Friday, May 30, 2014

John Buchanan, 38, makes Scotland Commonwealth Judo Team

Congrats to John Buchanan, former World Bronze Medalist, for making the Scottish Commonwealth team.

Here is an interview with John at 100 Percent Judo website.

100: It must be quite hard to fight with all off this youngsters, they are quite motivated?

J.B.: They are very motivated, but maybe in third minute they are not so motivated (laughs), which I think I can capitalize on, for my age I have still pretty good fitness and I think my judo style is  quite efficient.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hans van Essen leaves EJU

It's quite shocking to hear that Hans van Essen is no longer EJU media director. His sudden departure is a shock to judo specialists who appreciate the hard work he put into making the EJU website as one of the most active and dynamic sources of judo news on the web.

He is also the founder of the excellent website, which is indispensable as a source of information about judo players and judo results. If you are a journalist covering a international judo event, you absolutely need this site to do your job properly.

Where Hans is off to next is anybody's guess but wherever he ends up, he's sure to add some value to his new job.

I've had the privilege to have met him on a few occasions at international judo tournaments and we have become firm judo friends. I'd like to wish him all the best in his new endeavours and I look forward to collaborating with him in some capacity in the future.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Investigative judo journalism!

Here's an interesting piece of investigative journalism by 100 Percent Judo, an independent judo news portal that's really exciting.

The title of this piece is Ivan Vorobev shares destiny with van Snick? If you've been following judo news, you'd know what the author means by that.


When you get third place in the World Championships but end up with 0 points for that competition in the world rankings, there is obviously something amiss. Read the article and think about the hard questions the author asks about the situation. It's worth pondering upon.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Koga vs his son

In this very unusual match up, the legendary Double World Champion and Olympic Champion Toshihiko Koga fights against his son, Hayato. The senior Koga wins.

Takashi Ono reports on Mongolian judo

Takashi Ono visits Mongolia to learn the secrets of their training. It's fascinating.

This is Part 1

This is Part 2

Interesting interview with Ezio Gamba

The French website has a very interesting interview with Ezio Gamba, the 1989 Moscow Olympic champion and current head coach of the Russian judo team.

In the interview, he talks about how he selected the five coaches under him. The main qualities he looked for were that they were still young and were former champions themselves.
"I made my judgement on those who still practiced, how precise and challenging they were. It was very important to have active trainers. I also spotted those who were respected by the sportsmen."
The other interesting thing was the total commitment he asked of them:
"I asked them to commit themselves like they never had before. They had to be a 100% available, with 3 days off a month... No one complained or tried to bargain. No one ever asked for more days off."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Judo Grand Slam, Baku - DAY 3

(Via IJF)

The third and final day of the Judo Grand Slam, Baku 2014, produced a glimpse into the future and cast an eye towards Rio 2016 and beyond as a host of accomplished juniors shone on Sunday at the Sarhadchi Olympic Centre.  

The women’s -78kg and +78kg categories took to the tatami along with the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories.

Hosts Azerbaijan, who were pinning their gold medal hopes on day three on world champion Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE), finished fourth in the medal table with a haul of one gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

France cruised through the second edition of the Baku Grand Slam as they finished top of the medal table with three gold, two silver and two bronze ahead of the Netherlands and Russia.

The IJF World Judo Tour now heads to Cuba for the first time for the first Havana Grand Prix from 6-8 June which will be the first IJF competition in the Rio 2016 Olympic qualification phase which starts on 31 May. 

The IJF referees and  IJF Refereeing Commission celebrated the career of their colleague David Browne (back row - third from the right) who retired in Baku

The +100kg final was a fitting send-off for IJF referee David BROWNE from New Zealand who brought an end to his highly-successful career as respected referee after conducting the last contest of the competition and awarding one last ippon.  

The full results can be seen at


-78kg: MALONGA shines for France    

Paris Grand Slam runner-up Madeleine MALONGA (FRA) was unbeatable in the -78kg category as she defeated Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Assunta GALEONE (ITA). MALONGA, 20, who missed out on selection for the European Championships, went one better than she did in Paris to catapult herself up towards the summit of the world ranking list. The precocious Frenchwoman denied GALEONE by scoring a waza-ari from a ko-soto-gake as the Italian earned her first Grand Slam medal.

In the first semi-final Abu Dhabi Grand Prix bronze medallist Anastasiya DMITRIEVA (RUS) lost out to GALEONE after receiving four shido penalties for hansoku-make with the final indiscretion coming for passivity. In the second semi-final MALONGA defeated Warsaw European Open winner Guusje STEENHUIS (NED) despite tiring early in the contest. STEENHUIS, 21, who like her opponent is a new force in the category,  was penalised with shido penalties for passivity and a false attack while the Frenchwoman had one shido for passivity.

