Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix 2015, Mongolia - PREVIEW

(via IJF)

The Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix 2015, the final Grand Prix before August’s World Championships, will be rich on quality and intrigue as a host of Olympic champions and rising names will be thrust into action from Friday 3 – Sunday 5 July at the Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex.

The sixth Grand Prix of the year - following stops in Dusseldorf (GER), Tbilisi (GEO), Samsun (TUR), Zagreb (CRO), and Budapest (HUN) – comes at an intense time on the World Judo Tour with continental showpieces such as the first European Games in Baku and the Pan American Games in Toronto taking place either side of Mongolia’s top competition.

While the World Judo Tour makes a final stop in Russia for the Tyumen Grand Slam in two weeks’ time – as the last event before Kazakhstan hosts the Worlds in Astana – Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia has a special allure and summons the inner fighting spirit of all judoka who visit one of the sport’s powerhouse nations and greatest success stories.

KHASHBAATAR answered questions from judo fans on Thursday on Twitter

The home team can call on the likes of 2004 Olympic bronze medallist and former world champion KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar who cleared his demanding schedule on Thursday to speak to his legions of fans around the world in a special question and answer session on the IJF Twitter page.

KHASHBAATAR said: “I would like to thank the IJF for this opportunity. I have had a lot of pleasure from talking to judoka and fans all over the world and sharing our passion for judo.

“I have never done anything like this before so it is an honour for me and I am grateful for receiving questions from the judo family who are all very special to me. I encourage everyone to watch the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix this weekend and continue to support judo all over the world.”

The Mongolian hero will be in action alongside Russia’s triple threat of London 2012 Olympic champions - Arsen GALSTYAN, Mansur ISAEV and Tagir KHAIBULAEV - who will do everything in their powers to ensure they are in Rio to defend their crowns.

Japan’s Olympic champion MATSUMOTO Kaori (JPN) leads a 12-strong team in action with a wealth of class in all 14 weight categories.

The official draw took place at the venue on Thursday afternoon as representatives of all 35 delegations assembled to find out who the 202 entrants will be matched against in Ulaanbaatar.

Mr. Mohamed MERIJDA, IJF Education and Coaching Director, (below - centre) made the opening address.

“Dear President, dear athletes, dear all members of the judo family, on the behalf of the International Judo Federation and our President Mr. VIZER, I would like to wish you all a warm welcome to Ulaanbaatar,” said. Mr. MERIJDA.

“I congratulate the Mongolian Judo Association for all of their success and thank them for once again hosting the judo family for this Grand Prix. I wish good luck to all judoka in Mongolia.”

Mr. DAMBII Dorligjav, Mongolian Olympic Committee First Deputy President, (below - centre) said: “Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the organising committee, I welcome you all to Mongolia. We have 35 nations competing and participants in all areas from around the world. I wish you all a lot of success and good luck to your judoka.”

The Mongolian delegates at the draw

KHASHBAATAR was also in demand at Thursday's press conference following the official draw as the domestic media took full advantage of their opportunity to quiz one of their most celebrated sportsmen. 

KHASHBAATAR said: "I'm always excited for the draw but today it was extra special to be invited and to be here in attendance. The build-up has been great for me, I have been training well and I have enjoyed being involved in the IJF activities here this week. 

"I am hoping to face Olympic champion Mansur ISAEV (RUS) in the quarter-final, he is a great judoka and I will need to be at my best if this match comes up for me. I thank all the media for coming along today and look forward to seeing you all at the Grand Prix."

Click here to view the ongoing Olympic qualification list 

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hash tag:
#judomgl2015Judobase: Instagram:



Asian Championships bronze medallist KIM Sol Mi (PRK) is the top seed in the -48kg category and therefore will be spared from an immediate clash against her top rivals. KIM, who finished fifth at the 2013 World Championships, is seeded alongside Minsk European Open winner Alexandra PODRYADOVA (KAZ), three-time European bronze medallist Laetitia PAYET (FRA) and Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Aurore CLIMENCE (FRA).

Laetitia PAYET (FRA) said: “I feel good, I am feeling stronger from every competition and I hope that on Friday I will be at the top of my form.”


Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Jaana SUNDBERG (FIN) is poised to make her strongest medal tilt in Mongolia since winning gold in Georgia back in March. SUNDBERG was out of the medal running at the European Games and the World Judo Masters recently and will have Asian Championships runner-up MUNKHBAATAR Bundmaa (MGL) and Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Priscilla GNETO (FRA) on her radar on the opening day.

Priscilla GNETO (FRA) said: “I feel very good now, I have finished my University exams and I really feel 100% focused on my judo. I am excited to fight in Mongolia.”


Two-time World Judo Masters winner DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL) won the first edition of her home Grand Prix in 2013. World number three DORJSUREN is one of her country’s leading medal hopes while Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) and Olympic champion MATSUMOTO Kaori (JPN) – who lost her first round contest to FILZMOSER at the World Judo Masters – and five-time Grand Prix bronze medallist Jovana ROGIC (SRB) will all be out to stop DORJSUREN. 

Jovana ROGIC (SRB) said: “I’m really thankful to IJF because they have supported our team for this tournament and I thank IJF President Marius Vizer. This is first time for me to come to Mongolia so I’m excited and curious about everything from the culture to the crowd in the competition. It will be my pleasure to compete at this Grand Prix and I will give my best to show you good judo.” 


Austria, Sweden and the USA have all entered two judoka as their charges remain locked in a battle to qualify and be selected for their respective countries at Rio 2016. Top seed Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT) and Hilde DREXLER (AUT) join USA pair Hannah MARTIN (USA) and Leilani AKIYAMA (USA) along with Swedish duo Mia HERMANSSON (SWE) and Anna BERNHOLM (SWE).

