Saturday, February 22, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014, DAY 2

-63kg | -70kg | -73kg | -81kg 

The Judo Grand Prix, Dusseldorf 2014, continued with the second day of the competition at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle on Saturday.

The German crowd of 2800 judo enthusiasts saw four weight categories take to the tatami in search of Grand Prix honours as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s-73kg and -81kg categories were all in action. 

World champion Yarden GERBI (ISR) looked to bounce back from an early defeat in Paris by upstaging her  -63kg adversaries. The field included world number five Martyna TRAJDOS (GER), Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Anne-Laure BELLARD (FRA) and world number three ABE Kana (JPN) were among those aiming to deny the Israeli judoka.

World Championships bronze medallist Laura VARGAS-KOCH (GER) was one of Germany’s leading medal hopes and was in a -70kg category which is brimming with talent. Paris Grand Slam gold medallist and world number five Linda BOLDER (NED) was one of the favourites along  with world number six KIM Seongyeon (KOR).

Reigning European champion Rok DRAKSIC (SLO) and Olympic silver medallist Miklos UNGVARI (HUN) featured in -73kg action while world number six Sven MARESCH (GER), Olympic bronze medallist Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) and teak-tough Travis STEVENS (USA) fought in the -81kg category. 

Ahead of the final block on day two, young judoka from the region presented the flags of the 55 countries participating in the competition and that impressive figure once again illustrated the international reputation of the event and its value on the World Judo Tour.  

The draw can be seen at:
Live stream on Ippon TV:
Official event hash tag:


-63kg: European silver medallist defeats world champion    

European silver medallist Marta LABAZINA (RUS) upstaged world champion Yarden GERBI (ISR) to capture -63kg gold in Dusseldorf. GERBI, who lost in her first contest in Paris, was thrown for waza-ari from a uki-goshi by the Russian and there was no way back for GERBI who had also accumulated three shido with two for passivity and one for gripping over the top and not following with an attack. 

In the semi-final GERBI looked stronger as the contest went on and booked her place in the final by overcoming world number five Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) by ippon with 57 seconds remaining in their previously scoreless contest. LABAZINA (RUS) sealed a place in the final by conquering world number four Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED) by ippon after two minutes of golden score.

The first bronze medal was won in style by VAN EMDEN as she ruthlessly dispatched 21-year-old European u23 champion Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT) by ippon from a sasae-tsurikoni-ashi. The second bronze medal was claimed by Tokyo Grand Slam winner ABE Kana (JPN) who held down TRAJDOS with a kesa-gatame after freeing her left leg from her opponents legs as the German talent failed to neutralise the imminent transition.        

GERBI, Yarden (ISR) vs LABAZINA, Marta (RUS)   

Bronze Medal Fights
UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT) vs VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)     
ABE, Kana (JPN) vs TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)       

Final Results
1. LABAZINA, Marta (RUS)        
2. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)           
3. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)              
3. ABE, Kana (JPN)     
5. UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)           
5. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)                 
7. BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA)       
7. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)      

-70kg: African champion NIANG earns gold for Morocco 

African champion Assmaa NIANG (MAR) won the first World Judo Tour medal of her career with a commanding performance against Rome European Open bronze medallist Sally CONWAY (GBR). Samsun Grand Prix silver medallist NIANG who finished seventh in Paris, threw her opponent for a waza-ari score before transitioning into osaekomi-waza to earn the biggest result of her career which is on at the rise at the age of 31. 

CONWAY sealed her spot in the final by submitting world number 13 Iljana MARZOK (GER) with a juji-gatame after two minutes of semi-final action. The German was in fine form in the earlier rounds as she delivered some ippon judo but CONWAY dictated the action to guarantee a medal for Great Britain in Dusseldorf. NIANG secured an expected place in the final by stunning Paris Grand Slam winner Linda BOLDER (NED) by ippon

The first bronze medal was claimed by  world number seven HWANG Ye-Sul (KOR) as losing semi-finalist BOLDER was unable to compete due to injury. The second bronze medal was destined for Japan as Tokyo Grand Slam winner and Junior World Championships bronze medallist ARAI Chizuru (JPN) denied Germany and MARZOK by ippon after three minutes.      

