Friday, November 21, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2014 - DAY 3

(Via IJF)

-78kg | +78kg | -90kg | -100kg | +100kg 

The Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2014, produced a stirring conclusion for this first part of an IJF World Judo Tour triple-header that will conclude in Tokyo in December. Today the heavyweights went toe-to-toe at the Qingdao Guoxin Stadium. The public saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals of the event in China. Next stop will be next week in Jeju, Korea, for the last Grand Prix of 2014.


One more event with the Tokyo Grand Slam, and it will be time for the delegations to go back home for a well deserved end-of-the-year break. The first World Judo Tour event of 2015 will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from February 20-22 as Paris Grand Slam, which usually opens the season will take place in October 2015. Since May 2014, all IJF World Judo Tour events are already counting for the Olympic Qualification, but starting with the Zagreb Grand Prix, in May 2015, all points will count for 100%. Nevertheless, the points that were collected here in Qingdao over the past three days might already be decisive for some athletes to go to Rio.

Mr. Daniel Lascau, the IJF Sport Director, said: “It was a very interesting event. We had several Olympic and world medallists present in Qingdao to already secure some precious points for the Olympic Qualification. But even in the category where the very top athletes were not in China, we can observe that the World Ranking list is very important and accurate, because the top seeded athletes of this event are often present in the final block. I am also pleased with the fact that many fights were dicided at the last seconds. It means that even having a waza-ari or a strong advantage is not a guarantee to win the bout. Last but not least, the ground work was very good. We have observed many situations where the victory changed hands on ne-waza and we have seen uke taking advantage of a throw to take over and win. This is judo and it shows that our sport has many faces.”

From an organizational point of view, the IJF was very satisfied with the work done by the Chinese Judo Association. Mrs. Larisa Kiss, Director of the IJF Presidential office said: “The Chinese Judo Association did a really good job and they improved a lot compared to the previous editions of the event. There are still some sectors that need to be improved but we had and we have a good collaboration with our Chinese counterparts and we can be really confident for the future of the Qingdao Grand Prix.”



-78kg: 2013 World Champion, SOL, Adds one Title for North Korea in Qingdao

The top seeded athlete of the category, SOL Kyong (PRK), World Champion in 2013 in Rio and winner of the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix, entered the final with no surprise, confirming the general good condition of the North Korean team here in China. She was joined by the third top seeded athlete, Guusje STEENHUIS (NED), bronze medallist at the 2014 Baku Grand Slam Baku. Immediately on attack mode, SOL Kyong pushed STEENHUIS to be penalized with a shido for passivity. During more than two minutes, SOL showed all the control that she had over her opponent, and when the first opportunity appeared on the floor, she didn’t give a chance to the Dutch athlete, applying a shime-waza technique for an immediate ippon.

In the first bronze medal fight, ZHU Feng (CHN), who had no special records at the international level so far faced the bronze medallist of the last Asian Games, Incheon 2014, UMEKI Mami (JPN). More than three minutes were necessary to see the first positive score with a left handed arai-goshi executed by UMEKI for yuko, which offered here the bronze medal.

The second bronze medal fight opposed Anastasiya DMITRIEVA (RUS), winner of last year’s Grand Prix in Almaty, Kazakhstan and medallist last year in Qingdao, and the silver medallist of the last Olympic Games in London, Kerstin THIELE (GER), who in the British capital was only defeated by Kayla Harrison (USA) in the final. A first shido was given to DMITRIEVA for false gripping after only a few seconds and a little while later again but this time for not respecting the limits of the competition area. Thirty more seconds were necessary for the German to immobilize her opponent after a nice piece of work on sankaku-jime, combined with an immobilization for ippon.

SOL, Kyong (PRK) vs. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)

Bronze Medal Fights
ZHU, Feng (CHN) vs. UMEKI, Mami (JPN)
DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS) vs. THIELE, Kerstin (GER)

Final Results
1. SOL, Kyong (PRK)
2. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
3. THIELE, Kerstin (GER)
3. UMEKI, Mami (JPN)
5. DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS)
5. ZHU, Feng (CHN)
7. HE, Huizhen (CHN)
7. ZHANG, Jie (CHN)

+78kg: In Front of her Home Crowd YU Wins Gold for China

It is not a surprise to see that China was massively dominating the women’s heavyweight category, with two Chinese judoka present in the final, YU Song (CHN) and WANG Rui (CHN). If WANG had no specific records so far on the international scene, YU Song is a well-known athlete as she won the World Masters last year in Tyumen and the last two IJF World Judo Tour events she participated in (Grand Slam Abu Dhabi, Grand Prix, Zagreb). She seems to be the designated successor of TONG Wen, Olympic and World Champion, who is now officiating as a coach and is deeply involved in educational programs in her hometown. In front of her home crowd, YU Song perfectly controlled the whole final, even if she was not able to score, she made WANG being penalized with a shido, which was enough to win the gold medal.