The first bronze medal was won by STEENHUIS who dealt with Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Samantha BLEIER (USA) in convincing fashion. The Dutch fighter made a breakthrough with an uchi-mata for waza-ari and went back to the same technique to add a yuko before holding down her opponent with a kami-shiho-gatame to win by wazari-awasette-ippon. The second bronze medal contest was won by DMITRIEVA as European Championships bronze medallist Lucie LOUETTE KANNING (FRA) lacked intent and received three shido penalties for passivity and going out of the area on two occasions while her foe was penalised once for going out of the area.    

GALEONE, Assunta (ITA) vs MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)                     

Bronze Medal Fights
STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED) vs BLEIER, Samantha (USA)        
DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS) v LOUETTE KANNING, Lucie (FRA)                

Final Results
1. MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)                                
2. GALEONE, Assunta (ITA)                     
3. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)                        
3. DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS)            
5. BLEIER, Samantha (USA)                      
5. LOUETTE KANNING, Lucie (FRA)                                
7. DE SAEDELAERE, Sofie (BEL)            
7. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)              

+78kg: South Korean KIM clinches Baku gold 

Jeju Grand Prix winner KIM Eunkyeong (KOR) was triumphant in the +78kg category as she defeated former African Games winner Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN) in the final. CHEIKH ROUHOU started slowly and failed to increase her workrate as she was penalised with a shido for a false attack and a shido for passivity in a scoreless contest which lacked bite from both judoka. 

In the first semi-final KIM battled past Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Ksenia CHIBISOVA (RUS) by submitting her rival while at the same stage CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN) defeated Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Mariia SHEKEROVA (RUS).

The first bronze medal was won by Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Sandra JABLONSKYTE (LTU) who shaded SHEKEROVA on shido penalties. World number 28 JABLONSKYTE was penalised twice for passivity while her Russian rival had three shido penalties to her name for a false attack and two passivity infringements. The second bronze medal was clinched by CHIBISOVA who launched Minsk European Open silver medallist Santa PAKENYTE (LTU) with a thunderous harai-goshi for ippon after just 40 seconds in a reserve of the previous contest as Russia defeated Lithuania at the second opportunity.        

KIM, Eunkyeong (KOR) vs CHEIKH ROUHOU, Nihel (TUN)                        

Bronze Medal Fights
SHEKEROVA, Mariia (RUS) vs JABLONSKYTE, Sandra (LTU)         
CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS) vs PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)                  

Final Results
1. KIM, Eunkyeong (KOR)                                 
2. CHEIKH ROUHOU, Nihel (TUN)                       
3. JABLONSKYTE, Sandra (LTU)              
3. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)                       
5. SHEKEROVA, Mariia (RUS)                         
5. PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)                           
7. QI, Xiaonan (CHN)          
7. KARA, Kubra (TUR)               


-90kg: ELMONT conquers countryman for gold     

Samsun Grand Prix silver medallist Guillaume ELMONT (NED) proved to be too experienced and cunning for his teammate and Dusseldorf Grand Prix silver medallist Noel VAN T END (NED) in the -90kg final. ELMONT, who won world gold in 2005, is still a teak-tough and highly-capable judoka almost a decade on from his success in Egypt. VAN T END, tried to find a way to break through the resistance of his vastly more experienced compatriot but the wily vet won through. ELMONT had two shido penalties to his name for passivity and going out of the area while his opponent earned three penalties for going out of the area and the last two for passivity. 

In the first semi-final ELMONT dispatched Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Walter FACENTE (ITA) by ippon while his teammate VAN T END defeated Prague European Open winner Murat GASIEV (RUS) after teasing an ippon seoi-nage attack only to launch with a ko-uchi-gake for ippon.

The first bronze medal was won by GASIEV as his colleague Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Magomed MAGOMEDOV (RUS) could not compete due to injury. The second bronze medal was captured by Junior world champion Beka GVINIASHVILI (GEO) who showed lethal precision against FACENTE. Teenage powerhouse GVINIASHVILI, 18, powered to victory by ippon from a determined uchi-mata after his opponent was penalised with a shido for going out of the area. 
ELMONT, Guillaume (NED) vs VAN T END, Noel (NED     

Bronze Medal Fights
GASIEV, Murat (RUS) vs MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)          
FACENTE, Walter (ITA) vs GVINIASHVILI, Beka (GEO)                                    

Final Result
1. ELMONT, Guillaume (NED)                         
2. VAN T END, Noel (NED)                          
3. GASIEV, Murat (RUS)                          
3. GVINIASHVILI, Beka (GEO)                      
5. MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)                       
5. FACENTE, Walter (ITA)                        
7. DONIYOROV, Erkin (UZB)          
7. GAHRAMANOV, Shahin (AZE)         

-100kg: RAKOV defeats Azerbaijan's world champion   

Former world champion Maxim RAKOV (KAZ) defeated reigning world title winner Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE) in a dramatic contest which captivated the home crowd. As MAMMADOV entered the arena his fans erupted with a chant of his name as RAKOV looked to dethrone Azerbaijan’s leading man having himself won world gold in 2009. The rivals traded shido penalties in a lethargic contest which was settled in golden score when the home fighter received his fourth shido for passivity. 

