuffrida of Italy, throwing her first with uchimata for waza-ari, then a massive kosoto counter for ippon. She was just as impressive in her next match, against top seed Kraeh, throwing her with a very low, rolling uchimata for waza-ari, and then another remarkably low uchimata for ippon.

Semifinal 1
Kelmendi had a tough time with Kuziutina and it was only in the last minute that she scored the decisive yuko point, through a counter, to win her the match. It was a close one.

Semifinal 2
Miranda scored early with an ouchi-gari that scored waza-ari and held onto her lead until the last minute when, at the edge of the mat, Chitu whips out another of her very low uchimata that scored ippon.


Bronze 1
The first bronze medal match was a scoreless one and in the end, Miranda defeated Bermoy Acosta by penalties.

Bronze 2
A yuko score from sumi-gaeshi was enough for Kuziutina to defeat China's Ma. The home crowd had something to cheer for.

Final

Chitu, who had shown remarkable form throughout the day, was simply outclassed by Kelmendi, who threw her with a hip throw for waza-ari and then an uchimata for yuko. It wasn't an ippon win but it was a solid victory nonetheless. Kelmendi had her second world title.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Women's -48kg

Pool A
Top favorite Urantsetseg Munkhbat of Mongolia had to rely on penalties to get past her first opponent Xie Shishi of China.  


    Kondo surprises with a harai-makikomi

Then she came unstuck when she went against Japan's newcomer Ami Kondo, who had earlier beaten Ebru Sahin of Turkey with a kouchi-makikomi takedown for yuko and a hold down for ippon. Kondo upset Munkhbat with a very low harai-makikomi for yuko, which was enough to win her the match. Munkhbat went after Kondo with numerous attempts at sankaku but to no avail. Time ran out on her.

    The plucky newcomer attacks with newaza

In her quarterfinal match, the plucky Kondo took the fight to Russia's groundwork specialist Alesya Kuznetsova and pinned the Russian for ippon.

Pool B
There was no upset in this pool as Cuba's Maria Celia Laborde handily threw Aizaada Zhanalieva of Kyrgyzstan with drop seoi-nage for waza-ari. But in the end she got ippon when Zhanalieva was given hansoku-make after she accumulated four shidos.

Laborde threw Kim Sol Mi of North Korea with a drop sode that is so commonly used by the Cuban female players. It scored only yuko but it was enough to win her the match. She had a much tougher fight against Hungary's Eva Csernoviczki, whom she narrowly beat through penalties. 

Pool C
France's Amandine Buchard create the second upset of the day by defeating top favorite, Sarah Menenzes of Brazil, by a small yuko from a drop sode attack. She went on to defeat Abigail Chindele of Zambia with two side takedowns, each scoring a waza-ari for a waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. She also defeated Maryna Cherniak of Ukraine with a side takedown that scored waza-ari, to emerge top of her pool.

Pool D
Another mini-upset happened when Argentina's 12th-ranked Paula Pareto upset Guinea-Bissau's 4th-ranked Taciana Lima with a drop sode for a waza-ari win. Pareto went on to defeat Poland's Ewa Konieczny by decision and Cuba's Mestre Alvarez Dayaris by a yuko score from drop seoi-nage, to top her pool.

Semifinal 1
Kondo score an upset, defeating Laborde with a harai-goshi for waza-ari and a hold down for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon.

Semifinal 2
Pareto wins with a morote-seoi-nage for yuko against France's Buchard, who could not get the score back.

Bronze 1
Buchard scrapes through and wins the first bronze medal with a very low uchimata against her Russian opponent, Kuznetsova, which scored yuko.

Bronze 2
The second bronze medal match was all-Cuban affair. Laborde prevailed over Dayaris with a seoi-nage throw for yuko and an immediate hold-down for ippon.

Final
Newcomer Kondo wins the gold through penalties (two shidos against Pareto). Kondo attacked regularly with harai-goshi and was relentless in groundwork. Although she failed to get any scores, her work rate made her opponent seemed relatively passive. It is a great result for the young Kondo who is only 19 years of age.


Men's -60kg

Pool A
Takato's tooth gets knocked out
In his first match, top contender Naohisa Takato defeated Bulgaria's Yanislav Gerchev with sutemi-waza, once for yuko and once for waza-ari. In that match, one of his front teeth actually got dislodged.

His next fight was against the awkward Armenian, Hovhannes Davtyan, who likes to dominate his opponents with his high left-hand grip. Takato had obviously prepared for this and was able to negate Davtyan's gripping strategy by locking down his left arm. He eventually beat the Armenian with a direct attack ouchi-gari for waza-ari and then another ouchi-gari, this time as a counter, for ippon.