The first bronze medal again opposed two Chinese competitors, QIN Qian (CHN), gold medallist at the World Masters Almaty 2012 and MA Sisi (CHN), winner of the last Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. After two minutes and 13 seconds, both athletes were penalized with a shido for passivity. The second shido that was given to MA Sissi also for passivity offered the medal to QIN Qian.

In the second bronze medal fight, Ksenia CHIBISOVA (RUS), bronze medallist a few weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, was opposed to INAMORI Nami (JPN). Being much taller that her opponent, CHIBISOVA quickly seemed to take the advantage, but incapable of scoring she slightly let INAMORI install her system of attack. But the Japanese fighter didn’t seem to be more successful in applying techniques that could actually score, until during a ground technique phase, the Japanese applied a very simple arm-roll-over turn-over and caught CHIBISOVA in an immobilisation for ippon.

YU, Song (CHN) vs. WANG, Rui (CHN)

Bronze Medal Fights
QIN, Qian (CHN) vs. MA, Sisi (CHN)

Final Results
1. YU, Song (CHN)
2. WANG, Rui (CHN)
3. INAMORI, Nami (JPN)
3. QIN, Qian (CHN)
5. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)
5. MA, Sisi (CHN)


-90kg: Silver in Abu Dhabi, Gold in Qingdao for Noel VAN T END (NED)

In the men’s -90kg weight category, the top seeded athlete, Noel VAN T END (NED) could enter the final, with the good hope to this time obtain the gold medal after already three silver medals this year on the World Judo Tour (Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014, Grand Slam Baku, Grand Prix Dusseldorf 2014). His opponent was Alon SASSON (ISR), bronze medallist at the Rijeka Grand Prix in 2013. After 24 seconds, SASSON was penalized with a first shido for a false defense and after one minute and 40 seconds he was penalized again but for passivity. Clearly more confident than his opponent, Noel VAN T END scored first with a superb left-handed ippon-seoi-nage for waza-ari, before the Israeli received his third penalty. Nothing seemed to work for him and with one minute left on the scoreboard, he had to take risks but no, today, was the day of Noel VAN T END, who after his lost final in Abu Dhabi, this time can step on the top of the podium.

The first bronze medal fight opposed GANTULGA Altanbagana (MGL), who so far only got a bronze medal in the continental circuit (Asian Open Taipei City 2014) and Ciril GROSSKLAUS (SUI), who stepped on the podium in Abu Dhabi on the occasion of the first Judo Grand Slam in the United Arab Emirates. After a little bit less than 4 minutes, the first shido was given to GROSSKLAUS for blocking his opponent, a shido that was enough to secure the victory of GANTULGA.

The second bronze medal fight saw the two Swedish athletes, Marcus NYMAN (SWE), who is back on the international circuit, his last medals coming from 2011, when he was first at the Judo Grand Prix in Düsseldorf and Joakim DVARBY (SWE), whose best results so far are two fifth places at the 2013 World and European Championships, competing for a place on the podium. The fight had the same layout as the first bronze medal fight as both athletes were not capable of scoring despite a waza-ari that was initially given to NYMAN but cancelled by the jury and the video refereeing, and the victory went to DVARBY, NYMAN having a shido against him.

VAN T END, Noel (NED) vs. SASSON, Alon (ISR)

Bronze Medal Fights
GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL) vs. GROSSKLAUS, Ciril (SUI)
NYMAN, Marcus (SWE) vs. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)

Final Results
1. VAN T END, Noel (NED)
2. SASSON, Alon (ISR)
3. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)
3. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)
5. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)
7. MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)
7. SULEMIN, Grigorii (RUS)