Hannah MARTIN (USA) said: “Training has been going extremely well. I feel very strong and feel like I'm improving every day. I’ve come from the San Salvador Open and after Mongolia I will be home for 12 hours before going to the Pan American Games so it’s a really busy and important time of the year.”


European Games bronze medallist Bernadette GRAF (AUT) left her mark on Baku as she strung together a fine day of performances which led to the finest result of her ever-prosperous career. The 23-year-old will be undaunted by any potential opponent in Ulaanbaatar with African Championships silver medallist Assmaa NIANG (MAR), World Judo Masters bronze medallist Fanny Estelle POSVITE (FRA) and Qingdao Grand Prix winner Iljana MARZOK (GER) among the leading medal hopes.

Iljana MARZOK (GER) said: “After starting the year with a shoulder injury I wasn't able to medal in the previous events. Since then I made good progress so I'm looking forward to stepping on the mat here in Ulaanbaatar. Everyone in Mongolia is very hospitable and I think it is unique as their judo is influenced with their traditional wrestling background.”


African Championships silver medallist Sarah Myriam MAZOUZ (GAB) is currently on course to represent her country at Rio 2016 and will be the top seed at an IJF event for the first time in her career in Ulaanbaatar. MAZOUZ took silver last weekend at the San Salvador Open and is edging closer to the foremost names in the category such as Olympic silver medallist Gemma GIBBONS (GBR) who will seek a much-needed return to medal-winning ways on Sunday.

Sarah Myriam MAZOUZ (GAB) said: “I saw yesterday, with surprise, that I am the top seed so I am very happy as it could give me a good start on Sunday. I feel happy with my recent form and I hope to do well in Mongolia.”


Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Carolin WEISS (GER) and Junior world bronze medallist Marine ERB (FRA) have the task of upsetting the anticipated dominance of the home continent as the only non-Asian judoka in the heavyweight field. Number one seed MA Sisi (CHN) is the reigning Asian Games champion while former World Judo Masters bronze medallist Gulzhan ISSANOVA (KAZ) and 2014 Tyumen Grand Slam runner-up LEE Jung Eun (KOR) all possess considerable intensity.

Carolin WEISS (GER) said: “I'm very excited to come to Mongolia and it is an important tournament for me. I'd like to take this chance to fight again on an international level and I'll hope that I can show my whole potential during the tournament.”



Stuttering world champion GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL) will hope home surroundings can inspire him to rediscover the form which saw him win his first world title in Chelyabinsk last August. GANBAT won his first IJF medal of the year at the World Judo Masters in May, an important bronze medal, and has topped the podium in the two previous editions of his home Grand Prix. Former European champion Sofiane MILOUS (FRA) could well be the leading threat for GANBAT and his three colleagues in the lightest men’s weight category.

Sofiane MILOUS (FRA) said: “Everything has been fine for me recently, I have been training well and I’m ready to perform on the first day."


The host nation also enjoys top seed status in the -66kg category as World Judo Masters bronze medallist DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL) could complete his hat-trick of Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix medals this year. DAVAADORJ won bronze in 2013, silver in 2014 and is tipped to improve once again and finally claim top spot on the opening day. Japan’s 17-year-old Tokyo Grand Slam winner ABE Hifumi (JPN) and Olympic champion Arsen GALSTYAN (RUS) will be out to upset Mongolia’s home favourite.

Arsen GALSTYAN (RUS) said: “I am now feeling comfortable at this weight and things are improving for me. I have confidence and excitement at being here in Mongolia. I will do my best to get the result I want and need as we approach Rio 2016.”


World silver medallist HONG Kuk Hyon (PRK) is the top seed in the -73kg category which has a liberal sprinkling of know-how as Olympic champion Mansur ISAEV (RUS) and Mongolia’s Olympic bronze medallists KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar (MGL) and SAINJARGAL Nyam-Ochir (MGL) will no doubt be the centre of attention. Emmanuel NARTEY (GHA) is one judoka hoping to break through the roll call of Olympic and world medallists on Saturday.

Emmanuel NARTEY (GHA) said: “Training has been going well, I have had to make a few changes with my fighting style and push my attacking rate up. So far everything is successful and I will be trying this new philosophy in Mongolia.”


Olympic bronze medallist Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) has made the trip from Montreal to Asia to face top quality opposition as he nears another attempt at world gold in August. Serbian teenager Nemanja MAJDOV (SRB) – who won the 2014 Junior European Championships – will continue his progression to the senior stage while Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist MARUYAMA Goki (JPN) is making inroads abroad this year and could torment judoka this weekend as he bids to become a permanent fixture in the Japanese team.

Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) said: “My training has been going well and this trip, which will also include the Tyumen Grand Slam, is very important for my Worlds preparation. They will allow me to test my shape and to identify some things that need to be changed. These events are also great training opportunities since some of the best judoka in the world are from these countries.”


Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Joakim DVARBY (SWE) is the number one seed in the -90kg category. The Swedish fighter has teammate and former European champion Marcus NYMAN (SWE) to look out for along with judoka such as Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Ciril GROSSKLAUS (SUI) and Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Aaron HILDEBRAND (GER).

Ciril GROSSKLAUS (SUI) said: “I'm feeling good and now that I have arrived I am hungry to fight and give a good account of myself in Mongolia.”


Sweden also has top billing the -100kg category as Martin PACEK (SWE) will compete on the last day which could be very rewarding for his team. Former Asian champion Javad MAHJOUB (IRI) will be a name to watch but the knowledgeable home crowd will spend more time tracking the success of Olympic champion Tagir KHAIBULAEV (RUS) who took the title last year after memorably winning all his contests by ippon.

Tagir KHAIBULAEV (RUS) said: “I enjoy being in Mongolia, it is a special place in judo and I am ready to fight. I feel good and have my teammates with me and I think we push each other to bring out the best in one another.”  


