Thursday, November 27, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Jeju 2014 - DAY 1

(Via IJF)

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

The last Grand Prix of the season, Jeju 2014, exploded into life on Thursday at the Jeju Halla Sport Complex as hosts Korea were prominent throughout. 

The second edition of the Jeju Grand Prix, which will be promptly followed next week by the season-ending Tokyo Grand Slam, has surged in popularity this year with 278 judoka competing from 42 nations.

On day one in South Korea the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg kicked off the action in the last but one IJF event of 2014.

Before the final block the organising committee held the opening ceremony for the Judo Grand Prix, Jeju 2014.

Mr. Mohamed MERIDJA, IJF Education and Coaching Director, said: “Dear Mr. President, athletes, officials, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you all to Jeju for the last IJF Grand Prix of the year. The Korean Judo Association is hosting this event for the second time and we have already seen a progression from last year. On behalf of our President, Mr. Marius Vizer, I wish good luck to all the athletes and declare the Jeju Grand Prix 2014 open.”

Mr. Mr. NAM Jong-Hyun, Korean Judo Association President, said: “I welcome you all and especially the IJF Executive Committee. I thank you all for your effort and support at this event and throughout the year. This event offers the opportunity to promote judo and, now that we are hosting second edition, we have even better organisation than in 2014. To the athletes I say please do your best for your country and your honour. Good luck and I hope you all enjoy the event.”

Mr. KIM Jung-Haeng, President of the Korean Olympic Association, said: “I welcome you all to Jeju for the second year of this Grand Prix. I wish all the players to do their best throughout the event. I encourage you all to share this moment and make new friendships here on the beautiful island of Jeju.”

On Friday, the action continues on the tatami with four weight categories competing. The women’s -63kg and -70kg judoka will be joined by the men’s -73kg and -81kg athletes. World champion Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) is the overwhelming favourite in the -63kg category while home hopes will be pinned on Olympic champion KIM Jae-Bum (KOR) in the -81kg category.  

The draw can be seen at:
Live stream on Ippon TV:
Official event hashtag: #JudoJeju2014


-48kg: French teenager wins gold    

World bronze medallist Amandine BUCHARD (FRA) defeated European bronze medallist Maryna CHERNIAK (UKR) to win the first gold medal of the Judo Grand Prix, Jeju 2014. BUCHARD, 19, will move into the world top 10 with the victory and will no doubt remain there for the foreseeable future. The French starlet opened the scoring with a waza-ari from a sode-tsurikomi-goshi and went back to the same technique to add a second to secure the gold. 

In the first semi-final Shira RISHONY (ISR) was dispatched by a confident and composed Amandine BUCHARD (FRA). RISHONY was penalised for a false attack after 30 seconds before her French rival secured her place in the final by ippon after just 52 seconds. In the second semi-final CHERNIAK profited from an indiscretion by Qingdao Grand Prix winner Monica UNGUREANU (ROU) in a scoreless content. The Romanian was separated from her opponent by a solitary shido after four minutes to limit her chances of back-to-back Grand Prix medals as she entered the repechage.

The first bronze medal was awarded to Asian Games bronze medallist JEONG Bo Kyeong (KOR) against  UNGUREANU. JEONG made sure the medal would remain in Korea by defeating her Romanian opponent by ippon with just over a minute gone. The second bronze medal was won by a delighted RISHONY who outfought Glasgow European Open silver medallist Melanie CLEMENT (FRA) who crucially received two shido penalties in the final minute to separate the rivals after four minutes.                                    

BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA) vs CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)                                                   

Bronze Medal Fights
UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU) vs JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)                  
RISHONY, Shira (ISR) vs CLEMENT, Melanie (FRA)                                                                                                                  

Final Results
1. BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA)                                                         
2. CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)                  
3. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)                                                                         
3. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)                                                    
5. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)                                                           
5. CLEMENT, Melanie (FRA)                                      
7. KANG, Yujeong (KOR)                 
7. CHOI, Soohee (KOR)                                                            

-52kg: CHITU goes unbeaten in Jeju

World silver medallist Andreea CHITU (ROU) earned her latest Grand Prix title on the opening day in Jeju with a win in the -52kg final over Kodokan Cup runner-up SHISHIME Ai (JPN). CHITU, who won the Tashkent Grand Prix last month, fought 20-year-old Japanese judoka SHISHIME for the right to stand on top of the podium and scored ippon with an uki-goshi in the second minute without too much resistance from her opponent. 