In the first semi-final MAMMADOV confidently beat Sofia European Open runner-up Flavio ORLIK (SUI) by two waza-ari scores as the Swiss fighter was outclassed despite a bold effort in the preliminary rounds to reach this stage. In the second semi-final RAKOV progressed by toppling Ramziddin SAYIDOV (UZB) as he opened the scoring with a ko-soto-gari after 15 seconds and submitted him with a koshi-jime.

The first bronze medal was won by SAYIDOV who threw Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Zafar MAKHMADOV (RUS) for ippon after initially being awarded a waza-ari after 90 seconds the score was upgraded to the maximum score to settle the contest. The second medal was comprehensively won by Tashkent Grand Prix winner Soyib KURBONOV (UZB) who humbled ORLIK in style. KURBONOV started his onslaught with a yuko which was amended to a waza-ari and added two further yuko scores before bringing an end to the Swiss fighter’s misery by submitting him with a juji-gatame.         

MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE) vs RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)                

Bronze Medal Fights
SAYIDOV, Ramziddin (UZB) vs MAKHMADOV, Zafar (RUS)         
ORLIK, Flavio (SUI) vs KURBONOV, Soyib (UZB)                  

Final Result
1. RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)                        
2. MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)                
3. SAYIDOV, Ramziddin (UZB)                    
3. KURBONOV, Soyib (UZB)                    
5. MAKHMADOV, Zafar (RUS)                                  
5. ORLIK, Flavio (SUI)                           
7. KOZYBAYEV, Adilkhan (KAZ)           
7. REMARENCO, Ivan (UAE)      

+100kg: Joy for JABALLAH  

World bronze medallist medallist Faicel JABALLAH (TUN) was the heavyweight winner as dominated Junior world champion Anton KRIVOBOKOV (RUS) in the final. JABALLAH received a shido for going out of the area after 50 seconds but sprung forward two seconds later to throw the young Russian with a harai-makikomi for ippon. JABALLAH has been in a major force on the World Judo Tour this year after winning bronze at the Paris Grand Slam and silver at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix. 

In the first semi-final JABALLAH defeated European u23 Championships bronze medallist Daniel NATEA (ROU) who did not do himself justice as he accumulated four shido penalties in an insipid display that belied the occasion. In the second semi-final Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Renat SAIDOV (RUS) was upstaged countryman KRIVOBOKOV who prevailed by ippon after three minutes of action.

The first bronze medal went to SAIDOV who outclassed world number 73 Vakhtangi BITIEV (AZE) after it looked like the Russian would attempt a tomoe-nage he adjusted his body and feet to wrap his legs around his opponents arm and submit him with a juji-gatame. Little-known home fighter BITIEV earned a career-best result despite succumbing and missing out on a medal. The second bronze medal was won by NATEA who threw Ushangi KOKAURI (AZE) with a harai-makikomi after three minutes and punched the air in celebration while his Azerbaijan opponent rued getting to close and missing out on his first senior international medal.

JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN) vs KRIVOBOKOV, Anton (RUS)                    

Bronze Medal Fights
SAIDOV, Renat (RUS) vs BITIEV, Vakhtangi (AZE)        
NATEA, Daniel (ROU) vs KOKAURI, Ushangi (AZE)             

Final Result
1. JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN)                         
2. KRIVOBOKOV, Anton (RUS)                                
3. SAIDOV, Renat (RUS)                     
3. NATEA, Daniel (ROU)               
5. BITIEV, Vakhtangi (AZE                   
5. KOKAURI, Ushangi (AZE)                                   
7. MALKI, El Mehdi (MAR)
7. BALTAEV, Boltoboy (UZB)           

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2014 Judo Grand Slam, Baku - DAY 2

(Via IJF)

The Baku Grand Slam continued on Saturday as the second day served up a spectacular installment at the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre.

The enthusiastic Azerbaijan fans saw four weight categories take to the tatami in search of Grand Slam honours as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s-73kg and -81kg categories were all in action.

Baku’s leading judo event, which is now in its second year, is one of four Grand Slams on the IJF World Judo Tour. With the Rio 2016 Olympic qualification phase set to start athletes have their eyes on the 500 ranking points available for winning gold at a Grand Slam which is only second to this year’s World Championships.