Asian Championships silver medallist KRAKOVETSKII Iurii (KGZ) is still only 22 years old but has positioned himself as one of his continent’s premier heavyweights. The continued development of KRAKOVETSKII will not be lost on Junior world champion ULZIIBAYAR Duurenbayar (MGL) who is still finding his way as a senior fighter and a home Grand Prix could be just the tonic for his barren run at IJF events this year.

ULZIIBAYAR Duurenbayar (MGL) said: “I have been waiting for this event for a long time. I am still adjusting to fighting as a senior and I have been able to get a lot of experience this year."



12:30 Preliminaries on three mats
16:00 Opening ceremony 
17:00 Final block on one mat

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


12:30 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

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


12:30 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

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

Location: Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Budapest Grand Prix 2015 - DAY 2

(Via IJF)

Women: -70kg  -78kg  +78kg | Men: -81kg | -90kg | -100kg | +100kg 

The Budapest Grand Prix 2015 came to a fascinating conclusion on Sunday as the remaining seven categories were decided at the Papp László Sportaréna. 


On day two gold medallists were crowned in the women’s -70kg, -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -81kg, -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories as 207 judoka were in action in Budapest.

A hugely excited crowd were looking for a repeat of UNGVARI Miklos’ superb gold medal from the opening day and there was world-class talent in action from the domestic and international front as Olympic champions Olympic champions Kayla HARRISON (USA), Tagir KHAIBULAEV (RUS) and Idalys Ortiz (CUB), all featured on Sunday.  

The Budapest Grand Prix 2015

IJF Head Sport Director Mr. Vladimir BARTA believes the organisation has been excellent and that the Hungarian Judo Association are well-equipped to stage the World Championships in 2017.  

“I have to praise the organisation by the Hungarian Judo Association as it really has been excellent. The venue is perfect for judo, it’s spacious to fit in four mats this weekend but it also feels intimate with the crowd close to the action. The organisers have a lot of experience with high-profile judo events and we are very confident that we will have a superb World Championships here in 2017.

Mr. BARTA also recognised the atmosphere generated by the home fans who have attended in good numbers and have been in good voice supporting their compatriots.

“You can’t generate an atmosphere or medal winners, these are things nobody has control over and this weekend, the fans have been excellent. The crowd clearly loves their judo and has a lot of knowledge of the sport and I am sure we will introduce many new fans to the sport over the coming years here.”

Former veteran European champion Dr. SKAPINYEV Jozsef (centre) was honoured as Hungary's first women's national team coach receieved his 7th Dan

The Budapest Grand Prix recieved a thumbs up from this young supporter 

While judo fans around the world are engrossed in the action from Budapest this weekend, the IJF are also active at the same time on the ground on the other side of the world as the Judo Educational Tour Through Oceania is promoting sport, its values and establishing ties in communities far and wide.

After launching in Australia, the IJF and Oceania Judo Union delegation visited Papua New Guinea to hold four demonstrations (University, two schools and a judo club). IJF Judo For Peace Director Nicolas MESSNER and Lennie NIIT, President of the OJU also had several fruitful meetings with the NOC, Ministry of Sports, Papa New Guinea Sports foundation, the embassy of Japan and JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency).

Follow the IJF Judo Educational Tour through Oceania on Facebook

The IJF World Judo Tour is now set to visit Mongolia for the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix from 3 – 5 July before heading to Russia two weeks later for the Tyumen Grand Slam.


-70kg: Spaniard BERNABEU breaks through      

Former Madrid European Open bronze medallist Maria BERNABEU (ESP) won her first World Judo Tour event as Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Szaundra DIEDRICH (GER) was defeated in the -70kg final. BERNABEU was a composed figure in her final contest as she countered an ouchi-gari attempt to finally break the deadlock with a yuko and a minute left on the clock to hear her anthem played for the first time in an IJF setting. 

In the first semi-final top seed and Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER) was beaten by DIEDRICH in golden score. Both judoka train in Cologne and know each other as well as any two judoka in the world possibly can as the contest required 45 seconds of time with a shido for VARGAS KOCH for passivity giving the win to DIEDRICH. In the second semi-final BERNABEU comfortably dispatched BREITENBACH Anett (HUN) with osaekomi-waza as the home fighter could not deal with the power of her Spanish opponent. 

The first bronze medal was won by BREITENBACH who secured her country’s second medal of the competition by seeing off African Championships silver medallist Assmaa NIANG (MAR). The Hungarian showed more desire and won by the narrow advantage of shido penalties and soaked up the roaring reception from the home fans. The second bronze medal was claimed by VARGAS KOCH who was busier and more positive than Astana Grand Prix silver medallist Esther STAM (GEO). VARGAS KOCH was separated from her opponent at full time on shido penalties in a scoreless contest as STAM was penalised twice while the referee did not need to reprimand the former on any occasion. 
BERNABEU, Maria (ESP) vs DIEDRICH, Szaundra (GER)                                                                                                                                          
Bronze Medal Fights
BREITENBACH, Anett (HUN) vs NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)     
VARGAS KOCH, Laura (GER) vs STAM, Esther (GEO)                                                                           
 Final Results
1. BERNABEU, Maria (ESP)                                                     
2. DIEDRICH, Szaundra (GER)                                       
3. BREITENBACH, Anett (HUN)                                
3. VARGAS KOCH, Laura (GER)    
5. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)                    
5. STAM, Esther (GEO)                         
7. GERCSAK, Szabina (HUN)                        
7. CORTES ALDAMA, Onix (CUB)                

-78kg: Seventh heaven for peerless HARRISON     

Olympic champion Kayla HARRISON (USA) won her seventh Grand Prix title as world bronze medallist Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) took silver. HARRISON countered for a waza-ari to open the scoring and never looked back as she pressed and pressed and the scoreboard was inundated. HARRISON registered five scores in a total, the fifth was ippon, with a beautiful o-goshi just before the time ran out.  

