Friday, March 21, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Tbilisi 2014 DAY 1

March 21st, 2014 (Via IJF)

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

The Judo Grand Prix, Tbilisi 2014, started in style at the Tbilisi Sports Palace on Friday as five winners were crowned in the lightest categories.   

The opening day of the country’s first Judo Grand Prix, which comes four weeks after the first Grand Prix of 2014 in Dusseldorf, crowned gold medallists in the women’s  -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories. 

Before the fate of the first medals of the Tbilisi Grand Prix were determined the capacity crowd enjoyed the opening ceremony as the flags of the 24 participating countries were presented on the tatami.

Mr. David KEVKISHVILI, Georgian Judo Federation President, made the opening address.

“Dear Prime Minister, guests and spectators, I welcome you to Tbilisi and to our first Grand Prix. It is a great honour to host this important tournament and that is why I’d like to say a special thank you to IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER and if not for the support of the Georgian government we would not have been able to host this event. I would also like to thank Georgian fans and supporters and now let’s welcome the Prime Minster of Georgia.”

Mr. Irakli GARIBASHVILI, Prime Minister of Georgia, spoke of Georgia's pride as hosts of the competition

Mr. Irakli GARIBASHVILI, Prime Minister of Georgia, said: “Hello to IJF President, hello to the organisers of tournament, and to all participants and my greetings to the supporters as well. Georgia is hosting many top class sports tournaments this year and we are really honoured to stage them. We would like to thank the Georgian Judo Federation because Tbilisi is where this prestigious tournament takes place. Mr. President this is a great honour for us.

"I would like to mention Mr. Levan KIPIANI who is a great supporter of this event. Judo is a very important sport for us, maybe because the Georgian soul is really a fighter and we have great achievements in the sport. I would like also to mention that we support the development of judo and all Georgian judoka because we want them to take our name and represent us around the world. I wish all the participants good luck.”

Mr. Levan KIPIANI, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia, said: “Dear guests, participants and guests from all countries, I welcome you to this top class tournament. To have this event is a great honour and that’s why I’d like to say thank to the organisers and in particular Mr. Marius VIZER. Judo is a very popular sport here and our athletes are great players. I would like to wish all participants good luck and hope you all enjoy our hospitality.”

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, officially opened the first Tbilisi Grand Prix

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, said: “Dear Mr. Irakli GARIBASHVILI, Prime Minister of Georgia, dear delegates and officials of the Georgian government, spectators, media, guests and judoka, I want to congratulate the Georgian government and the Georgian Judo Federation for hosting the first Grand Prix in this country.  As well I want to thank the Georgian Judo Federation very much for supporting the development of the IJF and world judo. I wish all participants good luck, a successful event and I open the first Grand Prix in Georgia.”

Mr. GARIBASHVILI and Mr. VIZER ahead of the opening ceremony 

After the first day of the competition, Russia lead the medal table with two gold and three bronze ahead of Azerbaijan who won two gold and one bronze. Hosts Georgia opened their account in an understated fashion with a sole bronze medal but will expect to be stronger in the heavier weight categories on Saturday and Sunday.   

On Saturday, the action continues with the second day of the inaugural Tbilisi Grand Prix as the focus turns to the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories along with the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories. 

Mr. GARIBASHVILI, Mr. VIZER and Mr. KEVKISHVILI watch the final block on day one in Tbilisi


-48kg: Russia wins the first Tbilisi Grand Prix gold medal    

Former Moscow Grand Slam runner-up Nataliya KONDRATYEVA (RUS) won the first Tbilisi Grand Prix gold medal by defeating Warsaw European Open winner Maryna CHERNIAK (UKR) in the -48kg final. KONDRATYEVA did well to protect her arm and hold off a committed juji-gatame attempt by her rival in the opening minute and never looked back. KONDRATYEVA scored a waza-ari with a sankaku-gatame hold and went back to the same position to produce to same score after some methodical ne-waza to win by wazari-awasette-ippon. 

The Russian had stormed through her semi-final with a blistering performance which left European u23 Championships silver medallist Kristina VRSIC (SLO) in her wake. The emerging Slovenian held out for as long as she could before the Russian seized her arm and forced her to submit to a juji-gatame after just 75 seconds. In the second semi-final CHERNIAK bested Almaty Grand Prix winner Kristina RUMYANTSEVA (RUS) by an osoto-gari which earned ippon after two minutes as her initial shido for passivity had no influence on the outcome of the contest. 