-100kg: PACEK Waits for the Golden Score to Grab the Gold Medal

Top seeded athlete, world number five and bronze medallist in Chelyabinsk last summer at the World Championships, Karl-Richard FREY (GER), was expecting to face his teammate and Olympic bronze medallist, Dimitri PETERS (GER) in the final. But Peters was defeated in the semi-final by Martin PACEK (SWE), who didn’t give any chance to the German to join FREY for a revenge of the last Abu Dhabi Grand Slam final, won by PETERS. Martin PACEK was penalized after one minute for passivity and again after three minutes for kicking the leg of his opponent. But FREY’s advantage was reduced when he was also penalized a first time, and cancelled when a few seconds before the end of the regular time, he received a second shido. This was time for the golden score where everything is possible and despite the general impression of FREY leading the fight, Martin PACEK finally found the right opportunity to engage his o-uchi-gari for waza-ari.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the silver medallist of last Judo Grand Prix, Havana 2014, but also medallist in Ulaanbaatar, Flavio ORLIK (SUI), and the winner of the last Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, Dimitri PETERS (GER), who showed to be in a different condition than a few weeks ago in the UAE. After less than thirty seconds, PETER put all his energy into an o-uchi-gari, but he didn’t control his opponent enough and was counterattacked with a tremendous ura-nage for waza-ari. Immediately after the German scored a yuko, followed by a second one, before concluding on the floor with an immobilisation for ippon.

In the second bronze medal contest, the bronze medallist of the European Open in Oberwart this year, TAKAHASHI Ryosuke (JPN) was facing Luca ARDIZIO from Italy. The first shido was given to ARDIZIO for not respecting the limits of the fighting area. A few more seconds, and TAKAHASHI secured his gripping on the left collar of the Italian, meaning that he immediately had to attack to avoid the shido, which he did with a left handed arai-goshi for a clear ippon, giving no chance to ARDIZIO.

FREY, Karl-Richard (GER) vs. PACEK, Martin (SWE)

Bronze Medal Fights
ORLIK, Flavio (SUI) vs. PETERS, Dimitri (GER)
TAKAHASHI, Ryosuke (JPN) vs. ARDIZIO, Luca (ITA)

Final Results
1. PACEK, Martin (SWE)
2. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)
3. PETERS, Dimitri (GER)
3. TAKAHASHI, Ryosuke (JPN)
5. ARDIZIO, Luca (ITA)
5. ORLIK, Flavio (SUI)
7. SAIDOV, Saidzhalol (TJK)
7. SI, Rijigawa (CHN)

+100kg: Magnificent Ippon for HARASAWA to Conclude the Qingdao Grand Prix

In the last category of the day and of the tournament, Roy MEYER was expected to be in the final, but he was defeated in the semi-final by the Mongolia’s Junior world champion ULZIIBAYAR Duurenbayar, silver medallist of the last Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. The second athlete qualified for the final was the Japanese, HARASAWA Hisayoshi, who won the bronze medal in Tyumen this year and the bronze as well last year in his home country on the occasion of the judo Grand Slam in Tokyo. The final was one of the shortest of the event as HARASAWA launched a terrific uchi-mata for ippon after 15 seconds, concluding in the best way possible three days of competition in Qingdao, China.

The second Japanese judoka present in the final block was NISHIGATA Kenta (JPN), who is a newcomer on the international scene, as he was not classified in the World Ranking List so far. For a place on the podium, he was opposed to the German, Robert ZIMMERMANN, but being injured, ZIMMERMANN couldn’t compete and NISHIGATA won his first medal at that level of competition.

The second and last bronze medal fight opposed the second German athlete of the category, Andre BREITBARTH, bronze medallist in Astana in October 2014 and Roy MEYER (NED), winner of the Zagreb Grand Prix this year, and bronze medallist in Abu Dhabi a few weeks ago. In 57 seconds, Roy MEYER sent BREITBARTH to the tatami with a flat landing on his back with a powerful tani-otoshi for ippon.

ULZIIBAYAR, Duurenbayar (MGL) vs. HARASAWA, Hisayoshi (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights

Final Results
1. HARASAWA, Hisayoshi (JPN)
2. ULZIIBAYAR, Duurenbayar (MGL)
3. MEYER, Roy (NED)
7. BATTULGA, Temuulen (MGL)
7. HARMEGNIES, Benjamin (BEL)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2014 - DAY 2

(Via IJF)

-63kg | -70kg | -73kg | -81kg

The Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2014, continued with the focus on the middleweights on Thursday at the Qingdao Guoxin Stadium on day two. The public and officials saw four weight categories take to the tatami in search of Grand Prix honours as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s -73kg and -81kg categories were contested.

The Qingdao Grand Prix is the first part of an IJF World Judo Tour triple-header as the 2014 season comes to a riveting conclusion Asia. Many athletes will travel on from China to South Korea next week for the second edition of the Jeju Grand Prix and then, a week later, head to Japan for the season-ending Tokyo Grand Slam, the fifth Grand Slam of the year. Fans around the world can continue to watch all the action on as 386 judoka from 52 countries will compete in Jeju and 585 judoka from 74 countries will see action in Tokyo.