The first semi-final saw Andreea CHITU (ROU) face ADIYASAMBUU Tsolmon (MGL) in a rematch of the Tashkent Grand Prix final. The outcome was the same as in Uzbekistan with the Romanian victorious as a result of a hold down being so forceful that the Mongolian elected to submit. In the second semi-final SHISHIME Ai (JPN) dismissed European bronze medallist Gili COHEN (ISR) to guarantee her first appearance on an IJF podium in 2014.

The first bronze medal was clinched by beaten semi-finalist COHEN who defeated Glasgow European Open winner Lucile DUPORT (FRA). COHEN scored a yuko from a ko-uchi-gake which proved to be the only score of the contest as Israel’s women continued their successful start in Jeju. The second bronze medal was won by former European bronze medallist Laura GOMEZ (ESP) who defeated 22-year-old World Team silver medallist ADIYASAMBUU. GOMEZ, who was coached by former world bronze medallist AN Jeong-Hwan for the first time, executed a neat turnover in ne-waza with control of her opponent to then apply tate-shiho-gatame. 
CHITU, Andreea (ROU) vs SHISHIME, Ai (JPN)      

Bronze Medal Fights
COHEN, Gili (ISR) vs DUPORT, Lucile (FRA)               
GOMEZ, Laura (ESP) vs ADIYASAMBUU, Tsolmon (MGL)                                                                        

Final Results
1. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
2. SHISHIME, Ai (JPN)                                          
3. COHEN, Gili (ISR)  
3. GOMEZ, Laura (ESP)                                              
5. DUPORT, Lucile (FRA)                                                    
5. ADIYASAMBUU, Tsolmon (MGL)                 
7. HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL)                  
7. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)                                                 

-57kg: World number one PAVIA defeats teammate for gold 

World bronze medallist Automne PAVIA (FRA) had the measure of teammate and Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Helene RECEVEAUX (FRA) along with the remainder of -57kg category on Thursday. The Frenchwoman took control with a harai-goshi earning a yuko score before adding a waza-ari with an osoto-gari which RECEVEAUX led herself into. RECEVEAUX battled and registered a score as she countered a loose effort from PAVIA for a yuko but the result was never in doubt. 

In the first semi-final PAVIA downed former world bronze medallist Vlora BEDETI (SLO) by the narrowest of margins. BEDETI received three shido penalties which was one more than her French opponent who failed to produce a score in their four minute contest. In the second semi-final RECEVEAUX defeated Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Camila MINAKAWA (ISR) by ippon after 51 seconds as she ensured the final would come down to France’s -57kg duo.

The first bronze medal was won by former Rome European Open silver medallist Ivelina ILIEVA (BUL) who secured a place on an IJF medal podium for the first time. ILIEVA defeated beaten semi-finalist MINAKAWA as a result of a solitary shido in a scoreless contest. The second bronze medal was won by BEDETI as national champion Stefanie TREMBLAY (CAN) was disqualified for receiving four penalties. World number 28 TREMBLAY was penalised for the fourth and final time for going out of the area as her Slovenian foe clinched the final spot on the -57kg podium.  
PAVIA, Automne (FRA) vs RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA)                                                                       

Bronze Medal Fights
MINAKAWA, Camila (ISR) vs ILIEVA, Ivelina (BUL)      
BEDETI, Vlora (SLO) vs TREMBLAY, Stefanie (CAN)               

Final Results 
1. PAVIA, Automne (FRA)
2. RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA)                                                                 
3. ILIEVA, Ivelina (BUL)                                                    
3. BEDETI, Vlora (SLO)           
5. MINAKAWA, Camila (ISR)                                                  
5. TREMBLAY, Stefanie (CAN)          
7. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)                 
7. ROPER, Miryam (GER)                                             


-60kg: Korea's KIM retains Jeju title 

Reigning Jeju Grand Prix champion KIM Won Jin (KOR) retained his title as he defeated All Japan University Championships winner and IJF World Judo Tour newcomer KAWANO Ryoya (JPN) in the -60kg final. 2013 world bronze medallist KIM, who is still only 22, won bronze at the Asian Games recently and was successful in Jeju in an all-Asian final. The classy young Korean scored a yuko to open the contest and added a waza-ari which left no way back for his new opponent but judo fans can expect much more from both men in the coming years. 