A total of $156,000 in prize money is distributed at showpiece Grand Slam events to the medallists including $5,000 for each of the 14 gold medallists.

After two days of action, France are still top of the medal table with two medals of each colour with hosts Azerbaija remaining second with a medal haul of one gold medal, one silver and three bronze.

On Sunday, the three-day competition will be come to a stirring close with the heavyweight elite as the -90kg, -100kg and +100kg men will be joined in action by the leading -78kg and +78kg women. 

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


-63kg: BELLARD battles to Baku gold    

Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Anne-Laure BELLARD (FRA) defeated Samsun Grand Prix winner Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT) in the first final of the day. In a contest which pitted youth against experience, BELLARD, 32, was all but out of the contest entering the final minute with three shido penalties against her and UNTERWURZACHER, 21, boasting an unblemished record. Despite her considerable advantage, UNTERWURZACHER - who should have really been out of sight by the end of the four minutes - conceded three penalties for passivity as she visibly tired in the closing seconds. The Austrian had nothing in reserve in golden score and received a fourth and final shido for passivity after 28 seconds.  

In the first semi-final world bronze medallist and top seed Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED) was dispatched by BELLARD (FRA) who broke the deadlock of two shido penalties apiece by registering a yuko in the last minute. At the same stage UNTERWURZACHER bested the ever-improving Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Edwige GWEND (ITA) to stake her claim for success in the final block. GWEND trailed by two shido penalties for going out of the area and passivity which gave the Austrian a lift and she took command with a waza-ari score before GWEND scored a consolation yuko.

The first bronze medal was won by GWEND who defeated the plucky 17-year-old Szabina GERCSAK (HUN). Cadet world champion GERCSAK, who recently made her breakthrough by earning bronze medal at the Samsun Grand Prix, was caught for a waza-ari from an ouchi-gari with a minute left in the only score of the contest. The second bronze medal was claimed by VAN EMDEN who inflicted a second successive defeat against Hungariy. VAN EMDEN contained European u23 Championships bronze medallist Franciska SZABO with ease and produced two yuko scores for a comfortle victory. 

BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA) vs UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)                  

Bronze Medal Fights
GWEND, Edwige (ITA) vs GERCSAK, Szabina (HUN)       
VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED) vs SZABO, Franciska (HUN)                

Final Results
1. BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA)           
2. UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)                 
3. GWEND, Edwige (ITA)               
3. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)                
5. GERCSAK, Szabina (HUN)                         
5. SZABO, Franciska (HUN)                             
7. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)        
7. ZOUAK, Rizlen (MAR)         

-70kg: European champion POLLING extends world lead 

European kingpin Kim POLLING (NED) extended her lead at the top of the world ranking list by defeating Samsun Grand Prix runner-up Sally CONWAY (GBR). POLLING, who entered the competition 600 points clear of her nearest rival, Germany’s Laura VARGAS-KOCH, scored a waza-ari from an ippon seoi-nage which world number seven CONWAY initially rested but the strength of the Dutchwoman eventually brought the Brit onto her back. CONWAY defended several uchi-mata attempts and worked diligently on the ground but her opponent was equal to those attacks.   

The first semi-final matched the recently crowned European champion POLLING against the reigning African champion Assmaa NIANG (MAR). Dutch ace POLLING received a shido for a false attack and NIANG infringed shortly after for passivity. The top seed countered an ouchi-gari attempt from NIANG to bring her down for ippon. In the second semi-final CONWAY defeated Warsaw European Open bronze medallist Heide WOLLERT (GER) with a come-from-behind victory. The British judoka scored a yuko from an uchi-mata to level the scoring after WOLLERT was first to register but the German fighter crucially conceded a shido penalty for a false attack to gift CONWAY a place in the final.

The first bronze medal was claimed by WOLLERT who strolled past Rome European bronze medallist Anka POGACNIK (SLO) by pinning her down with mune-gatame in the second minute with minimal resistance. The second bronze medal was destined for Poland as former Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Katarzyna KLYS (POL) won a battle of shido penalties against NIANG. The Morrocan received three penalties for an overly defensive posture, not taking a grip and passivity while her opponent received one penalty for her negative posture.   

POLLING, Kim (NED) vs CONWAY, Sally (GBR)                         

Bronze Medal Fights
WOLLERT, Heide (GER) vs POGACNIK, Anka (SLO)       
KLYS, Katarzyna (POL) vs NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)                     

Final Results
1. POLLING, Kim (NED)                             
2. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)                      
3. WOLLERT, Heide (GER)           
3. KLYS, Katarzyna (POL)              
5. POGACNIK, Anka (SLO)                          
5. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)                            
7. WILDIKAN, Lior (ISR)          
7. CANTONI, Giulia (ITA)          


-73kg: Irresistible MUKI thrills for Israel     

Dusseldorf Grand Prix silver medallist Sagi MUKI (ISR) was unstoppable in the -73kg category as he bested Buenos Aires Pan American Open silver medallist Florent URANI (FRA). URANI, 23, already assured of his first Grand Slam medal, had the misfortune of meeting MUKI, 21, who was in devastating form as he threw with ease all day long. The Israeli scored ippon after 90 seconds with a crowd-pleasing sode-tsurikomi-goshi to arguably steal the show on day two. 