Mr.  Daniel Lascau, the IJF Sport Director, was really pleased with the level of judo that was shown today in China: "We were really impressed by the level of the athletes today and I am particularly pleased with the fact that having a waza-ari is not any more a guaranty to win. We have seen several situations that were totally reversed because the competitors fight until the very last second. This is the real spirit of judo: to score ippon. For two days, we have also been seeing good ne-waza and this is really positive." 



-63kg: Top Seeded and World Number Two, GERBI, Remains on Top

With no surprise, the final of the women’s -63kg category opposed two of today’s favorites, the 2013 World Champion and 2014 silver medallist at the Chelyabinsk World Championships, Yarden GERBI (ISR) and Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT), second at the Tyumen Grand Slam this year. Earlier during the preliminary rounds, TSUGANE Megumi (JPN) eliminated the second top seeded athlete, Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED), who finally could enter the repechage and compete for bronze. But the way to the final was not so easy for GERBI, who during the first round was quickly led with a waza-ari by Pari SURAKATOVA (RUS), who surprised the Israeli star with a brilliant action-reaction technique. Taking this as a serious warning, GERBI re-focused and went through the next fights with more ease.

In the final, following her well-known strategy, GERBI was the first one to attack with one of her ample hip movements for yuko. Then for the rest of the fight, only two penalties were distributed and despite some dangerous attacks or counter attacks coming from both sides, Gerbi maintained the score and won one more event.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the winner of 2014 Ulaanbaater Grand Prix and silver medallist at the Asian Games, YANG Junxia (CHN) and TSUGANE Megumi (JPN), who was not among the favorites on the second day. After the four minutes of a tough and fierce fight, where neither athlete was able to put their opponent in danger, the victory escaped YANG Junxia’s hands as she was penalized with a shido. TSUGANE Megumi won the bronze.

In the second bronze medal fight, Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED), second in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago, faced the second Austrian fighter of the category, Hilde DREXLER (AUT), who couldn’t find any solution to overcome the power and technique of Yarden GERBI in the semi-final. More than two minutes were necessary to see the scoreboard display the first shido given to Hilde DREXLER for passivity, Anicka VAN EMDEN being more precise and powerful in her attempts to score. Nevertheless, the scoreboard remained free of any positive score and the victory finally went to the Dutch athlete.


Bronze Medal Fights
YANG, Junxia (CHN) vs. TSUGANE, Megumi (JPN)
VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED) vs. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)

Final Results
1. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)
3. TSUGANE, Megumi (JPN)
3. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)
5. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)
5. YANG, Junxia (CHN)

-70kg: The Victory Finally Choses Iljana MARZOK (GER)

The already two-time medallist this year on the occasion of a World Judo Tour event, Assmaa NIANG, from Morocco, didn’t encounter any difficulties to enter the final of the category. On her way to the podium, she successively defeated, BATBAATAR Khulan (MGL), WEI Chen (CHN) and ZHOU, Chao (CHN), all by ippon in less than two minutes. The second athlete qualified for the final was Iljana MARZOK (GER), who had more difficult fights, especially against Bernadette GRAFF (AUT) in the semi-final. The final started with a slow rhythm, when it suddenly burst into life, Niang, launching a slow motion yoko-sumigeashi movement for waza-ari, followed by an immobilization. The fight looked over, when Iljana MARZOK returned the situation to immobilize NIANG, who again escaped before being caught but this time for ippon and gold medal for the German.

The first bronze medal fight saw the two Chinese representatives, YAN Zi (CHN) and ZHOU Chao (CHN), facing off for only one spot on the podium for the host country. Neither of the two competitors were among the favorites in the morning, but ZHOU Chao, easily defeated one of the seeded athletes, Antonia MOREIRA from Angola, in the first round. It is always difficult to determine the winner when the two fighters are from the same country as they know each other very well and are generally used to training together. But this time it was really easy to designate the winner as ZHOU Chao launched a quick uki-otoshi for a crystal clear ippon.

The second bronze medal opposed two European representatives, Maria BERNABEU (ESP) and Bernadette GRAF (AUT), who was the top seeded athlete of the category, after her good results this season (silver in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago and winner of the Astana Grand Prix in October). The first half of the fight looked to favour the Spanish judoka, but both competitors always attacked in the same direction and the scoreboard remained blank, until Bernadette GRAF suddenly decided to change her direction of attack to score a brilliant ippon with tane-otoshi.