In the first semi-final KAWANO Ryoya (JPN) blocked the route of GANBOLD Kherlen (MGL) with a last-gasp effort as he scored a waza-ari with three seconds left on the clock having trailed by a yuko for four and a half minutes. In the second semi-final KIM bested Baku Grand Slam winner Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) by ippon after 73 seconds to ensure an all-Asian final between Japan and Korea in Jeju.  

The first bronze medal was claimed by top seed and former world silver medallist DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) who dominated SAFAROV. The Mongolian would have expected more from his day but will be pleased with beating one of the top seeds and most dangerous judoka in the category for bronze. DASHDAVAA won with a waza-ari and yuko proving too much for the Azerbaijan fighter to respond to. The second bronze medal went to 22-year-old Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist GANBOLD Kherlen (MGL) who defeated Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Ashley MCKENZIE (GBR). Both bronze medals were captured by Mongolia with GANBOLD successful as a result of a waza-ari score which went unanswered.
KAWANO, Ryoya (JPN) vs KIM, Won Jin (KOR)                       

Bronze Medal Fights
SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE) vs DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)                 
GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL) vs MCKENZIE, Ashley (GBR)                                                                                                

Final Results
1. KIM, Won Jin (KOR)            
2. KAWANO, Ryoya (JPN)                                               
3. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)                                                          
3. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL)                     
5. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)    
5. MCKENZIE, Ashley (GBR)                    
7. KULIKOV, Dmitriy (RUS)                  
7. CHAMMARTIN, Ludovic (SUI)                          

-66kg: Japanese youngster defeats home fighter    

Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist TATEYAMA Sho (JPN) won the first IJF gold medal of his young career with victory against 2013 Junior world champion AN Baul (KOR). Both judoka were unseeded but made their presence felt all day long to earn the right to decide the fate of the gold medal. TATEYAMA, 21, defeated AN, 20 – who fights in Tokyo next week – by a single shido which was all that separated the judoka after five minutes of regulation time.   

In the first semi-final world bronze medallist and top seed Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) was undone by the determined young Japanese fighter TATEYAMA. ZANTARAIA was humbled on shido penalties with three against his record and two against TATEYAMA who booked a place on his second IJF medal podium of the year. In the second semi-final a similar story unfolded as the more experienced and accomplished judoka was denied by a hard-working fighter on his home continent. Baku Grand Slam winner Colin OATES (GBR) fell to AN who registered two scores as the former conceded a yuko and waza-ari but still maintained hope of his first Asian medal in the repechage.  

The first bronze medal was won by former European bronze medallist OATES who won his country’s first medal in Jeju at the expense of Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Golan POLLACK (ISR). OATES took the lead with a yuko and added a waza-ari by holding his opponent down with a mune-gatame for exactly 15 seconds. The second bronze medal went to Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Anzaur ARDANOV (RUS) who won a battle of attrition against ZANTARAIA. After a scoreless five minutes the judoka required golden score. The rivals matched each other still and were both at their physical limit. With two and a half minutes of golden score on the clock, ZANTARAIA walked on to his Russian opponent who caught him with ashi-waza for ippon as the appreciative Korean crowd showed their appreciation for the immense efforts of both judoka. 
TATEYAMA, Sho (JPN) vs AN, Baul (KOR)                                                    
Bronze Medal Fights
OATES, Colin (GBR) vs POLLACK, Golan (ISR)                  
ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR) vs ARDANOV, Anzaur (RUS)                                                          

Final Result
1. TATEYAMA, Sho (JPN)                                                             
2. AN, Baul (KOR)                                                   
3. OATES, Colin (GBR)                                                      
3. ARDANOV, Anzaur (RUS)                                                                         
5. POLLACK, Golan (ISR)                      
5. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)                                                 
7. BATTSETSEG, Batgerel (MGL)             
7. VAN GANSBEKE, Kenneth (BEL)                                                  



10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
16:00 Final block on one mat

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


10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
16:00 Final block on one mat

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

LocationJeju Halla Sport Complex

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Jeju 2014 Official Draw - PREVIEW

(Via IJF)

The IJF World Judo Tour has arrived in Jeju for the final Grand Prix of the season at the Jeju Halla Sports Complex from Thursday 27 – Saturday 29 November. 