In the first semi-final Pierre DUPRAT (FRA) slipped to defeat at the hands of MUKI who registered two waza-ari scores with little resistance. Frenchman URANI made sure his country would be represented in the -73kg final as he triumphed against Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Victor SCVORTOV (UAE). URANI ran the risk of hansoku-make as he received his third shido in the final minute for passivity but SCVORTOV laboured to defeat.

The first bronze medal was clinched by SCVORTOV after a win against Asian star KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar (MGL) who traded a matside view and the coaching duties which kept him busy on Friday for a tilt at -73kg honours. SCVORTOV scored a waza-ari with ko-uchi-gari after two minutes and despite a battling performance KHASHBAATAR was unable to reply. The second bronze medal was won by ORUJOV Rustam (AZE) who narrowly edged DUPRAT in front of his delighted compatriots. The decisive moment saw the Frenchman receive a shido for an overly positive posture in a scoreless contest as ORUJOV - who lost out to eventual Olympic champion Mansur ISAEV (RUS) in London – earned his country’s first medal on day two of his home Grand Slam.  
MUKI, Sagi (ISR) vs URANI, Florent (FRA)             

Bronze Medal FightsSCVORTOV, Victor (UAE) vs KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL)      
DUPRAT, Pierre (FRA) vs ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)                                   

Final Result
1. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)                            
2. URANI, Florent (FRA)                        
3. SCVORTOV, Victor (UAE)                  
3. ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)                         
5. KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL)                           
5. DUPRAT, Pierre (FRA)             
7. SHOMURODOV, Sarvar (UZB)         
7. MOLLAEI, Saeid (IRI)          

-81kg: Russia's KHUBETSOV earns gold  

Reigning Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Alan KHUBETSOV (RUS) reigned in the -81kg category as he conquered Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Ushangi MARGIANI (GEO) in the final. The contest featured two of the brightest talents in the category and they are slowly making their way up the pecking order in their national ranks and establishing themselves at this level. In front of the watching Russian General Team Manager Ezio GAMBA, his charge KHUBETSOV, 20, was able to squeeze out MARGIANI, 20, by a yuko – the only score of the contest – as both judoka finished the contest with three shido penalties. 

In the first semi-final Olympic bronze medallist Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) was beaten by KHUBETSOV who scored a waza-ari in the final 30 seconds to seal a place in the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final MARGIANI blocked the passage of Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Arsen PSHMAKHOV (RUS) to deny an all-Russian final in a physical onslaught where neither judoka backed down. PSHMAKHOV received shido penalties for a false attack and passivity while his opponent only received one shido for passivity as the dup could only be separated on penalties after five minutes of committed action.

The first bronze medal was won by Junior world championships bronze medallist Mammadali MEHDIYEV (AZE) as PSHMAKHOV ran out of ideas after his tactics failed to impose himself in the contest. PSHMAKHOV received three shido penalties as he kept his leg between those of his opponent and offered little in an attacking capacity. MEHDIYEV was penalised twice as he tried to protect his advantage but held on to please the capacity crowd. The second bronze medal was captured by VALOIS-FORTIER who outlasted Abu Dhabi Grand Prix bronze medallist Yakhyo IMAMOV (UZB) in a tense contest that was settled by penalties. IMAMOV infringed for a fourth and final time for passivity, one more indiscretion than his rival, to receive hansoku-make.  

KHUBETSOV, Alan (RUS) vs MARGIANI, Ushangi (GEO)              

Bronze Medal Fights
PSHMAKHOV, Arsen (RUS) vs MEHDIYEV, Mammadali (AZE)
VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN) vs IMAMOV, Yakhyo (UZB)          

Final Result
1. KHUBETSOV, Alan (RUS)            
2. MARGIANI, Ushangi (GEO)           
3. MEHDIYEV, Mammadali (AZE)            
5. PSHMAKHOV, Arsen (RUS)               
5. IMAMOV, Yakhyo (UZB)                                 
7. REKHVIASHVILI, Zebeda (GEO)       
7. CONRAD, Hannes (GER)         



10:00 Preliminaries on three tatami
17:00 Final block on one tatami

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

Location: Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre

2014 Judo Grand Slam, Baku - DAY 1

(Via IJF)

The Judo Grand Slam, Baku 2014 started on Friday as the teeming Azerbaijan crowd saw the stars of the World Judo Tour compete for five gold medals. 