MARZOK, Iljana (GER) vs. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)

Bronze Medal Fights
YAN, Zi (CHN) vs. ZHOU, Chao (CHN)
BERNABEU, Maria (ESP) vs. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)

Final Results
1. MARZOK, Iljana (GER)
2. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)
3. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)
3. ZHOU, Chao (CHN)
5. BERNABEU, Maria (ESP)
5. YAN, Zi (CHN)
7. ROBRA, Juliane (SUI)
7. WEI, Chen (CHN)


-73kg: North Korean World Silver Medallist on the Top

After his brilliant second place at the World Championships, this summer in Chelyabinsk, Russia, HONG Kuk Hyon (PRK) confirms that he is one of the strong men of the moment in the -73kg category. His victory in the semi-final against Miklos UNGVARI (HUN), Olympic silver medallist in London, is particularly significant. In the final he was opposed to Dirk VAN TICHELT (BEL), bronze medallist at the world championships last year in Rio. After a few seconds, VAN TICHELT was the first to score with a ura-nage for yuko followed immediately by a nice ground work session by the Belgian. Immobilized, HONG Kuk Hyon could escape before 10 seconds. He then scored a surprising left sided drop-ippon-nage for waza-ari. After three minutes and a half, and a confusing situation, where both athletes were attacking, counterattacking and combining several attacks, YAN finally scored again a yuko. But looking at the scoreboard, the danger seemed to come from the penalties, the North Korean having three shidos for false attack. One more and he would be disqualified. At the end, he could save his result and top the medal podium.

The first bronze medal fight opposed SUN Shuai (CHN), with no special reference, and BUUVEIBAATAR Khishigbayar (MGL), second here in Qingdao two years ago. In front of his public, almost two minutes and a half were necessary to see the first real action, with an aerial kubi-nage from the Chinese, which literally sent BUUVEIBAATAR into the air for ippon.

In the second bronze medal fight, Kiyoshi UEMATSU (ESP), silver in Jeju last year and UNGVARI Miklos (HUN), faced off for a place on the podium. After a missed attempt to score with an action reaction movement, Ungvari immediately followed on the floor with a simple but very effective immobilization that gave no chance to UEMATSU to escape. Ippon and bronze medal for Ungvari.

HONG, Kuk Hyon (PRK) vs. VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL)

Bronze Medal Fights
SUN, Shuai (CHN) vs. BUUVEIBAATAR, Khishigbayar (MGL)
UEMATSU, Kiyoshi (ESP) vs. UNGVARI, Miklos (HUN)

Final Results
1. HONG, Kuk Hyon (PRK)
3. SUN, Shuai (CHN)
3. UNGVARI, Miklos (HUN)
5. BUUVEIBAATAR, Khishigbayar (MGL)
5. UEMATSU, Kiyoshi (ESP)
7. IARTCEV, Denis (RUS)
7. PARLATI, Enrico (ITA)

-81kg: MAGOMEDOV Concludes his Day in Gold

The last final of the day opposed the top seeded athlete and winner of the Zagreb Grand Prix this year, Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) and Antonio CIANO (ITA), silver medallist two years ago at the Paris Grand Slam. After a sumi-gaeshi attempt which lacked control by CIANO, MAGOMEDOV could catch him on the floor with an unstable immobilization for waza-ari. CIANO’s hope to come back raised again when he could score a yuko with a combination ko-soto-tane-otoshi, but only 40 seconds were remaining and this was not enough to take the victory from MAGOMEDOV’s hands.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Robin PACEK (SWE), bronze medallist on the occasion of a Grand Prix, but this was in 2013 in Jeju, and YASUDA Tomofumi (JPN), who defeated one of the favorites of today’s tournament, Alain SCHMITT, from France, in the first round. After a short moment where both athletes were looking for the right gripping, Robin PACEK launched a lightning quick o-soto-gari that turned into a arai-makikomi for ippon, YASUDA Tomofumi landing on the bridge position which is now systematically synonymous of ippon for the opponent.

In the second and last bronze medal fight of the day, the two Mongol fighters were facing to determine who would win the most points, knowing that the leadership of the category in Mongolia is still not perfectly clear, OTGONBAATAR Uuganbaatar sitting in the 24th position and NYAMSUREN Dagvasuren around the 50th position. But after the fight, things seems to get clearer for OTGONBAATAR who applied a shime-waza technique to his teammate after a precise ground work session next to the edge of the fighting area.

MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS) vs. CIANO, Antonio (ITA)

Bronze Medal Fights
PACEK, Robin (SWE) vs. YASUDA, Tomofumi (JPN)
OTGONBAATAR, Uuganbaatar (MGL) vs. NYAMSUREN, Dagvasuren (MGL)

Final Results
1. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)
2. CIANO, Antonio (ITA)
3. OTGONBAATAR, Uuganbaatar (MGL)
3. PACEK, Robin (SWE)
5. NYAMSUREN, Dagvasuren (MGL)
5. YASUDA, Tomofumi (JPN)
7. CHEN, Asaf (ISR)
7. LUCENTI, Emmanuel (ARG)


11:00 Preliminaries
17:00 Final block

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Qingdao Guoxin Stadium (Diamond Hall)
Address: Tong’an Road, Laoshan District, Qingdao

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2014 - DAY 1

(Via IJF)

-48kg | -52kg | -57kg | -60kg | -66kg 

The first day of the Judo Grand Prix in Qingdao was completed with the first five gold medals which were awarded after more than 90 fights. Today 33 men and 52 women were in action in five categories: men’s -60kg and 66kg and women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg.

During the opening ceremony, Mr.Ji Gaoshang, Director General of Qingdao Sports Bureau, declared: "Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon! Today, we are gathering here for the grand opening ceremony of “Taishan Real Estate Q1 Cup” 2014 World Judo Grand Prix in Qingdao. On behalf of Qingdao Sports Bureau, I would like to extend our warmest welcome to all the judokas, coaches, referees and IJF officials!

"Sport is the important reflection of comprehensive strength and level of civilization of a city, and Judo sport is deeply loved by the people of Qingdao. Through years, Qingdao has attached much support and concerns on development of Judo, and has successfully held this event for consecutive 13 years. The Grand Prix 2014 is held in Qingdao again, which will strongly promote the development and improvement of Judo and Sports Career in Qingdao, and meanwhile will give people of Qingdao a chance to watch world top-class Judo competition.

"This year’s event is one of the pointing races of 2016 Brazil Olympic Games, and also an opportunity for judokas to show themselves and chase their dreams, thus would arouse much concerns of international judo circle. We will try our best to ensure the success of the event with scientific organizing, warm and considerate volunteering service, so as to made Qingdao a lucky place for World Judo. In the meanwhile, we will show the charm of harmonious China and Civilized Qingdao, and actively contribute to the international sports communication and sports culture development."

The competition was officially opened by Mr. Daniel Lascau, the IJF Sports Director, who declared: “In the name of the International Judo Federation and its President, Mr. Marius Vizer, I have the honor to declare the 2014 edition of the Judo Grand Prix in Qingdao, open. I want to congratulate all the organizers, the Chinese Judo Association and its partners, the Chinese authorities, as well as all the athletes who came here for what is an Olympic qualification event and will allocate important points on the way to Rio 2016.”

The highlight of the opening ceremony of the Grand Prix came when a large group of very young judoka stepped on the tatami, 32 being the flag bearers of the participating delegations, the other ones performing a well-orchestrated ‘judo ballet’ in front of a public of connoisseurs. This performance perfectly illustrates the dynamic nature of judo in China. Well known for its good results at the international level, the Chinese Judo Association started to develop a large educational development plan, following the incredible success of the ‘Judo Educational Journey through China’ organized by the IJF and the Chinese Judo Association in 2013 and 2014.

In 2013, the Tour visited six cities as well as in 2014 and judo demonstrations were held in emblematic places such as the Great Wall near Beijing or the 2010 Asian Games opening venue in Guangzhou. After thousands of kilometers, dozens of judo animations and conferences and thousands of children involved, judo was shown as the most educational activity. Today’s demonstration during the opening ceremony of the judo Grand Prix proved again that judo is a fantastic educational tool for the youth. The final results of today’s competition demonstrated that it is an outstanding and spectacular sport as well.



-48kg: UNGUREANU Tops the Podium for Romania 

The first final of the day opposed the silver medallist of the last World Championships in Chelyabinsk, last summer, Paula PARETO (ARG), and the winner of the Zagreb Grand Prix in September, Monica UNGUREANU (ROU), who confirmed a good physical condition at the end of this season. Only 38 seconds were necessary for Monica UNGUREANU to launch a left handed ashiwaza technique on the edge of the fighting area for ippon.

The first bronze medal fight saw Julia FIGUEROA (ESP), silver medallist in Zagreb, facing GALBADRAKH Otgontsetseg (MGL), winner of the Astana Grand Prix several weeks ago. The first strong action came from the Mongol athlete, who threw FIGUEROA with a superb yoko-tomoe-nage but for no score, the Spanish fighter landing on her stomach. The second really strong action also came from GALBADRAKH, who scored ippon with an unstoppable sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi technique.

In the second bronze medal fight, KIM Sol Mi (PRK), who won the bronze medal in the U.A.E. on the occasion of the first Abu Dhabi Grand Slam this year, was opposed to Alesya KUZNETSOVA (RUS), whose best result at the IJF level this year was a fifth place in Chelyabinsk. Only 47 seconds were necessary for KIM to send KUZNETSOVA to the ground with a powerful o-soto-gari for ippon.

