Saturday, June 7, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Havana 2014 - DAY 2




-63kg | -70kg | -73kg | -81kg 

The first Havana Grand Prix continued on Saturday as the second day saw judoka from four more categories battling to start their bid for the Rio 2016 Olympics with victory at the City Sport Coliseum. 


The latest event to be added to the World Judo Tour, which will now alternate between Havana and Miami, is the first IJF event to carry qualification points towards the next Olympiad and the desire to win is at an all-time high since the London 2012 Olympics.  

The animated Cuban fans 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 contested.

In the presence of the Minister of Sports, the President of the National Olympic Committee and several high ranked Cuban VIP’s, presents were offered to the IJF President as a symbol of the great accomplishment of this first Judo Grand Prix in Havana, Cuba.

Mr. Jose RAMON FERNANDEZ ALVAREZ, NOC President declared: “Dear Mr. Marius VIZER, it is with a deep gratitude that I have the pleasure and honour to be with you again today. In the name of the Olympic Movement and of all the Cuban People, I want to thank you for this major event. It has already been an extraordinary experience for all of us and with the outstanding help of the International Judo Federation, we were able to cross all the frontiers and to jump over all the fences.”

Mr. VIZER said: “I will try my best to continue to make the world of sports evaluate all of what together we have accomplished and was done to help to develop judo and generally speaking sports. We did this to support the Cuban people and the future of Cuba. Without the support of this real family, this event would not have been as successful as it is. Yesterday, I much enjoyed the cultural show at the IJF cocktail. In Cuba, you have incredible champions and a very high level of culture. It has much more value than money because it goes to the next generation. Together we can build a better society.”

Ahead of the final block there was a retirement ceremony for double Olympic bronze medallist and four-time world medallist Yordanis ARENCIBIA (CUB).

The Cuban great received a framed picture and certificate denoting his illustrious career and a special trophy on the stage.

Mr. VIZER also awarded ARENCIBIA with an IJF Havana Grand Prix event medal to recognise his enormous contribution to Cuban judo and world judo.

ARENCIBIA said: “I have participated in so many international events which means that to be here today has a special taste for me. I feel really proud of what Cuba and the IJF did to hold this Grand Prix. It is important for Cuba and judo in our country. I am really honoured having received this medal from the IJF President.”

Before the medals were decided there was also time for Mr. Hiroshi SAITO, Japanese Ambassador for Cuba, donated 100 judogi to the Cuban Judo Federation at the request of Japanese Olympic champion and judo legend YAMASHITA Yasuhiro who is the All Japan Judo Federation Vice President. 

Mr. SAITO said: “Cuba has a long tradition in judo and Japanese champion YAMASHITA wanted to support the country with their goals in the sport. We have Cuba and Japan can have lot of success in judo at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”


On Friday night the IJF held a cocktail reception for distinguished guests, delegates and officials.

Special guests including Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor, the Barcelona 1992 Olympic high jump champion and double world champion who is still one of the most revered and successful sportsman in the country.


Cuba’s Olympic trackk and field legend Javier Sotomayor with Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President

On Sunday, the three-day competition will come to a close with Cuba rooting for 20 more judoka including Olympic and world champion Idalys ORTIZ and world champion Asley GONZALEZ. The -90kg, -100kg and +100kg men will be joined in action by the leading -78kg and +78kg women.

Olympic champion Kayla HARRISON (USA) makes her return to action in Havana on Sunday as she starts her bid to defend her title in Brazil.

HARRISON said: “I feel good, I'm nervous, excited, maybe a little scared, but most of all ready. I miss this and I'm ready to get back out there and see what happens. Win or lose I'm going to fight my heart out.”


Romania’s former tennis world number one Illie NASTASE was among the distinguished guests at the IJF Cocktail on Friday

FOLLOW THE COMPETITION
The draw can be seen at: www.ippon.org/gp_cub2014.php
Live stream on Ippon TV: http://www.ippon.tv
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ijudo
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/IntJudoFed
Official event hash tag: #JudoCuba2014
Instagram: http://instagram.com/judogallery


WOMEN

-63kg: AGBEGNENOU rules for France at the expense of BELLARD    

European champion Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) defeated Baku Grand Slam winner Anne-Laure BELLARD (FRA) in the -63kg final. AGBEGNENOU, 21, who defeated her domestic rival in the European Championship final in April, was once again triumphant against 32-year-old BELLARD who had three shido penalties to her name after a minute for a false attack, passivity and going out of the area. AGBEGNENOU scored a yuko with a ura-nage and stretched her lead with a waza-ari from a ko-uchi-gari before her countrywoman was penalised with her fourth and final shido to receive hansoku-make. 


