Friday, September 26, 2014

Davtyan Kouchi-Gake

In competitions we see lots of kouchi-gari and kouchi-makikomi. What we don't see very often is kouchi-gake.

It is usually done from an ai-yotsu situation (left against left or right against right). It was most famously employed by Japan's Hirotaka Okada in the 1991 Barcelona World Championships when he threw his opponent Joey Wanag of the USA with a massive kouchi-gake that had to be seen to be believed.

Here, we have an example from Armenia's Havhannes Davtyan, who throws his opponent with kouchi-gake.

Breakdown Sequence of Pics

It's left vs left, with Davtyan having a dominant high grip.

He comes in with his left leg hooking his opponent's left leg.

This kouchi is clearly a hook (gake) and not a reap (gari).

Davtyan weighs down on his opponent to take him down.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The IJF App (iPhone & Android) now available... free!

(Sept 17) Today, the International Judo Federation released its brand new official application, available on smartphones (Iphone and Android). The application, which has been developped in English and is free to download, features all necessary information about the world judo life: News - Calendar - Results - Photo Gallery. It is automatically synchronized with the IJF official home page and gives direct access to the IJF Facebook page, to the twitter acount and to the IJF live TV web chanel. Information about all the IJF members and about the IJF itself and its partners are also available through an easy navigation system.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A very tiring match

Certain kinds of judo styles are more tiring than others. Georgia's Beka Gviniashvili is a powerful player but his fighting style leaves him -- and his opponent -- totally exhausted. Watch his enervating battle against Japan's Masyu Beiker in the 2014 Paris Grand Slam and you will see what I mean. As the five-minute match progresses, both men take longer and longer to get up from the tatami after an attack.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014 - DAY 3

(Via IJF)

-78kg | +78kg | -90kg | -100kg | +100kg 

The Judo Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014, came to a close on Sunday as five gold medals were up for the grabs in Croatia.  

The first edition of the Zagreb Grand Prix attracted a high-quality field which showcased the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories on the final day in the capital city.

Following the World Championships, Chelyabinsk 2014, 328 judoka from 46 countries showed their high regard for Croatia’s premier judo event as they gave their all at the Dom Sportova with all-important World Ranking List points at stake and a total of $100,000 in prize money.   

Day three featured two of the top performers from Chelyabinsk as world bronze medallist Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) and world silver medallist Krisztian TOTH (HUN) were both closely watched in Zagreb.

Ms. Sanda CORAK, CJF President, said: “Zagreb is a beautiful city, always attracting tourists’ attention especially since Croatia has become a full member of the European Union.

“I hope that you have enjoyed the historical locations, rich gastronomic offers and Zagreb’s special ambiance and atmosphere that combines the best of two worlds – Central European and Mediterranean. Through the year Zagreb is hosting many cultural and sport events and we are glad that the IJF Grand Prix became one of those events.”

The IJF World Judo Tour continues with the Judo Grand Prix, Astana 2014, from 10-12 October as judoka have the opportunity to compete in the host city of the World Championships 2015 and a get feel for what will be the most important event before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Before then the Kata World Championships will be held in Malaga, Spain, from 20-21 September and a week later the city hosts the World Veterans Championships from 25-27 September. 

Full results from the Judo Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014, can be seen at


-78kg: VELENSEK victorious for Slovenia    

Two household names clashed in the -78kg category in world bronze medallist Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) and European bronze medallist Abigel JOO (HUN). Paris Grand Slam winner VELENSEK, 23, made sure she won back-to-back Grand Prix in Croatia but had to come from behind to do it after JOO scored a waza-ari. VELENSEK was alert on the ground while JOO had a lapse in concentration as she failed to realise the extent of the danger she was in as the Slovenian come round the front with a koshi-jime to force JOO to submit.  

In the first semi-final top seed VELENSEK defeated Commonwealth Games winner Natalie POWELL (GBR) by a waza-ari which was scored two minutes into the contest. POWELL had her moments but VELENSEK had more about her and was the form fighter. In the second semi-final JOO conquered Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Catherine ROBERGE (CAN) with a crowd-pleasing uchi-mata which had elevation and overwhelmed the Canadian after just 64 seconds.

The first bronze medal was won by Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Victoriia TURKS (UKR) who was separated from seven-time continental championships medallist ROBERGE in golden score. The scoreless contest was settled after 55 seconds of added time when ROBERGE was penalised for passivity. The second bronze medal contest was won by POWELL who secured Britain’s second medal in Zagreb after bronze medallist Gemma HOWELL (GBR) got them off the mark on Saturday. POWELL defeated French youngster and Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Madeleine MALONGA (FRA) to maintain her perfect record in their head-to-head series with three wins. MALONGA was penalised after seven seconds for going out of the area and received a second shido for the same reason but POWELL locked her up on the ground to see out the closing seconds. 

VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO) vs JOO, Abigel (HUN)                                              

Bronze Medal Fights
ROBERGE, Catherine (CAN) vs TURKS, Victoriia (UKR)              
POWELL, Natalie (GBR) vs MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)                            

Final Results
1. VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO)                                                   
2. JOO, Abigel (HUN)                                               
3. TURKS, Victoriia (UKR)                                              
3. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)                                 
5. ROBERGE, Catherine (CAN)                                                     
5. MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)                                                                
7. ZHANG, Kaili (CHN)                  
7. APOTEKAR, Klara (SLO)                              

+78kg: YU on song for China

Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist YU Song (CHN) clinched heavyweight gold in the last women’s contest of the Judo Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014. YU, who won the invite-only 2013 World Judo Masters featuring the world’s top 16 judoka, defeated Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Svitlana IAROMKA (UKR) with a yuko from an osoto-otoshi and a trip adding a waza-ari before YU held IAROMKA with a kesa-gatame for 15 seconds to win by wazari-awasette-ippon. 

In the first semi-final YU was successful against Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix silver medallist Gulsah KOCATURK (TUR). The former went ahead with a yuko score and managed to maneuverer her way into osaekomi where KOCATURK stayed for 20 seconds despite her initial attempts to escape. In the second semi-final IAROMKA defeated 22-year-old Sindelfingen European Cup bronze medallist Tessie SAVELKOULS (NED). The Ukrainian fighter seized the initiative with the waza-ari and utilised osaekomi-waza for 15 seconds to earn wazari-awasette-ippon.   

The first bronze medal was won by SAVELKOULS who threw former Minsk European Open silver medallist Santa PAKENYTE (LTU) with a drop seoi-nage for ippon. PAKENYTE had been on the cusp of IJF World Judo Tour honours after seventh-place finishes at Grand Prix in Samsun and Budapest either side of a fifth-place finish at the Baku Grand Slam. The second bronze medal was clinched by Buenos Aires Pan American Open winner Rochele NUNES (BRA) who defeated KOCATURK in an uneventful contest. The Turkish judoka was penalised four times for going out of the area to receive hansoku-make as NUNES was marginally better with three shido penalties to her name.   
YU, Song (CHN) vs IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)                                                  

Bronze Medal Fights
SAVELKOULS, Tessie (NED) vs PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)               
KOCATURK, Gulsah (TUR) vs NUNES, Rochele (BRA)                        

Final Results
1. YU, Song (CHN)                                                   
2. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)                                             
3. SAVELKOULS, Tessie (NED)                     
3. NUNES, Rochele (BRA)                                           
5. PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)                                                            
5. KOCATURK, Gulsah (TUR)                                   
7. ADLINGTON, Sarah (GBR)       
7. JABLONSKYTE, Sandra (LTU)                                         


-90kg: TOTH rises to third in the world after Zagreb triumph     

World silver medallist Krisztian TOTH (HUN) continued his dramatic ascension towards the summit of the -90kg category by beating San Salvador Pan American Open winner Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB) to win gold. TOTH, 20, who jumped up to fourth place in the world after his career-making performance at the Worlds, showed once again that he means business on the senior stage to move up one place on the World Ranking List. World number 30 KUKOLJ was considered by many as a rank outsider at the start of the day but took a richly-deserved first Grand Prix medal after TOTH narrowly defeated him by a yuko from countering a half-hearted attack on the edge with a foot sweep. 

In the first semi-final TOTH had a tricky assignment against two-time European bronze medallist Karolis BAUZA (LTU). The young Hungarian was far busier than BAUZA and profited from the Lithuanian being unable to really get to grips with him before losing out by ippon. In the second semi-final KUKOLJ bested Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Noel VAN T END (NED). In an absorbing tussle, the contest just ran away from a physically spent VAN T END who was thrown with uchi-mata for ippon with 90 seconds left.

The first bronze medal was awarded to VAN T END after he defeated Boras European Cup bronze medallist Joakim DVARBY (SWE) after 66 seconds. DVARBY will have to bid for his first Grand Prix medal another day after tapping out after 14 seconds in osaekomi-waza as the Dutchman restricted his opponent’s movement by holding him with a neck crank. The second bronze medal was captured by BAUZA who defeated against two-time Junior European Championships bronze medallist Mihael ZGANK (SLO). Both judoka were penalised for passivity after 90 seconds before ZGANK infringed again for the same offence. BAUZA scored with a sumi-gaeshi for waza-ari and made sure by adding a second waza-ari to clinch the final place on the podium with 29 seconds left.  
TOTH, Krisztian (HUN) vs KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)                             

Bronze Medal Fights
VAN T END, Noel (NED) vs DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)               
BAUZA, Karolis (LTU) vs ZGANK, Mihael (SLO)                                            

Final Result
1. TOTH, Krisztian (HUN)                                 
2. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)                                                          
3. VAN T END, Noel (NED)                                  
3. BAUZA, Karolis (LTU)                                   
5. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)                                                                   
5. ZGANK, Mihael (SLO)                                    
7. DIAS, Celio (POR)               
7. SASSON, Alon (ISR)                                      