The opening day of the Baku Grand Slam, the second Grand Slam of the year following February’s season opener in Paris, saw the -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories all in action.

Before the medals were decided in the final block, the Azerbaijan Judo Federation staged an opening ceremony to mark the participation of the 44 competing nations at the country’s flagship judo event.

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Azad RAHIMOV said: “Dear athletes, I am very delighted to welcome you all here to our capital city. I hope you can enjoy the experience of victory. Judo is at the centre of attention in our community, we organise high level events and are very proud to host this event. As with many kinds of sports, we have been very successful in judo and have great athletes who represent Azerbaijan.

From L-R: Mr. ALAKBAROV, Mr. RAHIMOV and Mr. AL-TAMEEMI opened the 2014 Baku Grand Slam

"The Grand Slam is one in our series of elite events and I hope judoka can benefit from this competition, I wish everyone to be brave and gain victory in this competition.”

Mr. Fizouli ALAKBAROV, Azerbaijan Judo Federation President, said: “In the real meaning of life, we have champions in everyday life and in sport. We as a nation are flourishing in this respect and judo is very important to us. The Grand Slam is a premier event and sporting contribution to mark the third President of Azerbaijan Heydar ALIYEV whose birthday it would be on Saturday.”

Mr. Naser AL-TAMEEMI, IJF General Treasurer, said: “Dear ladies and gentleman, I would like to thank the Azerbaijan Judo Federation for the well organisation of the event, I hope all spectators enjoy the competition and I say good luck to all the athletes. I officially declare the Judo Grand Slam, Baku 2014, open and thank you for your attention.”

Azerbaijan’s judo icon Elnur MAMMADLI, the 2008 Beijing Olympic champion, is now the Azerbaijan Judo Federation Vice President and is encouraged by his federation’s growth over the intervening years.

“We have really developed a high level in our federation and this applies to our team, our events and all aspects of our organisation. After 2008 judo became more popular here and the participation is continuing to grow at all levels.

“The Baku Grand Slam is central to our plans to develop the sport here and we already have experience in hosting major competitions after staging the World Judo Masters in 2011. Azerbaijan will host the first European Games in Baku next year and that is something we are all very excited about."

MAMMADLI, who retired from competing after the London 2012 Olympics, also talked about his transition from being an elite sportsman to a key member of his national judo federation.

“When I was an athlete I was focused on myself and being the best judoka I could be. Now I am responsible for all sectors of judo in this country and it is something I take great pride in and I am committed to using my experience and knowledge to grow our federation.”

After the first day of the competition, France lead the way with one gold medal, one silver and two bronze ahead of hosts Azerbaijan who clinched one medal of each colour.

On Saturday, the action continues in Baku as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories along with the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories will all be contested on day two. 

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


-48kg: World champion strikes first in Baku    

World champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) captured -48kg gold with victory against Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Amelie ROSSENEU (ISR) who finished fifth at the European Championships in April. MUNKHBAT, who was targeting her first gold medal since winning the world crown in Rio, took the lead with a yuko and was sharp in ne-waza as she trapped the arm of ROSSENEU while on her back and traded places with her opponent to force her to submit after 47 seconds. 

In the first semi-final MUNKHBAT disposed of Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Sumeyye AKKUS (TUR). The Mongolian was penalised with a shido for tucking underneath the advancing arm of the attacking AKKUS before some assured ne-waza saw her free the arm of her opponent to win by juji-gatame with 54 seconds remaining. In the second semi-final ROSSENEU surged past Valentina MOSCATT (ITA) in just 35 seconds as she also won by juji-gatame as her Italian opponent held her arm before eventually returning to her feet for the referee to award the contest to the Israeli judoka.

The first bronze medal was awarded to London 2012 Olympian Nataliya KONDRATYEVA (RUS) who submitted  MOSCATT who had to tap out to a juji-gatame for a second successive contest after exactly two minutes. KONDRATYEVA was penalised with a shido for not taking a grip after 80 seconds but swiftly increased her efforts to subdue her opponent. The second bronze medal was won by LOKMANHEKIM against compatriot AKKUS in a contest which will surely have repercussions with regards to future selections for Turkey who still have the highly-rated Ebru SAHIN to return to action from injury. LOKMANHEKIM, a slow starter, received a shido for passivity and picked up a second for going out of the area at the halfway mark with both judoka yet to score. LOKMANHEKIM was victorious as she defeated her teammate by yuko from an ouchi-gari having repeatedly threatened with ashi-waza. There was no way back for AKKUS who had to settle for fifth-place. 

MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs ROSSENEU, Amelie (ISR)                 

Bronze Medal Fights
MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA) vs KONDRATYEVA, Nataliya (RUS)     
AKKUS, Sumeyye (TUR) vs LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)        

Final Results
1. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)                      
2. ROSSENEU, Amelie (ISR)                              
3. KONDRATYEVA, Nataliya (RUS)                   
3. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)          
5. MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA)                   
5. AKKUS, Sumeyye (TUR)              
7. GURBANLI, Aisha (AZE)       
7. JIANG, Yahong (CHN)         

-52kg: EURANIE wins all-French final 

Former world silver medallist Annabelle EURANIE (FRA) upstaged Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla GNETO (FRA) who never established herself in the -52kg final. EURANIE, 31, who sustained a black eye during a ne-waza exchange in the preliminaries, has a tall frame and her style starkly contrasts that of her 22-year-old opponent who was making her long-anticipated return from injury. GNETO chalked up four shido penalties to receive hansoku-make as she toiled to defeat with penalties coming her way for not taking a grip, going out of the area and two false attacks. 

In the first semi-final top seed and Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Roni SCHWARTZ (ISR) lost to the hard-working Annabelle EURANIE (FRA) by waza-ari in a tentative contest. In the second semi-final compatriot GNETO (FRA) defeated Warsaw European Open winner Petra NAREKS (SLO) by ippon after 92 seconds with a koshi-guruma.

The first bronze medal was clinched by NAREKS who submitted Casablanca Open bronze medallist Ilona BURYACHENKO (RUS) with a koshi-jime in the final minute of their previously scoreless contest. The second bronze medal was won by top seed SCHWARTZ who bested Gulbadam BABAMURATOVA (TKM) who had produced a career-best fifth-place at the Tbilisi Grand Prix in her last event. SCHWARTZ was penalised with a shido for passivity and fell behind to a waza-ari from a harai-makikomi. With two minutes remaining the Israeli judoka was awarded ippon for a forceful ko-soto-gake but that score was downgraded to waza-ari by the referee commission. SCHWARTZ was not to be denied as she countered a weak ouchi-gari attempt with ashi-waza for ippon.  

EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA) vs GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)                 

Bronze Medal Fights
NAREKS, Petra (SLO) vs BURYACHENKO, Ilona (RUS)     
SCHWARTZ, Roni (ISR) vs BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)             

Final Results
1. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)
2. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)                      
3. NAREKS, Petra (SLO)                   
3. SCHWARTZ, Roni (ISR)                        
5. BURYACHENKO, Ilona (RUS)                       
5. BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)                   
7. NAZAROVA, Gulshan (AZE)       
7. KEARNEY, Lisa (IRL)         

-57kg: FILZMOSER wins gold for Austria

Top seed Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) emerged triumphant as she defeated world bronze medallist Vlora BEDETI (SLO) in the -57kg final. Former European champion FILZMOSER and her 22-year-old opponent failed to inspire the crowd as the contest lacked any notable action and ambition by the fighters. BEDETI earned four successive shido penalties for passivity, one more than her opponent, to receive hansoku-make in the last contest of the opening day. 

In the first semi-final FILZMOSER bested Azerbaijan hope Kifayat GASIMOVA (AZE) with her trademark skills on the ground to reach the final. At the same stage BEDETI conquered Sindelfingen European Cup bronze medallist Tatiana NOSKOVA (RUS) by a yuko with three shido penalties against the Russian showing the gap in quality in the four minute bout.

The first bronze medal was won by the much-fancied Samsun Grand Prix winner Laetitia BLOT (FRA) who eventually saw off NOSKOVA in golden score after both judoka failed to score in the four minutes of regular time. An additional minute was required to separate the duo as NOSKOVA received a shido for passivity after she failed to match the attacking efforts of her tenacious opponent. The second bronze medal was won by GASIMOVA who made an immediate impact against Sofia European Open silver medallist Carla GROL (NED) by scoring a waza-ari after just 15 seconds. After exchanging shido penalties GASIMOVA captured her country’s first medal on the competition with a drop seoi-nage and matched her result from last year. 
FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT) vs BEDETI, Vlora (SLO)                  

Bronze Medal Fights
NOSKOVA, Tatiana (RUS) vs BLOT, Laetitia (FRA)        
GASIMOVA, Kifayat (AZE) vs GROL, Carla (NED)                       

Final Results
1. FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT)                         
2. BEDETI, Vlora (SLO)                    
3. BLOT, Laetitia (FRA)                             
3. GASIMOVA, Kifayat (AZE)                        
5. NOSKOVA, Tatiana (RUS)                       
5. GROL, Carla (NED)                        
7. VERHAGEN, Sanne (NED)      
7. TSCHOPP, Evelyne (SUI)            


-60kg: Azerbaijan aces battle for top spot     

World Championships bronze medallist Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) had the measure of his teammate and Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Vugar SHIRINLI (AZE) in the -60kg final. Tbilisi Grand Prix winner SAFAROV, 22, and SHIRINLI, 21, are two of Azerbaijan’s most accomplished young judoka as the hosts are blessed with an abundance of riches in the men’s lightweight category. SHIRINLI was second best as he accumulated three shido penalties and finally succumbed to his compatriot as he frantically tapped out as SAFAROV pulled on his arm. 