PARETO, Paula (ARG) vs. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)

Bronze Medal Fights
FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP) vs. GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (MGL)
KIM, Sol Mi (PRK) vs. KUZNETSOVA, Alesya (RUS)

Final Results
1. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)
2. PARETO, Paula (ARG)
3. GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (MGL)
3. KIM, Sol Mi (PRK)
5. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
7. QI, Qige (CHN)
7. RUMYANTSEVA, Kristina (RUS)

-52kg: Gold for Natalia KUZIUTINA and Comeback of NISHIDA Yuka (JPN)

For her comeback to the top level, NISHIDA Yuka (Masters Almaty 2012: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2012: 1. place, World Championships Paris 2011: 2. place) from Japan, who is currently ranked at the 127th position in the World Ranking list, proved that she was still an athlete that with plenty to offer on the IJF stage. In the final she was opposed to the bronze medallist of the last World Championships, Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS) but due to an injury during her semi-final, NISHIDA Yuka could not compete and the gold medal went to Natalia KUZIUTINA.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the two German fighters, Romy TARANGUL (GER), bronze medallist this year at the Samsun Grand Prix, and Mareen KRAEH (GER), bronze medallist at the World Championships, Rio 2013. The fratricide combat was easily controlled by Mareen KRAEH who scored a first yuko with o-uchi-gari and a waza-ari with an immobilization, until Romy TARANGUL counter attacked a last-gasp action from KRAEH for waza-ari. But this was not enough and Mareen KRAEH finally stepped on the podium.

The second bronze medal went to Christianne LEGENTIL (MRI), who confirmed a very good progress at the international level, after having won a bronze medal in Astana and the gold medal, last week in Mauritius on the occasion of the African Open. Coached by Florian Velici, who used to teach judo to Daniel Lascau (world champion in 1991 and today IJF sports director), the young judoka, steps-by-step, has reached the summit of the international circuit.

NISHIDA, Yuka (JPN) vs. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)

Bronze Medal Fights
TARANGUL, Romy (GER) vs. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)
LEGENTIL, Christianne (MRI) vs. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)

Final Results
1. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)
2. NISHIDA, Yuka (JPN)
3. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)
3. LEGENTIL, Christianne (MRI)
5. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
7. GOMEZ, Laura (ESP)
7. MA, Yingnan (CHN)

-57kg: One more Victory for Roper (GER)

After the World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Miryam ROPER (GER) took a break to come back stronger. This was apparently the case today as she entered the final after having successively defeated LIN Yuanyuan (CHN), Carla GROL (NED) and Sanne VERHAGEN (NED). In the final she was opposed to the local athlete, LIU Yang (CHN), who was not among the favorites of the category, and had only won bronze medals at the international level so far (GP Abu Dhabi 2013, GP Qingdao 2012, GP Qingdao 2011), but nothing significant this season. The first interesting moment was when LIN Yuanyuan tried for a long moment to apply a sankaku-jime technique to Miryam ROPER, but the German’s defense was impossible to break. After a false attack of LIN, ROPER took a small lead, which was confirmed a little later with a yuko that she kept until the end to add a new victory to her already long prize list.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Jovana ROGIC (SRB), bronze medal in Tashkent a few week ago, and Johanna MUELLER (GER), whose best results this year included a silver medal at the European Open In Glasgow. After four minutes, neither of the two athletes were able to score and only one penalty was distributed to both of them. In the golden score, Jovana ROGIC rapidly scored a waza-ari with a rolling morote-seoi-nage, offering her a place on the podium.

In the second bronze medal contest, the silver medallist of the London Olympic Games, Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU) faced Sanne VERHAGEN (NED) who defeated by Roper earlier during the day. After one minute and 20 seconds, VERHAGEN was penalized with a first shido for passivity. Giving the impression to be dominated by the strong gripping of the Romanian, VERHAGEN was able to engage an uchi-mata for waza-ari. It suddenly looked much easier for the Dutch athlete to control the fight until the last seconds.

ROPER, Miryam (GER) vs. LIU, Yang (CHN)

Bronze Medal Fights
ROGIC, Jovana (SRB) vs. MUELLER, Johanna (GER)

Final Results
1. ROPER, Miryam (GER)
2. LIU, Yang (CHN)
3. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)
3. VERHAGEN, Sanne (NED)
5. CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU)
5. MUELLER, Johanna (GER)
7. GROL, Carla (NED)
7. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)


-60kg: First Gold for Limare in a Grand Prix

The first final of the men’s categories opposed the bronze medallist of the Dusseldorf Grand Prix at the beginning of the season, Vincent LIMARE (FRA) and Hovhannes DAVTYAN (ARM), bronze medallist at the last European Championships, in Montpellier, France. After 2 minutes and a half, there was still no score yet but DAVTYAN was penalized with a shido for passivity. A few seconds later, LIMARE took a stronger advantage by scoring yuko with a counterattack, which was then imitated by DAVTYAN. But once again the French counterattacked DAVTYAN for waza-ari this time. The last two penalties given to Vincent LIMARE were not enough to change the final result and he could celebrate a first victory at a Grand Prix.

