Sunday, August 17, 2014

Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing 2014 - Day 1




After the outstanding opening ceremony on the 16th of August, which kicked-off the 2nd edition of the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, the first three categories of the Youth Olympic tournament were in action today at the Longjiang Gymnasium: Women’s -44 kg, Men’s -55 kg and -66 kg. But even before it all started, judo was well represented during the opening as 8 countries chose a young judo player to be their flag bearer: Aleksandra SAMARDZIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) - Julian SANCHO (Costa Rica) - Estefania SORIANO (Dominican Republic) - Tamazi KIRAKOZASHVILI (Georgia) - Mamadama BANGOURA (Guinea) - Nicolas GRINDA (Monaco) - Arso MILIC (Montenegro) - Saliou NDIAYE (Senegal).


IJF Delegation just before the opening ceremony

The YOG Are Real Olympic Games

Lucie Decosse, Olympic and World Champion, is the YOG Athlete Role Model for judo in Nanjing. She arrived two days ago in China and can now really discover for the first time the atmosphere of the YOG: "The opening ceremony was enormous. I really had the impression of being at the Olympic Games for top level athletes, like in London two years ago. Everything is really similar to the Games. Back in 1998, I participated in the JOJM in Moscow. It was also an event for young athletes, but we were only focussing on the competition and it didn’t have the same dimension."

In China, Lucie Decosse has already participated in several workshop sessions with the young participants. Based in the village, the Athlete Role Models have the possibility to interact with the competitors and their coaches. The Youth Olympic Games are an elite sporting event for young people from all over the world. They are an event distinct from other youth sports events, as they also integrate a unique Culture and Education Programme (CEP), based around five main themes: Olympism, Social Responsibility, Skills Development, Expression and Well-being and Healthy Lifestyles.

Lucie Decosse during the first day of competition in Nanjing

"This morning for instance, I participated in a workshop organized in cooperation with the WADA (World Anti Doping Agency). It gives good opportunities for the young athletes to learn more about this important topic. Everyday, we participate in different events and workshops," said the Olympic Champion.

Tomorrow, Lucie Decosse will also be present at the judo animation held in the village, together with Ruben Houkes, who was the Athlete Role Model in Singapore, four years ago on the occasion of the first YOG. During four days, the champions and the IJF representatives will present judo and its values to a young audience of future champions. Thus athletes from other sports will have the chance to discover judo and its principles.

But today, Lucie Decosse was also present in the judo venue for the first day of competition: "Of course, it’s also interesting for me to come to watch judo, even if it’s always a little strange. Not that long ago, I used to be myself under the pressure of the event. Today, it’s more relaxed and I can really discover what is the level of the future generation of champions."

The Judo family also had the chance and great honor to welcome other big sports names such as Mr. Sergey Bubka, Olympic and World Champion, who came to support the young generation of athletes. Mr. Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committee and IJF Hall of fame member, was among the VIP who came to the judo venue today.

Sergey Bubka

A Beautiful Ending

When Mamadama BANGOURA (Guinea) was selected to participate in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, her dream to be present in China for her first Youth Olympic Games came true. Unfortunately, after she arrived in Nanjing, she was informed that, due to the ‘Ebola disease’ situation in her home country, she wouldn’t be allowed to compete. Nevertheless, the young lady will participate in all of the cultural activities proposed as part of the whole program of the Games and yesterday evening, she had the great honor to represent and be the flag bearer of Guinea during the opening ceremony. A beautiful ending for Mamadama BANGOURA, who had a big smile on her face in front of the packed Olympic Stadium yesterday evening.



DAY 1 RESULTS

Men -55 kg: First Olympic Gold Medal Goes to World Champion, ZHAUYNTAYEV from Kazakhstan

The first final of the day opposed two Cadet World Champions from Miami 2013, Bauyrzhan ZHAUYNTAYEV from Kazakhstan and Natig GURBANLI from Azerbaijan, respectively crowned in -55 kg and -50 kg. After one minute, both fighters had already shown their incredible skills at their young age, ZHAUYNTAYEV escaping from a powerful attack by GURBANLI, before being really close to scoring and taking the advantage. A little bit less active than his opponent, GURBANLI was penalized with a shido, but it was then ZHAUYNTAYEV's turn to be penalized. This probably gave him the energy to score yuko with a quick shoulder movement just three seconds before the end of the final, giving him the first gold medal of the judo tournament in Nanjing.


The two bronze medal fights of the tournament opposed Gavin MOGOPA (BOT) vs. Jorre VERSTRAETEN (BEL) and Bryan JOLLY (AUS) vs. Oguzhan KARACA (TUR). VERSTRAETEN won the first medal after having immobilized Gavin MOGOPA from Botswana for ippon. During the second bronze medal fight, Oguzhan KARACA (TUR) quickly scored a first waza-ari with ko-soto-gari and then controlled the fight, JOLLY being unable to find a single opportunity to score and even being penalized for passivity two times and another time for not respecting the fighting area limits just before the final gong.