In the first semi-final Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS) fell to SHIRINLI as both judoka entered the contest after three victories by ippon. SHIRINLI defiantly resisted a juji-gatame and when the referee brought them back to their feet he seized the moment by scoring ippon from an ippon seoi-nage with 16 seconds remaining to bring the crowd to their feet. SAFAROV (AZE) had to distinguish the hopes of his teammate European Championships bronze medallist Ilgar MUSHKIYEV (AZE). SAFAROV, who built invaluable experience of fighting a colleague ahead of the final, prevailed by ippon with a minute left in the contest.

The first bronze medal was claimed by Abu Dhabi Grand Prix runner-up Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) who emphatically defeated losing semi-finalist MUSHKIYEV after just 40 seconds as he picked up his opponent and dispatched him for ippon. The second bronze medal went to former European champion Sofiane MILOUS (FRA) who outlasted 2013 Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist MSHVIDOBADZE in a gutsy performance which saw him prevail in golden score. MSHVIDOBADZE had one shido for not taking a grip while his opponent had received three shido penalties after two minutes but the Russian failed to protect his advantage. The Russian eased off but time was not on his side and he received a second shido and third with three seconds remaining. MILOUS now had the initiative and made MSHVIDOBADZE rue his wastefulness by forcing his opponent to receive a fourth shido for hansoku-make.    
SHIRINLI, Vugar (AZE) vs SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)     

Bronze Medal Fights
MUSHKIYEV, Ilgar (AZE) vs LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)         
MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS) vs MILOUS, Sofiane (FRA)                           

Final Result
1. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)                             
2. SHIRINLI, Vugar (AZE)
3. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)                             
3. MILOUS, Sofiane (FRA)                      
5. MUSHKIYEV, Ilgar (AZE)                    
5. MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)                          
7. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL)          
7. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)       

-66kg: OATES so easy for British standout  

Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Colin OATES (GBR) defeated former European Championships silver medallist Kamal KHAN-MAGOMEDOV (RUS) to win -66kg gold in Azerbaijan. OATES, who once again had the measure of former double world champion Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) in the preliminaries, made a slow start with two shido penalties against his name for passivity but those indiscretions were deemed irrelevant when he marched in front with a yuko from a sumi-gaeshi on the edge of the tatami. Edinburgh-based OATES made sure of the victory by adding a waza-ari from osaekomi moments but the five minutes expired. 

In the first semi-final KHAN-MAGOMEDOV dispatched KIM Limwhan (KOR) who switched off on the edge of the tatami and the Russian pounced as he clinched the arm of his opponent and sat back to force the Korean to submit to a juji-gatame. OATES booked his place in the final with victory against World Judo Masters bronze medallist Golan POLLACK (ISR) who started the contest by receiving a shido for not taking a grip. The Israeli coach was asked to leave the competition floor for coaching his judoka during the contest. POLLACK fared little better as he was penalised with his second shido for a false attack and OATES took command with a yuko before trapping his rival with osaekomi for 10 seconds to double his advantage.

The first bronze medal was won by POLLACK who returned to form after his semi-final loss by defeating Zhansay SMAGULOV (KAZ). POLLACK edged out his opponent by a single yuko in a closely contested contest to seal a place on the -66kg medal podium. The second bronze medal contest was won by KIM against Almaty Grand Prix winner Yeldos ZHUMAKANOV (KAZ) who was rolled over with a tomoe-nage after two minutes of action. 

KHAN-MAGOMEDOV, Kamal (RUS) vs OATES, Colin (GBR)            

Bronze Medal Fights
POLLACK, Golan (ISR) vs SMAGULOV, Zhansay (KAZ)        
KIM, Limwhan (KOR) vs ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)         

Final Result
1. OATES, Colin (GBR)                     
2. KHAN-MAGOMEDOV, Kamal (RUS)                    
3. POLLACK, Golan (ISR)          
3. KIM, Limwhan (KOR)             
5. SMAGULOV, Zhansay (KAZ)                                     
5. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)                          
7. VERDE, Elio (ITA)       
7. KARDAVA, Shalva (GEO)         



10:00 Preliminaries on three tatami
17:00 Final block on one tatami

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


10:00 Preliminaries on three tatami
17:00 Final block on one tatami

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

Location: Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre