Sunday, May 31, 2015

Marius Vizer resigns from Sports Accord

Marius Vizer resigns from Sports Accord. Will now focus on judo. Read his full letter here

And this is how he ends his letter:
I will dedicate myself to judo, the sport which I love and that helped me become what I am today, teaching me the solid principles – courtesy, courage, sincerity, honor, modesty, respect, self-control, friendship and the code of honor that each person should adopt in life, sport which I will continue to develop with all my energy, devotion and passion.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Judo World Masters Mohammed VI, Rabat 2015 - DAY 2

(Via IJF)


The second day of the World Judo Masters, Mohammed VI, Rabat, Morocco, featured the last seven categories as the women’s -70kg, -78kg and 78kg and men’s -81kg, -90kg, -100kg and +100kg judoka were all in action at the Palace of Sport.


The official opening ceremony of the World Judo Masters, Mohammed VI in Rabat, took place today, just prior to the final block of the competition. Being under the patronage of the King of Morocco, who exceptionally gave his name to the event, the ceremony took place in front of the Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan. During the his opening speech, the IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer, said: “Your Royal Highness, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Morocco, dear guests, dear spectators, dear officials and dear athletes from all over the world, it is my pleasure and honour, in the name of the International Judo Federation, to welcome you here in Rabat, the Capital city of Morocco. In the name of the IJF, I would like to thank the His Highness, The King of Morocco, the Government, the National Olympic Committee, the National Judo Federation and all of those who participated in the success of this 2015 edition of the World Judo Masters, which will have an impact on the development of judo and of all sports in the country but also across the African continent and in the world.“

The Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Morocco (center), Mr. Marius Vizer, IJF President (right) and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Mohand Laenser (left)

At the end of the second day, the President of the Moroccan Judo Federation, Mr. Chafik EL KETTANI, could explain his first conclusions: “As President of the federation I am very proud and happy that our team was able to organise such a big event on relatively short notice. But thanks to the support and help of the IJF and its President, Mr. Marius Vizer, we did not miss the target. We are getting closer and closer to the international standards. In 2017, I think that we will be able to change our continental open into a Grand Prix. This World Masters event was a general rehearsal for what we want to achieve later. Many members of the organising committee were in contact with the IJF staff. They learnt a lot. I am a happy president. Happy to be part of that international judo family and to be the leader of one of the most dynamic federations in Africa. With the World Masters, we have increased the quality, the visibility, the attractiveness and universality of judo.“

The Crown Prince of Morocco (left), Mr. Marius Vizer (center) and Mr. Lasana Palenfo, African Judo Federation President (right)

Teddy Riner, who was actively involved within the organisation of the event said: “This was important for our sport to come here in Morocco and to bring back an IJF event on the African soil. We had a fantastic support directly from the King of Morocco, his Highness Mohammed VI. This will really help the development of sport and of judo in Africa but also worldwide. I believe that judo has great values that need to be shared because they can change de society in a positive way.“

Click here to view the ongoing Olympic qualification list 

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hash tag:
#JudoRabat2015Judobase: Instagram:


-70kg: World Number One, POLLING Tops the Medal Podium

World number one and silver medallist a few weeks ago in Baku on the occasion of the first Grand Slam of the year, Kim POLLING (NED) confirmed today that she is in good condition. Opposed to Gevrise EMANE (FRA) (former world champion and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist) in the second round, she controlled the fight and pushed the French to be penalised four times for hansoku-make. In the semi-final, she defeated Bernadette GRAF (AUT), to be opposed to the current world champion, Yuri ALVEAR (COL) in the final. Once again, the Columbian proved to be present on the occasion of a major event after having defeated Antonia MOREIRA (ANG), Naranjargal TSEND AYUSH (MGL) and Fanny Estelle POSVITE (FRA) during the preliminary rounds. The first to launch a terrific attack with uchi-mata, was POLLING, but for no score, ALVEAR being able to escape. A bit later, the Dutch was again dangerous with a ura-nage, once again for no score, as the Columbian landed on her stomach. The next counter attack was more successful, POLLING scoring a yuko. After a last attack for no score, POLLING could finally enjoy her victory.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the two French teammates, one representing the experience, Gevrise EMANE (FRA), the second, Estelle POSVITE Fanny, the young generation. In this category, the qualification for the Games will not be easy for team France. EMANE was the first one to be penalised for passivity after a few seconds. It was then the turn of POSVITE, twice, and again EMANE. Two shido each. Finally, 10 seconds before the end of the fight, Gevrise EMANE received a third shido, giving the victory to her teammate POSVITE.

The second bronze medal fight opposed ARAI Chizuru (JPN) and Bernadette GRAF (AUT) and only one single shido separated the two athlete in the advantage of ARAI Chizuru.