His quarterfinal match was against Israel's Artiom Arshanki who he beat with a well-timed uchimata sukashi for ippon.

Pool B
The other three top seeds had a bye for the first round but Russia's Beslan Mudranov had a fight in his first round fight, against Venezuela's Javier Guedez, whom he countered for waza-ari but eventually won when Guedez accumulated four shidos and get hansoku-make.

He proceeded to defeat Pavel Petrikov of the Czech Republic with a double-sleeved drop sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for waza-ari followed by an armlock for ippon. Next, he defeated Brazil's Eric Takabakate with kouchi-makikomi for ippon.

South Korea's relative unknown Choi In Hyuk has done well getting all the way through the quarterfinal where he met Mudranov. He was no match for the Russian who threw him with a side takedown for waza-ari, immediately followed by a juji-gatame for ippon. It was a masterful display of transition into groundwork.  

Pool C
The commitment shown in this hip throw is remarkable.
Georgia's powerhouse, Amiran Papinashvili was on top form and he demolished all comers on his way to the semi-final. First he dispatched Mooren of the Netherlands with a dynamic sacrifice-style hiza-guruma for a waza-ari win. Next, he soundly defeated Great Britain's Ashley McKenzie with double-sleeve drop sode for waza-ari and then a sacrifice-style kosoto-gari for waza-ari-awasatte-ipoon.

He nearly came unstuck in his quarterfinal match against France's Sofiane Milous who scored in the opening seconds with a reverse seoi-nage that was awarded waza-ari. Then he attacked with a very low ouchi-gari for yuko. Undaunted, Papinashvili clawed his way back, first throwing Milous with a fully committed harai-goshi that had both men flying through the air. Remarkably, Milous conceded only a yuko. Then with a timely hand technique, the Georgian managed to flip his French opponent over for waza-ari. With a minute left, Papinashvili managed to pin Milous for an ippon.

Pool D
Mongolia's Ganbat Boldbaatar beat his first two opponents by ippon. First was Turkey's Ahmet Sahin Kaba whom he countered for waza-ari then held down for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. Next Taiwan's Ming Yen Tsai with a kosoto-gari counter. In his quarterfinal match, he had a harder time against Kazakhstan's Aibek Imashev whom he defeated by yuko from an ouchi-gari attack. But he was through to the semi-final.

Semifinal 1

Mudranov landed on his side so only yuko scored
The Match of the Day must have been Takato's fight against Mudranov, which saw both players going all out resulting in many overthrows and flights in the air.

Both had scored yuko each and the only thing that separated them in the end was a shido that Takato had received for straying outside the contest area. That was a bit controversial because although he did stray out, it was in the midst of a grip fight.



Here, Mudranov's back never hits the mat, no score

Takato was clearly upset after the match because of a throw that was downgraded from waza-ari to yuko and another one that was cancelled after it was initially given a yuko.

In both cases, the referee's calls were over-ridden by the video judges after they reviewed the throws.

Video analysis shows that both were the right calls. The first one, which was an overthrow, saw Mudranov landing on his side, which merited a yuko not a waza-ari. The second one had Mudranov landing on his backside, which doesn't merit a score.



  Here are highlights of that classic battle:


Semifinal 2
In contrast, the other semi-final match was rather boring. Boldbataar won the fight through penalties. He had two shidos to Papinashvili's three.

Bronze 1
In the first bronze medal fight between Israel's Arshanki and Papinashvili, the Israeli scored first with a seoi-nage for yuko. He seemed to be on the way towards winning the match when in the final moments, a desperate seoi-nage attack allowed his opponent, Papinashvili to counter him for waza-ari.

Bronze 2
Takato got the shock of his life when he got countered by Kazakhstan's Imashev for waza-ari. During the subsequent groundwork attack by Imashev, Takato's mouth started to bleed due to the injury from his broken tooth from his first fight. His treatment caused a long delay in the match. But when he came back, he did so with a fury, dumping his opponent with an ura-nage for ippon.

Final
Mudranov gets a shido for stepping out. Then both men get shido for not attacking. It was clearly a tactical match where both players were wary of each other. The closest thing to a scoring throw was when Boldbataar executed a drop sode that sent Mudranov flying but he ended up landing on his front. Boldbaatar also nearly countered Mudranov's side takedown attempt but no score. Boldbataar then lets the time run out wins the gold by penalties, one shido against Mudranov's two. He is the second Mongolian male to win a world title (after Khashbataar).