The first bronze medal was awarded to Israel’s impressive debutant Amelie ROSSENEU (ISR) who saw off losing semi-finalist RUMYANTSEVA in golden score. ROSSENEU was penalised with a shido in regular time for going out of the area while the Russian earned a penalty for passivity which sent the contest into golden score where the former scored a yuko from an uchi-mata. The second bronze medal was won by Casablanca African Open bronze medallist Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR) against Slovenian ace VRSIC who finished fifth at the Almaty Grand Prix. LOKMANHEKIM went behind to a yuko from an o-goshi after 30 seconds and VRSIC doubled her advantage with a second yuko before the Turkish judoka stunned her opponent and spectators alike by powering forward with a ouchi-gari for ippon with 66 seconds remaining. 

KONDRATYEVA, Nataliya (RUS) vs CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)          

Bronze Medal Fights
ROSSENEU, Amelie (ISR) vs RUMYANTSEVA, Kristina (RUS)    
LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR) vs VRSIC, Kristina (SLO)     

Final Results
1. KONDRATYEVA, Nataliya (RUS)                   
2. CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)                    
3. ROSSENEU, Amelie (ISR)             
3. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)   
5. RUMYANTSEVA, Kristina (RUS)                 
5. VRSIC, Kristina (SLO)           
7. AKKUS, Sumeyye (TUR)     
7. MINSKER, Noa (ISR)       

-52kg: Cohen shuts out returning Olympic bronze medallist 

Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Gili COHEN (ISR) was the best performer in the -52kg category as she was triumphant against London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Rosalba FORCINITI (ITA) who was only competing for the second time since London. FORCINITI, 28, who won the Rome European Open in October, was the aggressor in the opening stages but grew frustrated as her attacks failed to trouble the scoreboard and was penalised with a shido for a false attack which was decisive after four minutes of scoreless action. 

In the first semi-final FORCINITI neutralised the significant attacking prowess of Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS). Both judoka received a shido for passivity and, as the contest went on the Italian grew in confidence, which meant there was a feeling of inevitability as her opponent picked up a second shido for the same reason and that separated them after four minutes. In the second semi-final COHEN showed her tenacity by outworking (ISR) Warsaw European Open bronze medallist Tetiana LEVYTSKA (UKR). Both judoka each scored a waza-ari and there was nothing to separate them until the Ukrainian fighter was penalised with a shido to send her into the repechage. 

The first bronze medal was clinched by LEVYTSKA who overshadowed teammate and Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Oleksandra STARKOVA (UKR). The latter received a shido for going out of the area before LEVYTSKA took control with a yuko and then a waza-ari before receiving her own shido for going out of the area but by that point she was already out of reach.The second bronze medal was won by KUZIUTINA as her colleague and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix gold medallist Yulia RYZHOVA (RUS) could not compete due to injury.      

FORCINITI, Rosalba (ITA) vs COHEN, Gili (ISR)         

Bronze Medal Fights
STARKOVA, Oleksandra (UKR) vs LEVYTSKA, Tetiana (UKR)   
RYZHOVA, Yulia (RUS) vs KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)      

Final Results
1. COHEN, Gili (ISR)                               
2. FORCINITI, Rosalba (ITA)            
3. LEVYTSKA, Tetiana (UKR)                 
3. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)                     
5. STARKOVA, Oleksandra (UKR)              
5. RYZHOVA, Yulia (RUS)          
7. BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)     
7. CHINTOGTOKH, Azzaya (MGL)      

-57kg: Russia adds a second title on day one

Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Irina ZABLUDINA (RUS) bested Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Jovana ROGIC (SRB) to take the honours in the -57kg category. Both judo were penalised with a shido for passivity after 25 seconds and 20 seconds later the contest was over as ZABLUDINA locked on the juji-gatame to force ROGIC to submit. 

In the first semi-final ROGIC (SRB) narrowly defeated the vastly-experienced Kifayat GASIMOVA (AZE) by two shido penalties as her opponent emerged with an unblemished record. In the second semi-final ZABLUDINA (RUS) defeated 19-year-old Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist ALTAI Batzul (MGL) by a shido to advance to contest the -57kg final.