The ever present on the international circuit, silver Olympic medallist in Beijing 2008 and world silver medallist in Cairo 2005, Ludwig PAISCHER (AUT), was again fighting for bronze here in Qingdao. He was opposed to Ludovic CHAMMARTIN (SUI), bronze medallist in Havana, Cuba, last June. After 1 minute and 45 seconds, CHAMMARTIN was penalized with a first shido for passivity. Only 22 seconds before the end of the fight, a simultaneous attack requested the intervention of the jury, who confirmed that there was no score. PAISCHER could control his opponent for the remaining time and enjoy a new medal at the international level.

The second bronze medal fight opposed the bronze medallist of the last Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, GANBOLD Kherlen (MGL) and Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS), whose best result on the World Judo Tour this year was a bronze medal in Samsun. With both athletes being able to score, they were coming closer to the possibility of golden score, when GANBOLD grabbed the leg of his opponent, which is forbidden. Being penalized with hansokumake, the victory and the bronze medal went to Robert MSHVIDOBADZE.

LIMARE, Vincent (FRA) vs. DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM)

Bronze Medal Fights
PAISCHER, Ludwig (AUT) vs. CHAMMARTIN, Ludovic (SUI)

Final Results
1. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)
2. DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM)
3. PAISCHER, Ludwig (AUT)
5. CHAMMARTIN, Ludovic (SUI)
5. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL)
7. TSAI, Ming Yen (TPE)

-66kg: Yakub SHAMILOV Secures Gold for Russia

The top seeded athlete of the category, Sugoi URIARTE (ESP), was eliminated during the preliminary rounds, which left the path to the final open for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist, Sebastian SEIDL (GER), who was opposed to Yakub SHAMILOV (RUS). Bronze medallist last year in Miami and Almaty, the Russian was lucky in his semi-final to see the Japanese not being able to score the last waza-ari almost on the final gong. But the action was clearly not a score, SHAMILOV miraculously escaping at the very last moment. The final between SEIDL and SHAMILOV started with a first shido given to the German for a blocking the gripping of his opponent. But SHAMILOV quickly took the lead with an incredibly high sasae-tsuri-komi-hashi, but so high that SEIDL turned a little too much and landed on his side for waza-ari. Then the o-uchi-gari engaged by the SEIDL was really close to put SHAMILOV out of balance. The German scored next with a koshi-waza technique but only for yuko, which was not enough to win the gold.

The first bronze medal fight saw the silver medallist in Tashkent, DOVDON Altansukh (MGL), and the silver medallist of the Tyumen Grand Slam this year, ROKUGO Yuhei (JPN) fighting for a place on the podium. DOVDON Altansukh received a first shido for passivity just before the halfway point of the bout. A few seconds later ROKUGO Yuhei sent his opponent through the air and to the ground with an opportunistic and perfectly controlled o-uchi-gari for a clear ippon.

The second bronze medal fight opposed the winner of the Casablanca African Open at the very beginning of the year, Kenneth VAN GANSBEKE (BEL) and MA Duanbin (CHN), bronze medallist last year in Qingdao. In front of his public, especially supported by the youngest spectators, MA gave no chance to VAN GANSBEKE, who submitted to the strong armlock of the Chinese athlete.

SEIDL, Sebastian (GER) vs. SHAMILOV, Yakub (RUS)

Bronze Medal Fights
DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL) vs. ROKUGO, Yuhei (JPN)
VAN GANSBEKE, Kenneth (BEL) vs. MA, Duanbin (CHN)

Final Results
1. SHAMILOV, Yakub (RUS)
2. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)
3. MA, Duanbin (CHN)
3. ROKUGO, Yuhei (JPN)
5. DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)
5. VAN GANSBEKE, Kenneth (BEL)
7. REN, Jiawen (CHN)
7. URIARTE, Sugoi (ESP)


11:00 Preliminaries
17:00 Final block

Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg

11:00 Preliminaries
17:00 Final block

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Qingdao Guoxin Stadium (Diamond Hall)
Address: Tong’an Road, Laoshan District, Qingdao