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

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