HARRISON said: “I’m pleased, it was a tough day for me, the Japanese fighter gave me problems and I can have problems sometimes with left-handed fighters. It’s important for me to keep being the dominant fighter in this category and it’s all about Rio 2016 for me.”

In the first semi-final contest HARRISON swept past Marhinde VERKERK (NED) to guarantee a place on the podium. The American went ahead with a waza-ari and engineered a hold-down to wrap up the victory as VERKERK gave up by submitting. In the second semi-final World Masters bronze medallist Luise MALZAHN (GER) lost out to the hard-working VELENSEK who won in ne-waza to seal a tilt at the Olympic champion and Budapest title.

The first bronze medal was claimed by MALZAHN who defeated 20-year-old Asian Championships winner UMEKI Mami (JPN) with a koshi-waza technique for ippon. The second bronze medal contest was won by VERKERK against Astana Grand Prix bronze medallist Assunta GALEONE (ITA). GALEONE trailed to a yuko and VERKERK had been penalised with a shido for passivity but maintained her advantage for the remainder of the contest.      
HARRISON, Kayla (USA) vs VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO)                                                                                                                                                  
Bronze Medal Fights
MALZAHN, Luise (GER) vs UMEKI, Mami (JPN)                       
GALEONE, Assunta (ITA) vs VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)                                                                      
 Final Results
1. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)                          
2. VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO)                                              
3. MALZAHN, Luise (GER)                                                  
3. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)                       
5. UMEKI, Mami (JPN)                                               
5. GALEONE, Assunta (ITA)                                             
7. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)                            
7. JOO, Abigel (HUN)                                                                                     

+78kg: Turkish debutant SAYIT wins heavyweight title  

In her first appearance for Turkey Kayra SAYIT (TUR) topped the podium after beating African Championships winner Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN) in the women’s heavyweight final. CHEIKH ROUHOU was penalised with a shido for dropping down and that was the difference in the last women’s fight of the competition. 

In the first semi-final contest Olympic and world champion Idalys ORTIZ (CUB) was undone by SAYIT after a disappointing performance from the judoka wearing the gold backpatch since London 2012. In the second semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist Franziska KONITZ (GER) was shocked by CHEIKH ROUHOU who was good value for her victory with two yuko scores going unanswered as KONITZ could not impose herself.

The first bronze medal was claimed by KONITZ who bested Minsk European Open bronze medallist Maryna SLUTSKAYA (BLR) with a yuko from an ouchi-gari. The second bronze medal contest was won by ORTIZ as Asian Championships bronze medallist Gulzhan ISSANOVA (KAZ) was disqualified for accumulating four penalties.    
CHEIKH ROUHOU, Nihel (TUN) vs SAYIT, Kayra (TUR)                                                                                         

Bronze Medal Fights
KONITZ, Franziska (GER) vs SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR)                      
ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB) vs ISSANOVA, Gulzhan (KAZ)                                                                                                      

Final Results
1. SAYIT, Kayra (TUR)                                                
2. CHEIKH ROUHOU, Nihel (TUN)                        
3. KONITZ, Franziska (GER)                                                 
3. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)   
5. SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR)                                              
5. ISSANOVA, Gulzhan (KAZ)                                                                 
7. CERIC, Larisa (BIH)                            
7. KAYA, Belkis Zehra (TUR)                                                                                          


-81kg: IMAMOV inks his first Grand Prix gold 

Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist IMAMOV Yakhyo (UZB) was victorious against 2014 Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Alain SCHMITT (FRA). The Uzbek star scored a waza-ari with a stunning right-sided uchi-mata-makikomi and SCHMITT could not find a way back as IMAMOV enjoyed ending his overdue wait for Grand Prix gold. 

In the first semi-final IMAMOV defeated Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Stanislav SEMENOV (RUS) by the maximum score from an ippon seoi-nage after leading by a waza-ari. In the second semi-final SCHMITT had the measure of Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Alexander WIECZERZAK (GER) to secure a place in the -81kg final. The Frenchman, who has pedigree as a former world bronze medallist, registered two yuko scores and the German was unable to produce a score of his own.

The first bronze medal was clinched by Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Sven MARESCH (GER) who defeated colleague WIECZERZAK. MARESCH showed a good reaction to his recent dip in form - something he concede himself before the competition – to be back amongst the medals on the World Judo Tour courtesy of a waza-ari score. The second bronze medal was won by Tashkent Grand Prix winner Roman MOUSTOPOULOS (GRE) who edged SEMENOV by the narrowest of scoring margins as his one yuko proved the difference in a closely contested contest.   
SCHMITT, Alain (FRA) vs IMAMOV, Yakhyo (UZB)                                                                                                   

Bronze Medal Fights
WIECZERZAK, Alexander (GER) vs MARESCH, Sven (GER)                       
MOUSTOPOULOS, Roman (GRE) vs SEMENOV, Stanislav (RUS)                                                                                                              

Final Results
1. IMAMOV, Yakhyo (UZB)                                                                              
2. SCHMITT, Alain (FRA)                                              
3. MARESCH, Sven (GER)                                                  
3. MOUSTOPOULOS, Roman (GRE)                                                        
5. WIECZERZAK, Alexander (GER)                            
5. SEMENOV, Stanislav (RUS)                                                        
7. KERMARREC, Julian (FRA)                         
7. SOBIROV, Shaxzod (UZB)                        

-90kg: Fearless DIAS goes unbeaten for Portugal  

Casablanca Open winner Celio DIAS (POR) celebrated the first IJF gold medal of his burgeoning career as Buenos Aires Pan American Open silver medallist Romain BUFFET (FRA) fell at the final stage. BUFFET, who took silver at 2011 Dusseldorf Grand Prix, received a shido for passivity after DIAS attacked with a weak tomoe-nage. The Portuguese fighter scored a waza-ari from an osoto-gari and the leggy youngster almost scored with the same technique just seconds later. 