-100kg: BISULTANOV sends Russia to the top of the medal table   

European bronze medallist Adlan BISULTANOV (RUS) produced a clinical display to come away with the gold medal for Russia. BISULTANOV guided his country to the top of the medal table in Croatia by coming out on top against former European Team Championships bronze medallist Aleksandre MSKHALADZE (GEO). The Georgian, who finished seventh at the Paris Grand Slam this year, secured a career-best result despite losing out with only seven seconds left as he tapped out to a powerful yoko-shiho-gatame hold after BISULTANOV, who was leading by waza-ari, had executed a neat turnover. 

In the first semi-final BISULTANOV wore down Madrid European Open silver medallist Jevgenijs BORODAVKO (LAT). Both were penalised with a shido before the Latvian received a second for passivity and with 96 seconds left BISULTANOV come straight through the middle to throw with uchi-mata for ippon. In the second semi-final MSKHALADZE saw off African champion Lyes BOUYAKOUB (ALG) in a scoreless contest which would send one of the judoka to their first Grand Prix final. MSKHALADZE advanced to guarantee at least a silver medal as his Algerian adversary recieved a fourth and final shido to receive hansoku-make.

The first bronze medal was won by European u23 champion Jorge FONSECA (POR) who was tactically spot on as he let BOUYAKOUB accumulate four shido penalties. FONSECA trailed to a waza-ari score after 35 seconds but his Algerian foe thought he had already done enough and sat back on his slender advantage which was called up on by referee who gave him a fourth and final shido with eight seconds left for passivity. The second bronze medal was won by Latvia’s BORODAVKO who dispatched Sarajevo European Cup bronze medallist Miklos CIRJENICS (HUN) by ippon after 57 seconds.           

BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS) vs MSKHALADZE, Aleksandre (GEO)                                   

Bronze Medal Fights
BOUYAKOUB, Lyes (ALG) vs FONSECA, Jorge (POR)     
BORODAVKO, Jevgenijs (LAT) vs CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN)                                               

Final Result
1. BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS)                                
2. MSKHALADZE, Aleksandre (GEO)                                                     
3. FONSECA, Jorge (POR)                                 
3. BORODAVKO, Jevgenijs (LAT)                                                  
5. BOUYAKOUB, Lyes (ALG)                                             
5. CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN)                                                  
7. FOGASY, Gergo (HUN)                 
7. JURISIC, Stefan (SRB)          

+100kg: MEYERS tastes IJF World Judo Tour gold for the first time  

Dutch powerhouse Roy MEYER (NED) confidently collected the first IJF gold medal of his career which is going one way and that is towards the upper echelons of the category. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix silver medallist MEYER, 23, finished seventh at the European Championships and Paris Grand Slam this year before putting in a solid performance in Chelyabinsk where he finished fifth.  MEYER defeated former Algerian Championships winner Mohammed Amine TAYEB (ALG) in the final as the Dutchman put in a top draw performance in his first IJF World Judo Tour final. Both judoka were penalised after 43 seconds for passivity before the Algerian was penalised a second time for the same offence and that was how the contest was settled after five minutes.  

In the first semi-final MEYER showed his stamina to defeat Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Barna BOR (HUN) in golden score. The content was scoreless after five minutes and would severely test the conditioning of both men in unlimited golden score where the first shido or score decides the winner. BOR was penalised for passivity after 24 seconds and MEYER was through to the final. In the second semi-final TAYEB narrowly defeated Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Andrey VOLKOV (RUS). TAYEB went in front with a yuko before receiving shido penalties for going out of the area and an attempted bear hug but kept his opponent at bay to seal his progression into the gold medal contest.

The first bronze medal went to London 2012 Olympian Vladut SIMIONESCU (ROU) who was good value for his victory against VOLKOV. SIMIONESCU produced a yuko to open the scoring and found a way through again to score ippon from an uchi-mata with 90 seconds remaining. The second bronze medal went to former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Or SASSON (ISR) who surged past BOR by want a fantastic seoi-nage having teased it in the previous exchanges.  

MEYER, Roy (NED) vs TAYEB, Mohammed Amine (ALG)                                                    

Bronze Medal Fights
VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS) vs SIMIONESCU, Vladut (ROU)   
BOR, Barna (HUN) vs SASSON, Or (ISR)                                    

Final Result
1. MEYER, Roy (NED)                                             
2. TAYEB, Mohammed Amine (ALG)                                                        
3. SIMIONESCU, Vladut (ROU)                                        
3. SASSON, Or (ISR)                                                 
5. VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS)                          
5. BOR, Barna (HUN)                                                     
7. SARNACKI, Maciej (POL)       
7. NATEA, Daniel (ROU)                                

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014 - DAY 2

(Via IJF)

-63kg | -70kg | -73kg | -81kg 

The Judo Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014, continued with the focus on the middleweights on Saturday as the home fans packed out the Dom Sporova on day two.

