Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 6: 2013 Rio World Championships +100kg

Men’s +100kg
In the Men’s +100kg category there’s only one obvious favourite and that’s France’s five-time World Champion Teddy Riner. There were other big men in the category – Brazil’s Rafael Silva, Germany’s Andreas Toelzer, Georgia’s Adam Okruashvili and not forgetting three-time World Champion Alexander Mikhaylin – however none of them was a serious threat to Riner.

Pool A: Rafael Silva (BRA)
Home favourite and No 1-ranked Silva thrilled the crowd in his opening match by throwing his opponent, Kyrgyzstan’s Iurii Kravkovetskii with an uchimata for ippon. He then smashed Japan’s Ryu Schichinohe with an osoto-makikomi for ippon to top his pool.

Brazil's Silva wins his prelim matches with ippon!

Pool B: Andreas Toelzer (GER)

Toelzer was the man who fought Riner in final of the last World Championships in Paris and has been known to train specifically to overcome Riner’s fighting style. He threw his first opponent, Cameroon’s Joseph Bebeze, with an uchimata for waza-ari within the first minute and then pinned  him for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. Toelzer’s next opponent was Tunisia’s Faicel Jaballah, who tried to throw the German with a sumi-gaeshi but ended up getting pinned for ippon instead.

Pool C: Teddy Riner (FRA)
Despite his ability to execute big throws, Riner has never been a showy player. He does not play to the crowd and his sole objective is to win, by penalties if necessary. As such, he does not come out blazing with attempts at crowd-pleasing throws. Instead, he bides his time, looking for the right opportunity to attack. It took him one and a half minutes to find the right moment to throw his first opponent, Aliaksandr Vakhaviak of Belarus, with an osoto-gari for ippon. It took him longer, past the midway mark, before throwing Cuba’s Oscar Brayson, also with osoto-gari for ippon.

France's Riner scores ippon, both times with osoto-gari.

Pool D: Adam Okruashvili (GEO)
On paper, there were two serious contenders here, Georgia’s 3rd-ranked Okruashvili and Russia’s 2012 London Games silver medallist, Mikhaylin. However, the Russian’s performance on that day showed that he was well past his prime. In Okruashvili’s first match, against Poland’s Maciej Sarnacki, he was thrown with a sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi for waza-ari. But Okruashvili struck back in style by throwing Sarnacki with an ura-nage that had the Polish player flying through the air. That brought him up against a sluggish Mikhaylin, who spent most of his time defending. He was eventually given a hansoku-make after accumulating four shidos.

Georgia's Okruashvili gets thrown with sasae but wins with a massive ura-nage for ippon.


The first semi-final match, between Silva and Toelzer, was mainly a tactical battle for grips. The only thing that excited the crowd was the fact that Silva might make it to the final. In the end, he did win through penalties.

After the actionless Silva-Toelzer match, the crowd was eager to see a big throw and Riner certainly delivered, launching Okruashvili into the air with a massive uchimata that could have easily been ippon. It was given a waza-ari but it didn’t matter as Riner quickly clamped on a hold-down that Okruashvili didn’t even try to wriggle out of.

Riner thrills the crowd with a big uchimata followed by a pin.

The final was what the home crowd was hoping for, a match-up between home favourite Silva and the top favourite Riner. The Frenchman dominated Silva with his favourite high, right-hand collar grip and tight, left-hand sleeve grip from the start and eventually threw him with an osoto-gari for waza-ari followed up by a pin for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon.

Riner smashes Silva with an osoto-gari and then pins him to win the gold.

Final Results
1. RINER, Teddy (FRA)    
2. SILVA, Rafael (BRA)    
3. JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN) 
3. TOELZER, Andreas (GER)  
5. MIKHAYLIN, Alexander (RUS)


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