The first bronze medal was won by Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Shushana HEVONDIAN (UKR) who inflicted a second straight defeat on the unclucky ALTAI by ippon from a sasae-tsurikomi-ashi. The second bronze medal was won GASIMOVA who had too much experience for 22-year-old world bronze medallist Vlora BEDETI (SLO). The 31-year-old opened the scoring with a yuko but immediately decreased her work rate to protect her lead and in process accumulated three shido penalties for passivity but there was to be no comeback for the Slovenian youngster. 
ROGIC, Jovana (SRB) vs ZABLUDINA, Irina (RUS)           

Bronze Medal Fights
HEVONDIAN, Shushana (UKR) vs ALTAI, Batzul (MGL)      
BEDETI, Vlora (SLO) vs GASIMOVA, Kifayat (AZE)              

Final Results
1. ZABLUDINA, Irina (RUS)                        
2. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)          
3. HEVONDIAN, Shushana (UKR)                 
3. GASIMOVA, Kifayat (AZE)                     
5. ALTAI, Batzul (MGL)                     
5. BEDETI, Vlora (SLO)             
7. SZABO, Katinka (HUN)     
7. NOSKOVA, Tatiana (RUS)        


-60kg: Azerbaijan ace tops the podium in Georgia     

World bronze medallist Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) notched another major milestone in his blossoming career as he won his first World Judo Tour event with victory in the -60kg category. SAFAROV was too strong for former Asian Championships bronze medallist Yerkebulan KOSSAYEV (KAZ) as he swept past him by ippon with an emphatic osoto-gari. 

In the first semi-final KOSSAYEV defeated relative unknown Gabit YESSIMBETOV (KAZ) by two yuko scores. In the second semi-final Olympic champion Arsen GALSTYAN (RUS) came undone against SAFAROV as he lost his lead and then the contest. The Russian fighter broke the deadlock with waza-ari score but SAFAROV replied with the same score and kept his composure to receive just one shido while GALSTYAN had two after five minutes of absorbing action.

The first bronze medal was claimed by GALSTYAN who tormented European champion and top seed Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) in a contest which many thought would be the -60kg final. GALSTYAN boosted his comeback by defeating Georgian hope PAPINASHVILI by a waza-ari. The second bronze medal went to 20-year-old national champion Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO) who earned a huge reaction from the crowd who met his win by ippon with a roar of delight which will long be remembered by  him and his victim YESSIMBETOV (KAZ).
KOSSAYEV, Yerkebulan (KAZ) vs SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)   

Bronze Medal FightsPAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO) vs GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS)       
CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO) vs YESSIMBETOV, Gabit (KAZ)                  

Final Result
1. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)                      
2. KOSSAYEV, Yerkebulan (KAZ)
3. GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS)                  
3. CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO)          
5. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)                 
5. YESSIMBETOV, Gabit (KAZ)                       
7. BROLASHVILI, Giorgi (GEO)         
7. MEREBASHVILI, Paata (GEO)     

-66kg: Double delight for Azerbaijan 

Former world bronze medallist Nijat SHIKHALIZADA (AZE) had the measure of former world champion Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) in Tbilisi as Azerbaijan secured gold in the two men’s categories on day one. Paris Grand Slam silver medallist ZANTARAIA fell by to a tai-otoshi after one minute when his acclaimed powers of evasion saw him bridge but that position is now awarded ippon to ensure the safety of the judoka. 

In the first semi-final ZANTARAIA was gifted a win by his opponent and former European silver medllist Kamal KHAN-MAGOMEDOV (RUS) who leaned into the Ukranian with his head to receive direct hansoku-make. In the second semi-final SHIKHALIZADA (AZE) conquered Almaty Grand Prix winner Yeldos ZHUMAKANOV (KAZ) by hansoku-make as the latter laboured to four shido penalties.

The first bronze medal was won by Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist BATTSETSEG Batgerel (MGL) against ZHUMAKANOV in a contest that failed to ignite as the Mongolian won with two shido penalties to his name while his opponent had received three. The second bronze medal contest was won by former European champion Alim GADANOV (RUS) as KHAN-MAGOMEDOV could not take part after being disqualified in his semi-final with a hansoku-make. 

ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR) vs SHIKHALIZADA, Nijat (AZE)     

Bronze Medal Fights
BATTSETSEG, Batgerel (MGL) vs ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)      

Final Result
1. SHIKHALIZADA, Nijat (AZE)            
2. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)                 
3. BATTSETSEG, Batgerel (MGL)         
3. GADANOV, Alim (RUS)          
5. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)                         
5. KHAN-MAGOMEDOV, Kamal (RUS)                  
7. PEIKRISHVILI, Tristan (GEO)      
7. KARDAVA, Shalva (GEO)       

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