Croatia’s judo enthusiasts saw four weight categories take to the tatami on the second day in search of Grand Prix honours as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s -73kg and -81kg categories were contested.

The opening ceremony took place before the final block on day two as Mr. Sergey SOLOVEYCHIK, IJF Vice President and EJU President, joined Ms. Sanda CORAK, Croatian Judo Federation President and the Mayor of Zagreb, Mr. Milan BANDIC on the stage.

Mr. SOLOVEYCHIK said: “Dear Ms. President, dear officials, athletes, fans and guests, on behalf of the International Judo Federation, I would like to welcome you all here to Zagreb for the Judo Grand Prix 2014.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome you all here and we wish you a successful participation and I hope your bring home medals for your countries. I commend the perfect organisation of this event and I would like to present the IJF Award to the President of the CJF and the Mayor of Zagreb.  

Ms. Sanda CORAK, CJF President, said: “Dear officials, judoka and fans, on behalf of the CJF it is my great pleasure to welcome you all here. Judo in Zagreb has a long tradition and there are many judoka here in this city. Earlier this year we realised Zagreb would become the new venue for competition and did everything we could to make this event a success.

“I would like to thank the supporters and sponsors and our friends for their help in this edition of the Grand Prix. I wish you all a memorable stay in Croatia and wish the best to all countries for the results. We hope to see you again next year in Zagreb.”

Ms. CORAK then presented a Zagreb Grand Prix gold medal to Mr. SOLOVEYCHIK.

Mayor MANDIC said: “I wish you all a pleasant stay in Zagreb, I thank you all for coming to take part, to watch and to support this fine competition. I officially declare the Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014, open.”

On Sunday, the three-day competition will come to a close with men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories and the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories.  


The draw can be seen at:
Live stream on Ippon TV:
Official event hash tag: #JudoZagreb2014


-63kg: World bronze medallist TRSTENJAK grabs gold     

World bronze medallist Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) maintained her Chelyabinsk form as she defeated Boras European Cup winner Mia HERMANSSON (SWE) to win -63kg gold in the first final of the day. TRSTENJAK had too much experience for the plucky 21-year-old Swede, who, already assured of a maiden Grand Prix medal, lost out by two yuko scores. Slovenian ace TRSTENJAK started with an ippon seoi-nage for a yuko score and sealed the win with a second yuko proving enough. 

In the first semi-final TRSTENJAK dismissed 20-year-old African champion Imene AGOUAR (ALG) by overpowering her on the ground as she trapped the Algerian in osaekomi for 20 seconds and ippon. In the second semi-final HERMANSSON defeated Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Edwige GWEND (ITA) with a ko-uchi-gake earning waza-ari and the Swede’s sturdy defensive work kept her opponent from scoring.

The first bronze medal was won by former Junior world bronze medallist Gemma HOWELL (GBR) who gave a glimpse of her ability on her return by defeating GWEND. The Italian was penalised twice with the second shido coming for passivity as HOWELL showed she will be a force to be reckoned with when she has more competitions under her belt. The second bronze medal was claimed by Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Maelle DI CINTIO (FRA) who defeated AGOUAR by two waza-ari scores as the second was earned by s forceful kesa-gatame hold for 15 seconds for wazari-awasette-ippon. 

TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO) vs HERMANSSON, Mia (SWE)                         

Bronze Medal Fights
GWEND, Edwige (ITA) vs HOWELL, Gemma (GBR)              
AGOUAR, Imene (ALG) vs DI CINTIO, Maelle (FRA)                             

Final Results
1. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                         
2. HERMANSSON, Mia (SWE)                                         
3. HOWELL, Gemma (GBR)               
3. DI CINTIO, Maelle (FRA)                                                    
5. GWEND, Edwige (ITA)
5. AGOUAR, Imene (ALG)                                               
7. HAECKER, Katharina (AUS)              
7. MARTIN, Hannah (USA)                                   

-70kg: Former world leader ZUPANCIC wins for Canada

Former world number one Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN) won Zagreb Grand Prix gold as she defeated world bronze medallist Katarzyna KLYS (POL) in the -70kg final. ZUPANCIC, who impressively dealt with a tough draw, was unable to produce a score in the final but will still be delighted by her outing in Croatia which was settled on shido penalties. KLYS was second best as she was penalised three times for passivity while her adversary was penalised once for passivity and once for going out of the area.  

In the first semi-final contest ZUPANCIC dashed the hopes of the home crowd by beating 19-year-old European bronze medallist Barbara MATIC (CRO). The Canadian went ahead with a yuko score from an ouchi-gari before engineering an opening for osaekomi-waza and promptly adjusted to hold MATIC down for 20 seconds. In the second semi-final KLYS bested world number five Sally CONWAY (GBR) in a hotly-contested battle of wills between two of the most highly-regarded judoka in the talent-laden category. KLYS had the edge as she produced two yuko scores while the industry of CONWAY was not enough to trouble the scoreboard.