DIAS said: “It feels just amazing to win my first IJF gold medal. I have had some slight injury problems recently so to come back today and achieve this makes me really happy.

“For me this result is just the beginning. On Saturday I was looking for extra inspiration and I found something that Serena WILLIAMS said ‘You have to be fearless to succeed’ and this was on my mind today. I will now turn my attention to competing at the European Games in Baku.”

In the first semi-final DIAS, who beat Olympic silver medallist Asley GONZALEZ (CUB) in the quarter-final after the latter was disqualified for a leg grab, dismissed former Samsun Grand Prix silver medallist Marc ODENTHAL (GER) with a thunderous drop seoi-nage. In the second semi-final Milan RANDL (SVK) fell to BUFFET by way of shido penalties as the former was penalised on three occasions while the French fighter was only penalised once.

The first bronze medal was won by 2013 world champion GONZALEZ who emerged victorious against Prague European Open bronze medallist Milan RANDL (SVK). The number one seed from Cuba scored a yuko from a tai-otoshi and added a waza-ari to take full control of the contest and with it the destiny of the bronze medal. The second bronze medal was captured by 20-year-old newcomer Li KOCHMAN (ISR) against beaten semi-finalist ODENTHAL. KOCHMAN was aiming for the first IJF medal of his career and delivered exactly that after a lively encounter which started with a waza-ari score for the youngster. KOCHMAN then countered with a ko-soto-gake and as the German stepped back the Israeli fighter followed up with osoto-gari for the maximum score. 
BUFFET, Romain (FRA) vs DIAS, Celio (POR)                                                                        

Bronze Medal Fights
RANDL, Milan (SVK) vs GONZALEZ, Asley (CUB)                
ODENTHAL, Marc (GER) vs KOCHMAN, Li (ISR)                                                                                                                           

Final Results
1. DIAS, Celio (POR)                                             
2. BUFFET, Romain (FRA)                     
3. GONZALEZ, Asley (CUB)                 
3. KOCHMAN, Li (ISR)                      
5. RANDL, Milan (SVK)                                                             
5. ODENTHAL, Marc (GER)                                           
7. NHABALI, Quedjau (UKR)      
7. BOZBAYEV, Islam (KAZ)                                                                                            

-100kg: DARWISH delivers for Egypt   

World Judo Masters bronze medallist Ramadan DARWISH (EGY) continued his rich vein of form in Budapest as he defeated Olympic bronze medallist Dimitri PETERS (GER) for top spot. PETERS lost their last meeting in the first round of the recent World Judo Masters in Rabat, Morocco, and cut a forlorn figure after conceding this one which was decided only on shido penalties.  

In the first semi-final PETERS downed the grafter Martin PACEK (SWE) by just a shido while in the second semi-final Baku Grand Slam winner Adlan BISULTANOV (RUS) was thwarted by DARWISH. The Egyptian fighter went close with an ouchi-gari and, having been behind to a yuko, with six seconds left his work ethic was rewarded with ippon from an uchi-mata. 

The first bronze medal was won by BISULTANOV as 21-year-old Zlatko KUMRIC (CRO), who finished fifth at the Junior World Championships, was thrown with a ura-nage after a tame ashi-waza attempt was countered with 97 seconds left. The second bronze medal was captured by Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Artem BLOSHENKO (UKR) who beat PACEK in a scoreless contest. BLOSHENKO was penalised once while PACEK received three penalties to suffer back-to-back defeats and the Swedish fighter had to settle for fifth-place.                                    

DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY) vs PETERS, Dimitri (GER)                                                                                               
Bronze Medal Fights
BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS) vs KUMRIC, Zlatko (CRO)                
PACEK, Martin (SWE) vs BLOSHENKO, Artem (UKR)                                                                                                                         

Final Result
1. DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)                                           
2. PETERS, Dimitri (GER)                    
3. BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS)  
3. BLOSHENKO, Artem (UKR)                        
5. KUMRIC, Zlatko (CRO)                                                                            
5. PACEK, Martin (SWE)                                            
7. CHERKASOV, Mykhailo (UKR)       
7. SAYIDOV, Ramziddin (UZB)                                                                                              

+100kg: OJITANI closes the gap on heavyweight leaders     

Dusseldorf Grand Prix runner-up OJITANI Takeshi (JPN) won his first Grand Prix gold medal as he bested Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Oleksandr GORDIIENKO (UKR) in the last contest of the Budapest Grand Prix. World number 13 OJITANI, who is a member of Tokai University, won their last meeting in Dusseldorf and achieved the same outcome today on shido penalties with three against the Ukrainian and one against the Japanese fighter.  

OJITANI said: “I am pleased with my result, I have won the Tashkent World Cup previously and this is another level. I will go to the World Team Championships and my goal is always to win the next fight in front of me and to go from there.”

In the first semi-final GORDIIENKO was successful against Andrey VOLKOV (RUS) by a yuko score while in the second semi-final home favourite BOR Barna (HUN) was defeated by OJITANI by ippon.      

The first bronze medal was won by African Championships winner Faicel JABALLAH (TUN) as BOR was injured and the second bronze medal contest went to Minsk European Open winner Sven HEINLE (GER) as his opponent VOLKOV could also not compete due to injury.             