The Judo Grand Prix, Jeju 2014, is the 11th and final Grand Prix of the season which culminates next week in Japan at the Tokyo Grand Slam. After Grand Prix events in Germany, Georgia, Turkey, Cuba, Hungary, Mongolia Croatia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China, the stars of the judo will compete in South Korea in the second edition of the Jeju event.

Jeju’s showcase falls in the middle of three back-to-back events as judoka bid for a World Ranking List points windfall to end their year on a successful note. The Asian leg of the IJF World Judo Tour, which stopped in Qingdao, China, a week ago, ensures a gripping conclusion which attracts the finest judoka in the sport and a mass of media and spectators.

Hosts South Korea have fielded a full strength team of 56 judoka including Olympic champion KIM Jae-Bum who won the Asian Games in September. Olympic silver medallist and double world champion WANG Ki-Chun (KOR) is still trying to impose himself at -81kg, the same category as his teammate KIM, the former having moved up from -73kg in 2014. 

Korea’s new generation of judoka will aim to kickstart their senior exploits on home soil. Junior world champion AN Changrim (KOR) sees action at -73kg while 2013 Junior World champion AN Baul (KOR) battles in the -66kg category.

Asian Games bronze medallist JEONG Bo Kyeong fights on the opening day in the -48kg category while 18-year-old Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner PARK Da Sol competes in the -52kg category on Thursday.

The international stars of the World Judo Tour are out in force as Olympic and world champions will be in action. Olympic champion and seven-time senior world champion Teddy RINER (FRA) is joined by Olympic champion Kayla HARRISON (USA) and world champion Ilias ILIADIS (GRE) as three judo heroes present in Jeju. 

The official draw took place at the Jeju Grand Hotel on Wednesday where it was revealed that 282 judoka will compete from 42 countries over the three-day Grand Prix.

Mr. Mohamed MERIJDA, IJF Education and Coaching Director, said: “Dear judo friends, I would like extend the warmest welcome on behalf of the International Judo Federation. I would like to thank the Korean Judo Association for assisting us and the IJF is very pleased with the work done so far. We are convinced that the organisation will deliver a great event like last year. We hope to have a successful competition for all the athletes and I wish you good luck.”

Mr. MOON Won-Bae, Jeju Judo Association President, said: “Dear Mr. Mohamed MERIJDA, as well as all officials from IJF, participating representatives from all over the world, we would like to thank you all for this Grand Prix. This event is second edition of the Grand Prix in Jeju, I wish you a great event and a pleasant stay in Jeju which is blessed to have you all here."

Mr. Carlo KNOESTER, IJF Referee Commission member, said: “We encourage you all to take care to stay positive and to watch for negative action. I wish you all a fantastic competition and good results for everyone.”




Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Paula PARETO (ARG) has returned to the fore in 2014 with silver at the World Championships and bronze medals at the Paris Grand Slam and Pan American Championships. The Argentine judoka is the top seed in Jeju while world bronze medallist Amandine BUCHARD (FRA), European bronze medallist Maryna CHERNIAK (UKR) and Qingdao Grand Prix winner Monica UNGUREANU (ROU) are also seeded. 


World silver medallist Andreea CHITU (ROU) is the top seed in the -52kg category. The Romanian star, who won the Tashkent Grand Prix last month, will be eager to improve on her Qingdao performance where she finished in fifth-place. Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Mareen KRAEH (GER), European bronze medallist Gili COHEN (ISR) and Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist ADIYASAMBUU Tsolmon (MGL) are the best ranked judoka after CHITU. 


World bronze medallist Automne PAVIA (FRA) is the number one seed having won continental gold and multiple IJF medals this year. PAVIA won the European title in April and followed up with victory at the Havana Grand Prix. Miryam ROPER (GER) made a successful return from injury by winning the Qingdao Grand Prix a week ago while fellow 2013 world bronze medallist Vlora BEDETI (SLO) and Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU) are all among the favourites. 