Final
ZHAUYNTAYEV, Bauyrzhan (KAZ) vs. GURBANLI, Natig (AZE)

Bronze Medal Fight
MOGOPA, Gavin (BOT) vs. VERSTRAETEN, Jorre (BEL)
JOLLY, Bryan (AUS) vs. KARACA, Oguzhan (TUR)


Final Results
1. ZHAUYNTAYEV, Bauyrzhan (KAZ)
2. GURBANLI, Natig (AZE)
3. KARACA, Oguzhan (TUR)
3. VERSTRAETEN, Jorre (BEL)
5. JOLLY, Bryan (AUS)
5. MOGOPA, Gavin (BOT)



Women -44 kg: 7 Minutes of Suspense for Turkey

In the women’s -44 kg weight category, the first athlete qualified for the final was Melisa CAKMAKLI (TUR), who earlier this year obtained a gold medal at the European Cup Cadets in Pitesti. She was opposed to Leyla ALIYEVA of Azerbaijan, silver medallist at the 2013 Cadets World Championships in Miami. The four minutes of the full regular time did not give the possibility for either of the two fighters to take the advantage. Thus CAKMAKLI and ALIYEVA entered the Golden Score. After one minute, the Turkish missed a big chance to win the gold with a strong counterattack (ura-nage) for no score. This was followed by a powerful shoulder movement from ALIYEVA, also for no score. At the end of the suspense, and after more than three minutes of golden score, CAKMAKLI was able to finally explode with joy when her opponent received a last shido for passivity, synonymous of gold medal for the Turk.


Pamela Paula QUIZHPI (ECU) and Anastasya TURCHEVA (RUS) faced each other in the first bronze medal contest. After the four minutes, neither of them being able to score, the only difference was made by the two penalties given to QUIZHPI for passivity. TURCEVA could let the tears of emotion come out. In the second bronze medal contest, neither of the two fighters, Estefania SORIANO (DOM) and YAMAUCHI, Honoka (JPN) were more productive than the other and thus they had to enter the golden score in order to designate the winner. After 1 minute and 47 seconds, YAMAGUCHI finally scored a waza-ari with ko-soto-gake.

Final
CAKMAKLI, Melisa (TUR) vs. ALIYEVA, Leyla (AZE)

Bronze Medal Fights
QUIZHPI, Pamela Paula (ECU) vs. TURCHEVA, Anastasya (RUS)
SORIANO, Estefania (DOM) vs. YAMAUCHI, Honoka (JPN)


Final Results
1. CAKMAKLI, Melisa (TUR)
2. ALIYEVA, Leyla (AZE)
3. TURCHEVA, Anastasya (RUS)
3. YAMAUCHI, Honoka (JPN)
5. QUIZHPI, Pamela Paula (ECU)
5. SORIANO, Estefania (DOM)
7. SAIYN, Adiya (KAZ)



Men -66 kg: Unstoppable Japanese ABE Wins Gold in Nanjing

The last final of the day opposed two silver medalists from last year’s World Championships in Miami, Bogdan IADOV (UKR) and ABE Hifumi (JPN), respectively in -60 kg and -66 kg categories. Unstoppable all day long, the Japanese fighter, once again was the first to score waza-ari with an aerial technic (sode-tsuri-komi-goshi), that IADOV did not see coming, followed one minute later by another incredible attack by the Japanese with a shoulder movement for a second waza-ari that immediately ended the fight. After having shown so much skill today, ABE should be carefully followed in the upcoming years. This might not be his last major title.


In the first bronze medal contest of the last category of the day, Sukhrob TURSUNOV (UZB) faced Julian SANCHO (CRC). After two and a half minutes, the Uzbek scored a first waza-ari with a counter-attack. Despite the desperate attempts of SANCHO to come back, TURSUNOV kept his advantage and won the first bronze medal for Uzbekistan. The second bronze medal fight made the public get noisier as the local WU Zhiqiang (CHN) was opposed to RYU Seunghwan (KOR). Strongly supported by his home crowd, WU dominated RYU. Perfectly controlling the fight and all the attacks of the Korean, the Chinese fighter brought home the first medal in judo for the Chinese delegation.

Final
IADOV, Bogdan (UKR) vs. ABE, Hifumi (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
TURSUNOV, Sukhrob (UZB) vs. SANCHO, Julian (CRC)
WU, Zhiqiang (CHN) vs. RYU, Seunghwan (KOR)


Final Results
1. ABE, Hifumi (JPN)
2. IADOV, Bogdan (UKR)
3. TURSUNOV, Sukhrob (UZB)
3. WU, Zhiqiang (CHN)
5. RYU, Seunghwan (KOR)
5. SANCHO, Julian (CRC)
7. DERMISHYAN, Harutyun (ARM)
7. WAWRZYCZEK, Pawel (POL)

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