CONWAY, Sally (GBR) vs NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)            

Bronze Medal Fights
HWANG, Ye-Sul (KOR) vs BOLDER, Linda (NED)     
ARAI, Chizuru (JPN) vs MARZOK, Iljana (GER)    

Final Results
1. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)                  
2. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)          
3. HWANG, Ye-Sul (KOR)          
3. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)       
5. BOLDER, Linda (NED)              
5. MARZOK, Iljana (GER)                 
7. GAZIEVA, Irina (RUS)        
7. KIM, Seongyeon (KOR)         


-73kg: Former world champion shines for Japan      

Former world champion AKIMOTO Hiroyuki (JPN) emerged victorious in the biggest category at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix. AKIMOTO and his opponent Sagi MUKI (ISR) outlasted the 39 judoka who joined them in -73kg action. AKIMOTO outclassed his rival as MUKI was reluctant to attack as he feared the offensive arsenal of his adversary. The Japanese judoka finally broke the deadlock with just eight seconds left as he sprung to his knees and threw MUKI with a rapid drop seoi-nage which earned the applause of the crowd. 

MUKI won the first semi-final against reigning European champion Rok DRAKSIC (SLO) after two minutes while AKIMOTO bested Dastan YKYBAYEV (KAZ) at the same stage by two yuko to ensure another medal for high-flying Japan.

The first bronze medal was clinched by former world bronze medallist and long-time -66kg standout Musa MOGUSHKOV (RUS) who defeated YKYBAYEV with a yuko from a ko-uchi-gari which was the only score in the hard-fought contest. The second bronze medal was won by DRAKSIC in a highly-entertaining contest with world number 12 Nicholas DELPOPOLO (USA). DRAKSIC exploded in action and set a high tempo which put the American on the back foot from the outset. Pan American champion DELPOPOLO was close to scoring with his fourth uchi-mata attempt before the Slovenian sealed victory from a waza-ari SLO with a drop seoi-nage as 40 seconds remained on the clock. 
MUKI, Sagi (ISR) vs AKIMOTO, Hiroyuki (JPN)      

Bronze Medal Fights
MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS) vs YKYBAYEV, Dastan (KAZ)    
DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA) vs DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)               

Final Result
1. AKIMOTO, Hiroyuki (JPN)                 
2. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)           
3. MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS)        
3. DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)              
5. YKYBAYEV, Dastan (KAZ)                
5. DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA)     
7. ALLARDON, Jonathan (FRA)        
7. UEMATSU, Kiyoshi (ESP)      

-81kg: Travis STEVENS dominates for USA   

Tashkent Grand Prix winner Travis STEVENS (USA) dominated the -81kg category on Saturday as he laid siege to his rivals in Dusseldorf. STEVENS flipped world number six over MARESCH over with a sumi-gaeshi but despite the German turning and avoiding landing on his back, STEVENS pursued his opponent as they moved towards the scoreboard in the safety zone. STEVENS pinned MARESCH with a mune-gatame and was not letting go on his bid to return to the top of the World Judo Tour podium. After the 20 seconds elapsed, STEVENS stood up and shook the hand of his coach Jimmy Pedro Sr. who was smiling ear-to-ear. 

STEVENS booked his place in the final by holding down Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Shukhratjon ARSLANOV (UZB) for ippon with a mune-gatame. At the same stage MARESCH blocked the path of teammate Alexander WIECZERZAK (GER) by shading their even contest with a yuko after one minute.            

The first bronze medal was won by ARSLANOV who held on to beat Stanislav SEMENOV (RUS). The Uzbek judoka went ahead with a waza-ari from a harai-goshi before his opponent scored a yuko from a uchi-mata. ARSLANOV received three shido penalties for false attacks as he was physically exhausted after a gruelling day but held on to clinch a place on the podium. The second bronze medal was captured by WIECZERZAK who thrilled the home crowd by defeating Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) by a yuko from an osoto-gari to join his teammate MARESCH on the podium.      

MARESCH, Sven (GER) vs STEVENS, Travis (USA)

Bronze Medal Fights
SEMENOV, Stanislav (RUS) vs ARSLANOV, Shukhratjon (UZB)
MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS) vs WIECZERZAK, Alexander (GER)       

Final Result
1. STEVENS, Travis (USA)        
2. MARESCH, Sven (GER)       
3. ARSLANOV, Shukhratjon (UZB)       
3. WIECZERZAK, Alexander (GER)               
5. SEMENOV, Stanislav (RUS           
5. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)             
7. DUMINICA, Valeriu (MDA)       
7. MARGIANI, Ushangi (GEO)     



11:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one tatami

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

Location: Mitsubishi Electric Halle  

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