World champion Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) leads the field into action and the 22-year-old has been in inspired form all year long. The French ace has won European and world gold in both the individual and team competitions in addition to winning the Paris Grand Slam and Havana Grand Prix. Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Martyna TRAJDOS (GER), Asian Games winner JOUNG Da-Woon (KOR) and World Team silver medallist BALDORJ Mungunchimeg (MGL) are also seeded. 


Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Laura VARGAS-KOCH (GER) is poised to continue her rich vein of form as the top seed in the -70kg category. VARGAS-KOCH also won the Tashkent Grand Prix last month and will be confident of adding to her late season collection of medals with a win in Jeju. Glasgow European Open winner Sally CONWAY (GBR), Tallinn European Open bronze medallist Lior WILDIKAN (ISR) and Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Assmaa NIANG (MAR) are the remaining standouts. 


World silver medallist Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) is the judoka to beat in the -78kg category. The top seed, who won the European title in April, captured the French title in the heavyweight category three weeks ago. Olympic champion Kayla HARRISON (USA), Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Luise MALZAHN (GER) and silver medallist Victoriia TURKS (UKR) are also in action. 


World bronze medallist Emilie ANDEOL (FRA) is the top seed in the women’s heavyweight category which will be contested on the final day. The French fighter has won European individual and team gold along with World Team gold this year and will be tipped to win her first IJF gold medal of the year. Commonwealth Games winner Sarah ADLINGTON (GBR), Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Franziska KONITZ (GER) and Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Iryna KINDZERSKA (UKR) will all be expected to mount a medal challenge. 



Former world silver medallist DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) is the lightweight judoka to beat on the opening day in Jeju. The Mongolian star won the Tashkent Grand Prix last month and has the ability to match that result in Korea. Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE), winner of the Baku and Abu Dhabi Grand Slams already this year, is among the top seeds along with former world bronze medallist KIM Won Jin (KOR) and Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Ilgar MUSHKIYEV (AZE). 


World bronze medallist Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) is the top seed in the -66kg category in Jeju. The judo idol, a five-time senior world medallist, is part of a 12-strong team from Ukraine. Former European bronze medallist Colin OATES (GBR) and former world silver medallist Sugoi URIARTE (ESP) are among the best-ranked judoka along with Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Golan POLLACK (ISR). 


Baku Grand Slam winner MUKI Sugi (ISR) could be the leading man in the -73kg category. The top seed won the Havana Grand Prix and finished second in Astana to underline his credentials. Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar (MGL), Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) and Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Dirk VAN TICHELT (BEL) will be among the leading forces in Korea. 


Olympic champion KIM Jae-Bum (KOR) is the top seed in the category and could be unstoppable in his homeland as he was at the first edition of the Jeju Grand Prix a year ago. Asian Games winner KIM will be in action along with Samsun Grand Prix silver medallist Alexander WIECZERZAK (GER), European u23 champion Roman MOUSTOPOULOS (GRE) and national champion Joachim BOTTIEAU (BEL). 


World champion Ilias ILIADIS (GRE) is the leading attraction in the -90kg category. The Greek superstar is the top seed and much will be expected from the highlight reel favourite. Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Ciril GROSSKLAUS (SUI), Paris Grand Slam winner and 2009 world champion LEE Kyu-Won (KOR) and his teammate GWAK Dong Han (KOR) will also be among the medal favourites. 


Tyumen Grand Slam winner Elmar GASIMOV (AZE) is the top seed in the -100kg category. The Azerbaijan fighter has been a fixture on medal podiums across the world this year and will be focused on another appearance this weekend. Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL), Olympic and Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Dimitri PETERS (GER) and Asian Games winner NAIDAN Tuvshinbayar (MGL) will all have their own gold medal ambitions. 


Olympic and seven-time senior world champion Teddy RINER (FRA) is back in action on Saturday. The living legend, who was last seen winning his seventh world title in Chelyabinsk, is back to reclaim top sport on the World Ranking List which currently belongs to Rafael SILVA (BRA). Those taking aim at RINER include Junior world champion ULZIIBAYAR Duurenbayar (MGL), 2011 world bronze medallist KIM Sung-Min (KOR) and Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Daniel NATEA (ROU). 

10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
15:00 Opening ceremony
16:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -48kg, -52kg, -57kg 
Men: -60kg, -66kg 

10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
16:00 Final block on one mat

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

10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
16:00 Final block on one mat

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

Location: Jeju Halla Sport Complex

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)