The first bronze medal was claimed by Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Maria PORTELA (BRA) who wrapped her right hand around the collar of her opponent, grabbed a leg and rolled over her back to sink in the shime-waza and CONWAY was beaten. The second bronze medal contest was won by MATIC who sent the fanatical home crowd into raptures by beating 21-year-old Junior World Championships bronze medallist Szaundra DIEDRICH (GER). MATIC threatened with ko-uchi-gake and applied pressure for the full four minutes as DIEDRICH was penalised three times for passivity to finish in fifth-place.                 

ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN) vs KLYS, Katarzyna (POL)                                                          

Bronze Medal Fights
CONWAY, Sally (GBR) vs PORTELA, Maria (BRA)               
MATIC, Barbara (CRO) vs DIEDRICH, Szaundra (GER)                                                  

Final Results
1. ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN)                                      
2. KLYS, Katarzyna (POL)                                          
3. PORTELA, Maria (BRA)                                                
3. MATIC, Barbara (CRO)                       
5. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)                                                  
5. DIEDRICH, Szaundra (GER)                                                                        
7. FLETCHER, Megan (GBR)                 
7. EIGLOVA, Alena (CZE)                                 


-73kg: European champion ELMONT delivers for the Netherlands   

European champion Dex ELMONT (NED) put a disappointing World Championships showing behind him by winning gold against Madrid European Open bronze medallist Andre ALVES (POR). ELMONT was penalised after one minute for negative gripping before his opponent was held accountable for being passive. ALVES was penalised for the same reason moments later which gave ELMONT the incentive to move forward and throw for waza-ari with morote seoi-nage. The Dutch judoka got caught with a yoko-shiho-gatame in the closing seconds but had enough in reserve to find a way out after four seconds in osaekomi. 

In the first semi-final ALVES triumphed against Miami Pan American Open winner Marco MADDALONI (ITA) with a waza-ari score going unanswered as the Portugese fighter advanced to the first IJF World Judo Tour final of his career. In the second semi-final the classy Dutchman ELMONT conquered the spirited former Pan American champion Nicholas DELPOPOLO (USA). The pair traded shido penalties as the latter received two in the first minute which gave ELMONT more license to impose himself. DELPOPOLO was penalised for a third time for passivity as his opponent took the contest on shido penalties with only one against his record.

The first bronze medal was clinched by Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Florent URANI (FRA) who won his first meeting with DELPOPOLO. The Frenchman led with a yuko from countering a wayward uchi-mata attempt from the American and sat on that slender advantage to receive shido penalties for passivity. DELPOPOLO attacked with uchi-mata and then combined it with a sumi-gaeshi but URANI was equal to the threat and held on for the victory. The second bronze medal was destined for Italy, it was just a case of who would be wearing it. Beaten semi-finalist MADDALONI lost out to European u23 Championships silver medallist Andrea REGIS (ITA) by two yuko scores. REGIS, who was penalised three times for going out of the area, was nearly pegged back with a de-ashi-barai but was able to put his hand down and avoid giving away a score.   
ALVES, Andre (POR) vs ELMONT, Dex (NED)                                              

Bronze Medal FightsDELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA) vs URANI, Florent (FRA)             
MADDALONI, Marco (ITA) vs REGIS, Andrea (ITA)                                 

Final Result
1. ELMONT, Dex (NED)                   
2. ALVES, Andre (POR)                                
3. URANI, Florent (FRA)                                                    
3. REGIS, Andrea (ITA)                                  
5. DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA)                                               
7. OZDOEV, Zelimkhan (RUS)                
7. CUNHA, Leandro (BRA)                            

-81kg: Russian maestro MAGOMEDOV wins in Croatia    

Two-time European champion Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) topped the podium for the first time since he won his second European title in 2012. The 27-year-old Russian was awarded victory in the -81kg final after Havana Grand Prix silver medallist Travis STEVENS (USA) was unable to compete due to a foot injury as fans were unfortunately denied seeing what would have surely been a superb final between two top-class judoka. 

In the first semi-final STEVENS swept past Sindelfingen European Cup winner Matteo MARCONCINI (ITA) by wazari-awasette-ippon but had a noticeable limp as he made his way back into the warm up area. In the second semi-final MAGOMEDOV, who suffered a rib injury during the course of the contest, resisted the efforts of Madrid European Open bronze medallist Laszlo CSOKNYAI (HUN). MAGOMEDOV was keen to put on a show as part of a 14-strong Russian team but on this occasion had to settle for a safe passage to the final by way of two shido penalties given to the Hungarian.  