GORDIIENKO, Oleksandr (UKR) vs OJITANI, Takeshi (JPN)     


Bronze Medal Fights
BOR, Barna (HUN) vs JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN)                
VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS) vs HEINLE, Sven (GER)                                                                                                                                      

Final Result
1. OJITANI, Takeshi (JPN)                                            
2. GORDIIENKO, Oleksandr (UKR)                    
3. JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN)                 
3. HEINLE, Sven (GER)                       
5. BOR, Barna (HUN)                                                             
5. VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS)                                            
7. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)     
7. CERAJ, Matjaz (SLO)                     

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Budapest Grand Prix 2015 - DAY 1

(Via IJF)

Women: -48kg | -52kg | -57kg | -63kg | Men:  -60kg | -66kg | -73kg 

The Budapest Grand Prix 2015 served up a high-octane spectacle on the opening day at the teeming Papp László Sportaréna as seven categories were contested in the Hungarian capital.

The two-day event has attracted 411 judoka from 66 nations as they once again showed their desire for Olympic qualification points at a crucial time in the Olympic cycle and the global appeal of the World Judo Tour. On the opening day in Hungary the women’s -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and -63kg categories and men’s -60kg, -66kg and -73kg categories were all contested and the hosts’ 43-strong team were backed every step of the way by a partisan crowd of judo lovers.

Budapest hosted its first Grand Prix last year and their excellent level of organisation has paved the way for the flagship event of the IJF World Judo Tour, the annual Championships, to be staged here in 2017 in the same venue.

The opening ceremony was held before the final block as Dr. TOTH Laszlo, Hungarian Judo Association President, made the welcome address.

“Dear Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, on behalf of the Hungarian Judo Association I have the great pleasure to welcome you all here to Budapest in 2015. I wish all participants success and wish all of our spectators an enjoyable time.”

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, said: “Dear President TOTH, dear judo family members, guests, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of IJF I want to congratulate Hungarian Judo Association and IJF team for the organisation of a very successful Grand Prix like always in Budapest. I want to wish all the athletes good luck and the best athletes will become winners. I wish you as well a successful stay in Budapest and I officially open the Budapest Grand Prix 2015.”

On Friday, following the official draw, Hungary’s 21-year-old world number one TOTH Krisztian visited a local judo club to meet the next generation of judoka in his homeland as part of an IJF educational activity. World silver medallist TOTH, who has been ruled out of his home Grand Prix by injury, was able to pass on his knowledge and experiences to the 30 children during the session.   

The IJF accompanies all World Judo Tour events with an educational activity to connect the elite and grassroots levels of the sport and ensure that the positive effect of the competition benefits the sport and its practitioners at all levels.

Ledenyi Judo Club started in 2007 with six children and today has 120 members with LEDENYI Levente, a member of the Hungarian Masters team, at the helm.

IJF Announcer Luis TORRES and IJF Media Manager Mark PICKERING visited the club with TOTH Krisztian to meet the young judoka and talk about the World Judo Tour and judo’s unique role as an Olympic sport, martial art and an educational tool.

The IJF visited Ledenyi Judo Club in Budapest to host an educational activity on Friday evening

On day one at the Budapest Grand Prix, LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE) made history for her country as she won the first Grand Prix gold medal for Chinese-Taipei while the home faithful were delighted by Olympic silver medallist UNGVARI Miklos (HUN) who won -73kg gold.

Gold medallist UNGVARI (HUN) signs autographs for his adoring young fans

Olympic champions Kayla HARRISON (USA), Tagir KHAIBULAEV (RUS) and Idalys Ortiz (CUB), will all be in action on Sunday. Kayla HARRISON (USA) said: “I'm feeling good. I hope to continue to show dominance in the division and gain valuable Olympic points with the ultimate goal always being Rio 2016.”

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hashtag: #JudoBudapest2015


-48kg: PARETO tops Japanese teen TONAKI for gold     

Sofia European Open silver medallist TONAKI Funa (JPN) won the first IJF medal of her career as she starred in the lightest category of the competition but the gold medal went to Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Paula PARETO (ARG). World silver medallist PARETO, 29, who was fifth at London 2012, proved too much for the 19-year-old Japanese newcomer who was caught with a ko-uchi-makikomi for a yuko score to secure gold and with it 300 world ranking points.

The first semi-final saw in-form PARETO defeat World Judo Masters bronze medallist Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR) by ippon with 90 seconds left. In the second semi-final TONAKI showed her character as she absorbed the attacks of Pan American bronze medallist Dayaris MESTRE ALVAREZ (CUB) to prevail on shido penalties after a thoroughly entertaining contest.

The first bronze medal was awarded to former Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Nataliya KONDRATYEVA (RUS) as she bested beaten semi-finalist MESTRE ALVAREZ. After four minutes of regular time, the score was level with a shido to both judoka and no scores registered and so the contest headed into golden score. The Cuban was penalised for dropping to hand the contest to Russia’s representative. The second bronze medal was won by three-time African champion Taciana LIMA-BALDE (GBS) who was supported to take part this weekend by the IJF. The African star defeated losing semi-finalist LOKMANHEKIM by ippon after 61 seconds and all but confirmed a seeded position for this year’s World Championships as she solidified her place in the top eight on the world ranking list.  
PARETO, Paula (ARG) vs TONAKI, Funa (JPN)                                                                                                    

Bronze Medal Fights
KONDRATYEVA, Nataliya (RUS) vs MESTRE ALVAREZ, Dayaris (CUB)                        
LIMA-BALDE, Taciana (GBS) vs LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)                                                                                                                                                  

Final Results
1. PARETO, Paula (ARG)                          
2. TONAKI, Funa (JPN)                                       
3. KONDRATYEVA, Nataliya (RUS)           
3. LIMA-BALDE, Taciana (GBS)                                                                     
5. MESTRE ALVAREZ, Dayaris (CUB)                          
5. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)     
7. MATEI, Ioana (ROU)                      
7. PODRYADOVA, Alexandra (KAZ)                                                                 

-52kg: KRAEH returns to form as Germany dominates the podium 

Former world bronze medallist Mareen KRAEH (GER) showed why she entered the competition as the top seed with a high-quality display in Budapest. Teammates collided in the -52kg final as Minsk European Open bronze medallist Maria ERTL (GER) opposed KRAEH who started the contest by receiving a shido for an overly defensive posture. The first score of the contest came with just 14 seconds remaining when KRAEH earned a yuko with a low uchi-mata and ERTL failed to reply. 