In the first semi-final world champion Yarden GERBI (ISR) was defeated by BELLARD in the very last second of their nailbiting contest. BELLARD had two shido penalties to her name for passivity while GERBI had two for going out of the area and not taking a grip before receiving a third in the last second for passivity to settle a scoreless contest. In the second semi-final AGBEGNENOU conquered Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT). The French ace scored a waza-ari after two minutes and added one more a minute later to win decisively by wazari-awasette-ippon.  

The first bronze medal was won by Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) who wasted little time in throwing UNTERWURZACHER with an uchi-mata for ippon after 78 seconds. The second bronze medal was claimed by Miami Grand Prix bronze medallist Maricet ESPINOSA (CUB) as the contest ran away from GERBI. Cuba’s world number 10 threw for waza-ari and added a yuko from a mune-gatame hold. GERBI fought back and scored a waza-ari with a tsurikomi-goshi but the Cuban resisted the attacking onslaught from Israeli judoka to win her country’s first medal on day two. 

Final
BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA) vs AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)                       

Bronze Medal Fights
TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER) vs UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)           
ESPINOSA, Maricet (CUB) vs GERBI, Yarden (ISR)                            


Final Results
1. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)                     
2. BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA)                     
3. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)                   
3. ESPINOSA, Maricet (CUB)                  
5. UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)                                         
5. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)                                            
7. AKIYAMA, Leilani (USA)           
7. MARTIN, Hannah (USA)                 


-70kg: Victory for VARGAS KOCH  

World silver medallist Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER) was on top form as she defeated European Championships bronze medallist Bernadette GRAF (AUT) in the -70kg final. VARGAS KOCH took the lead with a yuko from an uchi-mata after on minute and sealed an impressive win after another 60 seconds elapsed by pinning GRAF with a kesa-gatame for ippon.      


In the first semi-final German ace VARGAS KOCH downed 18-year-old Canadian Championships bronze medallist Monika BURGESS (CAN). VARGAS KOCH was untroubled as she threw for waza-ari before holding down her opponent in kesa-gatame with a vice like grip for a second and match-winning waza-ari. At the same stage GRAF ended the progress of European bronze medallist Barbara MATIC (CRO). The Austrian took a commanding lead with a waza-ari score before receiving shido penalties for going out of the area and a false attack but the Croatian failed the trouble the scoreboard.

The first bronze medal was claimed by Junior world champion MATIC who continues to stamp her name on the senior stage as she defeated ZHOU Chao (CHN) in Havana. MATIC made two mistakes resulting in a shido penalty while her Chinese opponent made three infringements which were a result of passivity on two occasions and once for gripping. The second bronze medal contest was an all-Canadian affair as BURGESS faced former world number one Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN). BURGESS was never in danger from a juji-gatame effort from her teammate and acquitted herself well but received a solitary shido which was the difference in a scoreless contest where both judoka knew every move their opponent had in their repertoire. 

Final
VARGAS KOCH, Laura (GER) vs GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)                                     

Bronze Medal Fights
ZHOU, Chao (CHN) vs MATIC, Barbara (CRO)           
ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN) vs BURGESS, Monika (CAN)                            


Final Results
1. VARGAS KOCH, Laura (GER)                                  
2. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)            
3. MATIC, Barbara (CRO)                           
3. ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN)                  
5. ZHOU, Chao (CHN)                               
5. BURGESS, Monika (CAN)                                         
7. CHALA, Vanessa (ECU)              
7. KLYS, Katarzyna (POL)             

   
Cuban colour and vibes on show at the IJF Cocktail Reception 


MEN

-73kg: Maestro MUKI excels for Israel     

Baku Grand Slam winner Sagi MUKI (ISR) won his second successive IJF World Judo Tour gold medal as he was unbeatable in Havana on Saturday. MUKI extinguished the home crowds gold medal hopes as he threw ESTRADA, who finished fifth at the Miami Grand Prix last year, with an emphatic tsurikomi-goshi for ippon after just 31 seconds. 