The first bronze medal was won by World Team Championships silver medallist Murat KHABACHIROV (RUS) who held down CSOKNYAI with a tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon. The second bronze medal was captured by MARCONCINI who dispatched Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Asaf CHEN (ISR) with a tomoe-nage for ippon with six seconds left. MARCONCINI led with a waza-ari from a
seoi-nage in a one-sided contest. 

STEVENS, Travis (USA) vs MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)                      

Bronze Medal Fights
CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN) vs KHABACHIROV, Murat (RUS)       
MARCONCINI, Matteo (ITA) vs CHEN, Asaf (ISR)                                          

Final Result
1. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)                               
2. STEVENS, Travis (USA)
3. KHABACHIROV, Murat (RUS)                            
3. MARCONCINI, Matteo (ITA)                              
5. CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN)                                 
5. CHEN, Asaf (ISR)                                                        
7. LIMA, Diogo (POR)              
7. DUDCHYK, Vitalii (UKR)                      



10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

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

Location: Dom Sportova

Friday, September 12, 2014

Judo Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014 - DAY 1

(Via IJF)

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

The Judo Grand Prix, Zagreb 2014, opened on Friday as day one saw five judoka with steely resolve come through to win gold two weeks after the World Championships.  

The three-day Grand Prix started with five categories sharing the tatami at the Dom Sportova as the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories were all in action.  

Following the World Championships, Chelyabinsk 2014, 46 nations have gathered in Zagreb, the spiritual home of judo in Croatia, to compete in the latest destination on the IJF World Judo Tour.

As 2015 comes into sight and the Rio 2016 Olympics looms, there is a fascinating battle unfolding domestically and internationally as judoka strive for selection and honours to merit inclusion in Brazil.

The five gold medallists on day one have boosted their chances of a Rio 2016 berth by earning 300 ranking points while the silver medallists scooped 180 points and the bronze medallists claimed 120 points.

Mr. Vladimir BARTA, IJF Head Sports Director, was encouraged by the first day of the competition and highlighted the work of the organising committee.

“The Croatian Judo Federation understand what is required to organise an event of this magnitude and the opening day was well received by all parties.

“The Zagreb Grand Prix has already proven to be a competition which a great deal of countries and judoka have a great appetite for and the organising committee have been very efficient in this regard. I look forward to the forthcoming days in Zagreb and the continued showcase for the Croatian Judo Federation who are led superbly by their President Ms. Sanda CORAK.”

On Saturday, the action continues on the tatami in Zagreb as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories along with the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories will all be decided following the opening ceremony which will take place at 16:30 local time.     

The draw can be seen at:
Live stream on Ippon TV:
Official event hashtag: #JudoZagreb2014


-48kg: Romania's UNGUREANU strikes first in Zagreb    

Rome European Open silver medallist Monica UNGUREANU (ROU) won the first gold medal of the Zagreb Grand Prix with a comprehensive win over Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Julia FIGUEROA (ESP). UNGUREANU, who was already assured of the first Grand Prix medal of her career, made sure she topped the podium by registering three scores without reply. The Romanian took control of an ura-nage in mid-air to land on top of FIGUEROA who initiated the attack after 55 seconds. UNGUREANU added a yuko from an ouchi-gari and a yuko from an uchi-mata but shortly after had three shido penalties to her name. FIGUEROA could not extract a score from her high-flying opponent but still earned a career-best result as both judoka shone for their respective countries. 

In the first semi-final UNGUREANU downed the returning Olympic bronze medallist Charline VAN SNICK (BEL) to guarantee the first Grand Prix medal of her career. The Romanian scored with a ouchi-gari for waza-ari while VAN SNICK, who eased through the previous rounds, was penalised for a false attack and could not find an answer to the complex puzzle posed by her opponent. In the second semi-final FIGUEROA had the measure of number two seed Valentina MOSCATT (ITA) on shido penalties. Both judoka were unable to penetrate the scoreboard as their alert defence kept respective attacks under control. MOSCATT was penalised twice while her rival did not receive any shido penalties and went through to the final.

The first bronze medal was awarded to top seed and double African champion Taciana LIMA-BALDE (GBS) who defeated former European silver medallist MOSCATT. LIMA-BALDE was determined to come away with a medal and attacked with uchi-mata and her trademark ouchi-gari as the latter drove MOSCATT off balance but she turned out to land on her front. MOSCATT was unable to threaten and was penalised for a false attack and passivity while LIMA-BALDE worked tirelessly and pitched an unblemished record. The second bronze medal was won by 24-year-old VAN SNICK who successfully returned to action in Zagreb. The Belgian was understandably not at her best after her time away from IJF World Judo Tour but she showed sufficient quality to come through against European u23 champion Ebru SAHIN (TUR) to win bronze by a yuko score.   

UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU) vs FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)                              

Bronze Medal Fights
MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA) vs LIMA-BALDE, Taciana (GBS)             
VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL) vs SAHIN, Ebru (TUR)                                                

Final Results
1. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)                                       
2. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)                                                             
3. LIMA-BALDE, Taciana (GBS)                                                     
3. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)                                               
5. MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA)                                     
5. SAHIN, Ebru (TUR)                                       
7. RUMYANTSEVA, Kristina (RUS)             
7. DUMITRU, Violeta (ROU)                                

-52kg: EURANIE comeback gathers pace with Grand Prix gold

Baku Grand Slam winner Annabelle EURANIE (FRA) is enjoying a second life on the tatami after returning to the sport last year after a six-year break from competition. The 32-year-old, who took bronze in Rijeka a year ago, defeated former European silver medallist Joana RAMOS (POR) and looks more imposing with every competition. EURANIE took control of the -52kg final by scoring a waza-ari from an uchi-mate with exactly 60 seconds left and fashioned an opening in ne-waza as she held down RAMOS for 15 seconds to win by wazari-awasette-ippon. 

The first semi-final saw EURANIE outthink and outwork European bronze medallist Gili COHEN (ISR) as she scored a waza-ari and yuko after her opponent opened the scoring with a yuko. In the second semi-final RAMOS denied 37-year-old Ilse HEYLEN (BEL) with a clinical performance. RAMOS showed her intent by surging in front with a yuko from an uchi-mata after 15 seconds. HEYLEN plotted and pushed but RAMOS sealed the win with osaekomi-waza as her Belgian foe was unable to escape within 15 seconds to lose by wazari-awasette-ippon.

The first bronze medal was clinched by Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Raquel SILVA (BRA), the older sister of Brazil’s first female world champion Rafaela SILVA, who defeated the evergreen HEYLEN of Belgium. SILVA took the initiative with ashi-waza for waza-ari before trapping HEYLEN in a yoko-shiho-gatame hold for 15 seconds to win by wazari-awasette-ippon. The second bronze medal was won by COHEN who did enough to see off 19-year-old Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA). COHEN was penalised for passivity while the Italian teenager, who won Junior World bronze last year, was penalised twice in a scoreless contest.       

EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA) vs RAMOS, Joana (POR) 

Bronze Medal Fights
HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL) vs SILVA, Raquel (BRA)           
COHEN, Gili (ISR) vs GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)                                           

Final Results
1. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)      
2. RAMOS, Joana (POR)                                
3. SILVA, Raquel (BRA)                                                       
3. COHEN, Gili (ISR)                                          
5. HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL)                                
5. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)                                                    
7. GOMEZ, Laura (ESP)              
7. NAREKS, Petra (SLO)                              

-57kg: BLOT doubles France's golden medal haul 

Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Laetitia BLOT (FRA) won France’s second gold medal on day one after a closely fought contest against Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Hedvig KARAKAS (HUN). BLOT, 31, who is producing her best results in the latter stage of her career, attacked with seoi-nage after KARAKAS, 24, who won world bronze in 2009, was penalised with a shido for passivity with 63 seconds left. The scoreless contest was settled by the shido given to the Hungarian and BLOT sprinted towards her coach to celebrate her latest accomplishment on the IJF World Judo Tour. 

In the first semi-final BLOT defeated former world bronze medallist Vlora BEDETI (SLO) by ippon with just 21 seconds remaining while at the same stage KARAKAS bested Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Jovana ROGIC (SRB) by a yuko in the only score of the contest.

The first bronze medal was won by ROGIC who come from behind to deny 21-year-old Commonwealth Games winner Nekoda SMYTHE DAVIS (GBR). ROGIC trailed by a yuko score but fought back to counter an attack from the Briton to score a waza-ari which proved to be decisive after four minutes. The second bronze medal was won by Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Loredana OHAI (ROU) after her contest with BEDETI went the distance. OHAI, 22, defeated the top seed on shido penalties as they were all square with one infringement apiece before the Slovenian received a shido for an overly defensive posture and that separated the pair after four minutes.               
BLOT, Laetitia (FRA) vs KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN)                                             

Bronze Medal Fights
ROGIC, Jovana (SRB) vs SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)  
BEDETI, Vlora (SLO) vs OHAI, Loredana (ROU)             

Final Results 
1. BLOT, Laetitia (FRA)                                                    
2. KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN)                                          
3. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)                                      
3. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)     
5. SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)                                             
5. BEDETI, Vlora (SLO)                  
7. TREMBLAY, Stefanie (CAN)             
7. EQUISOAIN, Jaione (ESP)               


-60kg: Austrian hero PAISCHER rises to the top in Croatia 

Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist Ludwig PAISCHER (AUT) was on top form in Zagreb as he returned to the summit of the category where he has won Olympic, world and European medals. PAISCHER prevailed against Junior World bronze medallist Ahmet Sahin KABA (TUR) in a fascinating -60kg final. The 32-year-old, who some might have disregarded as being in the twilight of his career, was swift of thought and action against 21-year-old KABA, who also claimed a silver medal at the Junior European Championships last year and is one of the most exciting talents on the circuit. KABA is a prospect no more after his fearless display in Zagreb and he had the audacity to take the lead with a uchi-mata-makikomi for a yuko. PAISCHER restored parity with a sumi-gaeshi before trapping his young opponent for 20 seconds for ippon and released his emotions by punching the air in celebration.   