In the first semi-final KRAEH defeated returning Astana Grand Prix winner Joana RAMOS (POR) who had recovered from a groin strain to take part today. The German fighter was a clear winner with a yuko and then ippon guiding her into the final. In the second semi-final ERTL defeated Elena MORETTI (ITA) by a yuko score to book an all-German final.

The first bronze medal was clinched by Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Laura GOMEZ (ESP) against MORETTI who was competing on the World Judo Tour for the first time since 2013. GOMEZ led with a yuko and added a waza-ari with 10 seconds remaining and transitioned into osaekomi from which MORETTI tapped out. The second bronze medal was won by RAMOS who made a successful return from injury with victory against Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Gili COHEN (ISR). RAMOS had an advantage when COHEN was penalised with a shido early on and never looked back from there as she added a waza-ari and wrapped up a fine result with osaekomi-waza for 15 seconds.               
KRAEH, Mareen (GER) vs ERTL, Maria (GER)           
Bronze Medal Fights
GOMEZ, Laura (ESP) vs MORETTI, Elena (ITA)                   
COHEN, Gili (ISR) vs RAMOS, Joana (POR)                                                                                                                                       

Final Results
1. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)      
2. ERTL, Maria (GER)                                                               
3. GOMEZ, Laura (ESP)                            
3. RAMOS, Joana (POR)                         
5. MORETTI, Elena (ITA)                        
5. COHEN, Gili (ISR)
7. DELGADO, Angelica (USA)    
7. PIENKOWSKA, Karolina (POL)                                                                                           

-57kg: LIEN goes all the way to make history  

Asian Championships silver medallist LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE) won her country’s first IJF gold medal to continue to climb up the rankings and move closer to her lofty goal of winning the world title this year. Tokyo-based LIEN, who is a member of the popular Komatsu team, was victorious against Samsun Grand Prix winner Viola WAECHTER (GER) in the -57kg final as she scored a waza-ari and then a yuko from an ouchi-gari. 

LIEN said: “I am so happy to win my first Grand Prix gold medal and the first for my country is something I am so proud of. My goal is gold at the World Championships this year and I will compete again in July at the Tyumen Grand Slam.”

In the first semi-final LIEN surprised Olympic bronze defeated Marti MALLOY (USA) with a single shido against the latter separating the judoka after four minutes. In the second semi-final WAECHTER impressively dispatched Asian Championships winner and Junior world champion TAMAOKI Momo (JPN). The 20-year-old Japanese fighter was penalised twice for passivity while her German opponent had an unblemished record after both had registered respective waza-ari efforts.

The first bronze medal was won by TAMAOKI against Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Camila MINAKAWA (ISR) in a nail-biting contest which required two and half minutes of added time in the form of golden score. TAMAOKI attacked with ouchi-gari but MINAKAWA was wary of the imminent threat and blocked it before being penalised for dropping in the next exchange to settle the contest in the favour of the young Japanese athlete. The second bronze medal was won by MALLOY after a titanic tussle against Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist KARAKAS Hedvig (HUN). The superior conditioning of MALLOY was evident as she was still moving forward at every opportunity in golden score. KARAKAS was penalised with a shido for passivity after two minutes and 13 seconds to hand the medal to the American judoka. 
LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE) vs WAECHTER, Viola (GER)                                                                                                                                     
Bronze Medal Fights
MINAKAWA, Camila (ISR) vs TAMAOKI, Momo (JPN)           
KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN) vs MALLOY, Marti (USA)                             

Final Results 
1. LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE)          
2. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)                                                                      
3. TAMAOKI, Momo (JPN)                                                                        
3. MALLOY, Marti (USA)                             
5. MINAKAWA, Camila (ISR)              
5. KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN)                     
7. DIEDHIOU, Hortance (SEN)                       
7. ROPER, Miryam (GER)                                     

-63kg: Formidable TRSTENJAK again stars for Slovenia  

World bronze medallist Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) has now won six of her last seven IJF events after an incredible run of results in 2015. TRSTENJAK defeated Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Pari SURAKATOVA (RUS) in the -63kg final in yet another brilliant showing which no doubt positions her as the favourite for World gold this summer. The Russian fighter was trapped in a yoko-shiho-gatame hold and elected to submit due to the vast degree of pressure applied by her Slovenian foe. 

In the first semi-final TRSTENJAK triumphed against former European silver medallist Marta LABAZINA (RUS) while in the semi semi-final SURAKATOVA defeated African Championships winner Rizlen ZOUAK (MAR) with two waza-ari with the second coming from a forceful ko-soto-gake.

The first bronze medal was won by Minsk European Open bronze medallist Anna BERNHOLM (SWE) who defeated ZOUAK after initially leading by two yuko scores. The contest was decided when ZOUAK was forced to submit to a powerful hold-down. The second bronze medal was also won by Sweden as former Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Mia HERMANSSON (SWE) bested LABAZINA with a ko-uchi-gari effort receiving a yuko which decided the contest after four minutes. 
SURAKATOVA, Pari (RUS) vs TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                                                                                                                                   
Bronze Medal Fights
BERNHOLM, Anna (SWE) vs ZOUAK, Rizlen (MAR)            
HERMANSSON, Mia (SWE) vs LABAZINA, Marta (RUS)                        

Final Results 
1. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                               
2. SURAKATOVA, Pari (RUS)                                                
3. BERNHOLM, Anna (SWE)                                                             
3. HERMANSSON, Mia (SWE)                       
5. ZOUAK, Rizlen (MAR)                          
5. LABAZINA, Marta (RUS)                             
7. SZABO, Franciska (HUN)                      
7. HAECKER, Katharina (AUS)                     


-60kg: Kazakhstan's SMETOV takes Grand Prix gold 

Astana Grand Prix winner SMETOV Yeldos (KAZ) was the star man in the -60kg category as he beat teammate IMASHEV Aibek (KAZ) to claim gold on Saturday. SMETOV utilised ashi-waza to score a yuko and added a waza-ari with sutemi-waza before a second waza-ari sealed the victory. After winning an engaging final between two willing judoka, SMETOV raised the hand of IMASHEV in order for the crowd to appreciate the efforts of his teammate on day one. 