In the first semi-final top seed and world bronze medallist Dirk VAN TICHELT (BEL) was surprised by teenage revelation ESTRADA, who with two shido penalties to his name for passivity, scored ippon from a kuzure-kesa-gatame in a dramatic conclusion which made the young Cuban an instant hero with the home crowd. In the second semi-final MUKI won through against Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Nugzari TATALASHVILI (GEO). Both men had failed to find a spark as they received three shido penalties but the Israeli stormed into action by throwing his opponent for waza-ari and holding him down with yoko-shiho-gatame. TATALASHVILI tapped out to the pin after six seconds.

The first bronze medal was clinched by world number 17 TATALASHVILI who narrowly defeated Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Marcelo CONTINI (BRA). Both judoka were awarded a shido for passivity and, with no scores registered going into the final minute, the Brazilian received a second shido for going out of the area to separate the rivals at the end of the contest. The second bronze medal was won by former world bronze medallist Musa MOGUSHKOV (RUS) who bested VAN TICHELT by a waza-ari score as the Belgian was forced to come away from Havana empty handed. 
  
Final
ESTRADA, Magdiel (CUB) vs MUKI, Sagi (ISR)                       

Bronze Medal Fights
CONTINI, Marcelo (BRA) vs TATALASHVILI, Nugzari (GEO)          
MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS) vs VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL)                                            


Final Result
1. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)                                            
2. ESTRADA, Magdiel (CUB)                           
3. TATALASHVILI, Nugzari (GEO)                                 
3. MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS)                            
5. CONTINI, Marcelo (BRA)                               
5. VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL)                           
7. RECIO, Cristian (CUB)             
7. CUNHA, Leandro (BRA)              


-81kg: World number one lives up to billing   

World number one and world silver medallist Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO) reigned supreme in the -81kg categorty as he bested world number five Travis STEVENS (USA) in a repeat outcome of the Tbilisi Grand Prix final. TCHRIKISHVILI struck first as he scored a waza-ari from a ko-soto-gari. The Georgian fought to contain in-form STEVENS who was in irresistible form in the preliminaries. STEVENS was chasing down the Georgian in every sense as he aimed to close the gap with the world number one. The American star was unable to register a score despite committed attacks in tachi-waza and ne-waza. 


The star-studded semi-finals raised the temperature of proceedings as we entered the business end of the competition.In the first semi-final TCHRIKISHVILI thwarted Olympic bronze medallist Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN). The Georgian went ahead with a waza-ari from a foot sweep after VALOIS-FORTIER had received a shido for passivity. TCHRIKISHVILI wrapped up the win with a stylish finish as he threw the Canadian with an uchi-mata for ippon after two minutes. In the second semi-final world number four Victor PENALBER (BRA) was pitted against Travis STEVENS (USA) who is one place below the Brazilian on the World Ranking List. PENALBER attacked with a morote seoi-nage as STEVENS chalked up three shido penalties to put himself under pressure. STEVENS, who was searching for an opening in ne-waza, fell behind to a waza-ari after his uchi-mata effort was countered. The American’s fighting spirit saw him battle on to capture a scintillating win as he caught PENALBER with a okuri-ashi-barai for ippon.  

The first bronze medal was won by former Qingdao Grand Prix runner-up Murat KHABACHIROV (RUS) who unceremoniously dispatched number two seed PENALBER with a thunderous o-soto-gari for ippon with 95 seconds left on the clock. The second bronze medal was captured by VALOIS-FORTIER who outworked and outfoxed 20-year-old Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Ushangi MARGIANI (GEO). VALOIS-FORTIER profited from the inferior workrate of his foe who accumulated three shido penalties for passivity while the Canadian received one shido in the closing seconds for not taking a grip. 

Final
TCHRIKISHVILI, Avtandili (GEO) vs STEVENS, Travis (USA)               

Bronze Medal Fights
KHABACHIROV, Murat (RUS) vs PENALBER, Victor (BRA)     
MARGIANI, Ushangi (GEO) vs VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN)                   


Final Result
1. TCHRIKISHVILI, Avtandili (GEO)                
2. STEVENS, Travis (USA)                   
3. KHABACHIROV, Murat (RUS)                 
3. VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN)             
5. PENALBER, Victor (BRA)                        
5. MARGIANI, Ushangi (GEO)                                      
7. KRIZSAN, Szabolcs (HUN)           
7. MAREN, Raydel (CUB)         

COMPETITION PROGRAMME

Sunday

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

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

Location: Sport City Coliseum

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