In the first semi-final PAISCHER defeated 19-year-old Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) with a majestic sumi-gaeshi after 96 seconds. In the second semi-final KABA, who led by a yuko, lived dangerously as he had three shido penalties to his name with over a minute remaining but Diego SANTOS (BRA) ran out of ideas against the young Turkish fighter. KABA turned out of a juji-gatame attempt from SANTOS and held on to the delight of his teammates who spurred their man on throughout the contest.

The first bronze medal was claimed by SANTOS who showed no physical signs of his lung-busting semi-final effort. The Brazilian scored twice to defeat Junior European bronze medallist Carmine Maria DI LORETO (ITA) who is one of a plentiful group of highly-touted youngsters in the Italian team. SANTOS scored a yuko with a morote seoi-nage and added a second by holding his opponent with kesa-gatame for 14 seconds, one second shy of being a waza-ari score. The second bronze medal went to former Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Pavel PETRIKOV (CZE) who defeated beaten semi-finalist GARRIGOS in golden score. After five minutes both judoka had a shido penalty against their name as an additional 20 seconds were needed to separate the rivals with the Spaniard receiving a shido for gripping his opponent with a bear hug attempt.         
PAISCHER, Ludwig (AUT) vs KABA, Ahmet Sahin (TUR)                   

Bronze Medal Fights
SANTOS, Diego (BRA) vs DI LORETO, Carmine Maria (ITA)              
GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP) vs PETRIKOV, Pavel (CZE)                                                             

Final Result
1. PAISCHER, Ludwig (AUT)                                                
2. KABA, Ahmet Sahin (TUR)                                         
3. SANTOS, Diego (BRA)                                     
3. PETRIKOV, Pavel (CZE)               
5. DI LORETO, Carmine Maria (ITA)                                                                 
5. GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)                                                          
7. RAYMOND, Adrien (FRA)               
7. MOOREN, Jeroen (NED)                 

-66kg: Battling Belgian LEFEVERE makes his mark   

San Salvador Pan American Open bronze medallist Jasper LEFEVERE (BEL) pictured this day in his mind last night and delivered the best case scenario as he won-66kg gold against Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Alim GADANOV (RUS). LEFEVERE, 26, finished fifth in Rijeka a year ago, and as that was the closest he has been to a Grand Prix medal it was only fitting for him to finally achieve that feat in Croatia. Former European champion GADANOV, 30, was overlooked for the World Championships and almost responded in the best possible way but LEFEVERE had his own designs on making a statement and did so by defeating GADANOV by ippon in 51 seconds with a ko-uchi-gari. 

In the first semi-final home LEFEVERE saw off IJF World Judo Tour newcomer Sinan SANDAL (TUR) who surpised top seed Colin OATES (GBR) in his first contest. LEFEVERE took the lead with a yuko and wrapped up the victory with a tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds to earn ippon. In the second semi-final GADANOV outclassed 19-year-old Junior World bronze medallist Adrian GOMBOC (SLO). GADANOV is as seasoned a judoka as there is on the circuit while GOMBOC is still finding his feet at this level and was caught with ashi-waza for waza-ari before being pinned for 15 seconds as his Russian adversary won by wazari-awasette-ippon.  

The first bronze medal was won by GOMBOC who defeated Sofia European Open bronze medallist Andraz JEREB (SLO) who finished fifth in Rijeka last year. The teammates cancelled each other out for five minutes with a shido apiece to initiate golden score. GOMBOC went close with a sumi-gaeshi after 40 seconds and that positive action was deemed enough to penalise JEREB for passivity as the former won the domestic bragging rights for Slovenia. The second bronze medal contest was won by Minsk European Open bronze medallist Tal FLICKER (ISR) in a scoreless contest against Turkish judoka SANDAL. FLICKER, 22, who was fighting for the first Grand Prix medal of his young career, emerged with the win by way of shido penalties after SANDAL recieved a second shido following both judoka being penalised for an overly defensive posture. 

LEFEVERE, Jasper (BEL) vs GADANOV, Alim (RUS)                      
Bronze Medal Fights
GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO) vs JEREB, Andraz (SLO)               
SANDAL, Sinan (TUR) vs FLICKER, Tal (ISR)                                

Final Result
1. LEFEVERE, Jasper (BEL)                                        
2. GADANOV, Alim (RUS)                             
3. GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO)                               
3. FLICKER, Tal (ISR)                                        
5. JEREB, Andraz (SLO)                                                                          
5. SANDAL, Sinan (TUR)                                            
7. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)           
7. NOURINE, Fethi (ALG)                           



10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

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


10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

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

Location: Dom Sportova