In the first semi-final IMASHEV saw off LUTFILLAEV Sharafuddin (UZB) by a waza-ari score while in the second semi-final SMETOV defeated Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner SHISHIME Toru (JPN). SMETOV prevailed with a waza-ari from sutemi-waza to take his place in the final.

The first bronze medal was claimed by SHISHIME who defeated the emerging Junior world champion Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP). Both judoka are establishing themselves in the category and will be boosted by their experience in Budapest. Only one judoka could win the right to step onto the podium and that went to the Japanese judoka by a solitary shido penalty in a scoreless contest. The second bronze medal went to LUTFILLAEV who saw off Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist TSAI Ming Yen (TPE) as he employed ashi-waza to register a waza-ari score which was the only score in a fast-paced contest. 
IMASHEV, Aibek (KAZ) vs SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)                                                           

Bronze Medal Fights
SHISHIME, Toru (JPN) vs GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)                       
LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB) vs TSAI, Ming Yen (TPE)                                                  

Final Results
1. SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)                     
2. IMASHEV, Aibek (KAZ)                   
3. SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)    
3. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)                                                
5. GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)                                                                       
5. TSAI, Ming Yen (TPE)                                                                           
7. CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO)                       
7. PETRIKOV, Pavel (CZE)                                                                           

-66kg: SMAGULOV steps up for Kazakhstan     

Astana Grand Prix silver medallist SMAGULOV Zhansay (KAZ) triumphed against Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Sebastian SEIDL (GER) in the -66kg final to win his first IJF gold medal. The 22-year-old was unable to move SEIDL with multiple uchi-mata attempts and the German’s lack of activity was summed up when he was penalised with a shido for an overly defensive posture with 11 seconds left and the rivals were separated on shido penalties. 

In the first semi-final SMAGULOV defeated former world champion Rishod SOBIROV (UZB). SMAGULOV led by a waza-ari after 30 seconds and then scored a yuko as SOBIROV was below-par. In the second semi-final SEIDL won against Olympic champion Arsen GALSTYAN (RUS) by ippon in the final minute to advance to the semi-final.

The first bronze medal was won by GALSTYAN against David LAROSE (FRA) who is still struggling to discover his level in 2015. GALSTYAN led the contest by a yuko and maintained his advantage as LAROSE pressed forward in need of a score and a morale-boosting result to reignite his Olympic ambitions. GALSTYAN used the momentum of the Frenchman to throw him with a beautiful drop seoi-nage for ippon as the latter was left dejected and slowly returned to his feet for the referee to award the contest to his conqueror. The second bronze medal went to Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Sergiu OLEINIC (POR) as SOBIROV was ruled out of the contest due to an injury sustained in the opening session. 
SMAGULOV, Zhansay (KAZ) vs SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)                                                                                                                   
Bronze Medal Fights
LAROSE, David (FRA) vs GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS)                       
OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR) vs SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)                                                                                                                

Final Result
1. SMAGULOV, Zhansay (KAZ)                                          
2. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)                                                                               
3. GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS)                         
3. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)                       
5. LAROSE, David (FRA)                             
5. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)                     
7. MA, Duanbin (CHN)                   
7. MUKANOV, Azamat (KAZ)                       

-73kg: Home hero UNGVARI delights the Hungarian crowd     

Olympic silver medallist UNGVARI Miklos (HUN) was Hungary’s top performer on the opening day as former European champion Rok DRAKSIC (SLO) fell to the 34-year-old home fighter in the -73kg final. Some would think UNGVARI would be in the twilight of his career at his age but this win will move him into the top 10 in the world as he closes in on a place at Rio 2016. DRAKSIC, who won European gold here in 2013, went behind to a yuko and was then held down with a tate-shiho-gatame and the Slovenian tapped out with 50 seconds left. 

In the first semi-final DRAKSIC downed Nicholas DELPOPOLO (USA). DRAKSIC defended an uchi-mata attempt from DELPOPOLO who was caught for ippon with 45 seconds remaining. In the second semi-final UNGVARI denied Dirk VAN TICHELT (BEL) a place in the final as he scored a yuko with a ko-uchi-gari with a minute left on the clock. VAN TICHELT attacked with a drop seoi-nage but it was a tired effort and UNGVARI guaranteed the first medal for the hosts.

The first bronze medal was won by VAN TICHELT who defeated Minsk European Open bronze medallist Igor WANDTKE (GER) by ippon after three minutes while the second bronze medal went to DELPOPOLO who won by a waza-ari against Tommy MACIAS (SWE). 
DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO) vs UNGVARI, Miklos (HUN)                                                                                                     
Bronze Medal Fights
WANDTKE, Igor (GER) vs VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL)                       
MACIAS, Tommy (SWE) vs DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA)                                                                                                                 

Final Result
1. UNGVARI, Miklos (HUN)                                                           
2. DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)                                                            
3. VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL)                         
3. DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA)                                           
5. WANDTKE, Igor (GER)                             
5. MACIAS, Tommy (SWE)
7. JEZEK, Jaromir (CZE)                  
7. ESTRADA, Magdiel (CUB)                                                                                        



10:00 Preliminaries on four mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -70kg, -78kg, +78kg
Men: -81kg, -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: Papp László Sportaréna