Bronze medal fights
EMANE, Gevrise (FRA) vs. POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)
ARAI, Chizuru (JPN) vs. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)

Final results
2. ALVEAR, Yuri (COL)
3. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)
3. POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)
5. EMANE, Gevrise (FRA)
5. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)
7. BOLDER, Linda (ISR)
7. TSEND AYUSH, Naranjargal (MGL)

-78kg: World, Olympic and now Master Champion for HARRISON

A final between Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) and Kayla HARRISON (USA) was expected in Rabat, but only the American could make it to the final, the French being surprisingly defeated by Natalie POWELL (GBR) in quarter-final, after having been disqualified for a direct leg grab. With only a second place in Samsun this year, being in the final already represent a fantastic achievement for POWELL. In the final, HARRISON pressed from the start and there was a sense of inevitability when she threw POWELL for ippon after 94 seconds. The victory maintains the American’s command of the category while a career-best result for POWELL, who became the first British woman to win a World Masters medal, will bolster her bid to be selected for Rio 2016.

The first bronze medal fight saw the 2011 world champion TCHEUMEO facing the winner of the Baku Grand Slam, Guusje STEENHUIS (NED), at the beginning of the year. French fighter TCHEUMEO earned a place on the podium by waza-ari after four minutes of action.

In the second bronze medal fight, Luise MALZAHN (GER) was opposed to the second Dutch athlete of the category, Marhinde VERKERK (NED) and the German fighter was able to secure the win in 29 seconds by ippon.

POWELL, Natalie (GBR) vs. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)

Bronze medal fights
TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA) vs. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
MALZAHN, Luise (GER) vs. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)

Final Results
1. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
2. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)
3. MALZAHN, Luise (GER)
3. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
5. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
5. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)
7. JOO, Abigel (HUN)
7. TURKS, Victoriia (UKR)

+78kg: YU World Master for the Second Time

The question at the beginning of the day was: Is Idalys ORTIZ (CUB), Olympic and world champion capable of winning the Masters’ title? The answer turned out to be no, as the Cuban was defeated twice, by Svitlana IAROMKA (UKR) during the preliminaries and by Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN) in repechage. Thus the final opposed YAMABE Kanae (JPN) and the winner of the last edition of the Masters, in Tyumen 2013. After fifty seconds, YAMABE was penalised with a first shido for passivity and one more time a little later. With YU continuing to attack, YAMABE again received a shido, while both athletes entered the last minute of fight. With three shido against her opponent, YU finally won the gold medal adding a second World Master title to her prize list.

The first bronze medal was decided between Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN) and TACHIMOTO Megumi (JPN), who also already won the World Masters, but this was in Baku in 2011. After having been penalised for passivity with a shido, TACHIMOTO launched a left handed ashi-guruma for waza-ari. The second penalty received by TACHIMOTO didn’t change anything in the final result and the Japanese could add one medal to her team.

Franziska KONITZ (GER) and Svitlana IAROMKA (UKR) fought for the second bronze medal. During most of the fight, neither of the competitors were able to score until KONITZ executed a o-uchi-gari for yuko that offered her the bronze medal.

YAMABE, Kanae (JPN) vs. YU, Song (CHN)

Bronze medal fights
KONITZ, Franziska (GER) vs. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)

Final results
1. YU, Song (CHN)
2. YAMABE, Kanae (JPN)
3. KONITZ, Franziska (GER)
3. TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN)
5. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)
7. MA, Sisi (CHN)
7. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)


-81kg: NAGASE Concludes with Gold

With the elimination of the current world champion, Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO), in semi-final, and of Loic PIETRI (FRA) in the first round, the -81kg category proposed a lot of surprises to the large public present today in the stadium. The final opposed the 2009 world champion, Ivan NIFONTOV (RUS) and the winner of the last edition of the Tokyo Grand Slam, NAGASE Takanori (JPN). The Japanese concluded this second day of competition with an immobilisation for ippon.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Roman MOUSTOPOULOS (GRE) and the conqueror of Loïc PIETRI, Sergiu TOMA (UAE), who just lost his semi-final by shido in the golden score. The first to score a yuko to take the lead was TOMA, who confirmed his advantage with a superb uchi-mata for waza-ari this time, and a yuko with sumi-gaeshi. The last penalties given to TOMA did not change the result and he could celebrate his bronze medal.

The second bronze medal fight was a remake of the last world championships final as Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) and Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO) faced off for the right to step on the podium. The Canadian received the first penalty, before the Georgian scored a yuko. Despite the pressure that VALOIS-FORTIER put on the shoulders of TCHRIKISHVILI, he could not score and the medal went on the Georgian’s shoulders.

NIFONTOV, Ivan (RUS) vs. NAGASE, Takanori (JPN)

Bronze medal fights
MOUSTOPOULOS, Roman (GRE) vs. TOMA, Sergiu (UAE)

Final results
1. NAGASE, Takanori (JPN)
3. TOMA, Sergiu (UAE)
7. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)


Varlam LIPARTELIANI (GEO), who was the top favourite of the competition was eliminated early by Alexandre IDDIR (FRA), after the Georgian grabbed the leg of his opponent and was disqualified. This opened the way to the winner of the 2014 Asian Games YOSHIDA Yuya (JPN), who produced some of the most spectacular techniques of the day during the preliminary rounds. In the final he was opposed to the second Georgian athlete of the category, Beka GVINIASHVILI. A little less than three minutes were necessary for GVINIASHVILI, to replace another Georgian on the top of the podium, and to score ippon with a outstanding koshi-waza technique.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Alexandre IDDIR (FRA) and the 2013 world champion Asley GONZALEZ (CUB), who won the fight after a strong battle, concluding with a waza-ari for the Cuban with a drop-seoi-nage.

In the second bronze medal contest, Noel VAN T END (NED), who eliminated the world and former Olympic champion Ilias ILIADIS (GRE) with a superb ippon, was facing the 2013 European champion, Kirill DENISOV (RUS). Largely dominated by DENISOV, VAN T END had some difficulties trying to take the advantage and he was even penalised with a shido. Insisting on a left handed ko-uchi-gari, but with no control, the Russian was not able to score either, when VAN T END successively launched a drop-seoi-nage and a sode-tsuri-komi-goshi, both for waza-ari and a great result for the Dutch athlete.


Bronze medal fights
IDDIR, Alexandre (FRA) vs. GONZALEZ, Asley (CUB)
VAN T END, Noel (NED) vs. DENISOV, Kirill (RUS)

Final results
2. YOSHIDA, Yuya (JPN)
3. GONZALEZ, Asley (CUB)
3. VAN T END, Noel (NED)
5. DENISOV, Kirill (RUS)
5. IDDIR, Alexandre (FRA)
7. ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE)
7. VOPROSOV, Kirill (RUS)

-100kg: Surprise for GASIMOV
After a first round win against Jose ARMENTEROS (CUB) and a second against the 2013 world champion, Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE), the current world champion, Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), entered the final after a last victory against Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL). For the gold medal, he was opposed to Elmar GASIMOV (AZE), winner of the Tbilisi and Samsun Grand Prix this year. Totally dominated by KRPALEK, GASIMOV seemed to be incapable of posing any danger the world champion, but the Azeri was actually the first to score waza-ari. With less than a minute to go, the mission still looked complicated for GASIMOV who got thrown but only for yuko. But this was too late for KRPALEK, who will probably have some regrets tonight for not having put more pressure on his opponent.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the winner of the 2014 Tashkent Grand Prix, Ramadan DARWISH (EGY) and the three times world medallist and Olympic medallist Henk GROL (NED), who already has two medal at the masters as well. With a superb aerial uchi-mata, DARWISH scored ippon to offer the first medal to Africa on the occasion of this edition of the World Judo Masters.

The second bronze medal fight opposed Martin PACEK (SWE) and his sutemi-waza techniques and Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL), who defeated Cyril MARET in the first round and Ramadan DARWISH (EGY), in quarter-final. PACEK scored the first with a o-uchi-gari for yuko and then seemed to perfectly control the situation, playing with the penalties, until 23 seconds before the end of the fight. Taking the opportunity of an attack from the Swedish, probably lacking of a bit of control, NIKIFOROV propelled him over his shoulder with a ura-nage for ippon.

KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE) vs. GASIMOV, Elmar (AZE)

Bronze medal fights
DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY) vs. GROL, Henk (NED)
PACEK, Martin (SWE) vs. NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL)

Final results
1. GASIMOV, Elmar (AZE)
2. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
3. DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)
5. GROL, Henk (NED)
5. PACEK, Martin (SWE)
7. MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)
7. RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)

+100kg: RINER Master in Rabat and Master of the World

The most awaited category of the day was the men’s heavyweight field with the participation of Teddy RINER, who actively participated in the building of the project to host the Masters in Morocco. With a slight injury two days ago, the French fighter was uncertain at the beginning of the day. But once on the tatami, he showed all his talent to win all his fights with spectacular ippons, the last one being against SHICHINOHE Ryu (JPN) in the semi-final. The rematch of the last world championships in Chelyabinsk between the French and the Japanese was particularly interesting. SHICHINOHE was definitely less ’shy’ than in Chelyabinsk, and tried to find a solution against the French giant. But RINER threw him with an extraordinary o-soto-gari for ippon. In the final RINER was opposed to the experienced BOR Barna (HUN).

Having nothing to lose, BOR started the fight with a high rhythm obliging RINER to remain careful on his legs. BOR was then penalised for a defensive position. The two athletes entered the last minute, still with only one shido. But the Hungarian was penalised a second and third time before Teddy RINER could really adjust one powerful attack with a o-soto-gari, for ippon. With no doubt, RINER remains the World Master.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Levani MATIASHVILI (GEO) and Roy MEYER (NED), who was very close to enter the final, being only defeated by BOR with a yuko, a few seconds before the end of the semi-final. After one minute, MATIASHVILI was penalised with a first shido, giving a tiny advantage to MEYER. Struggling with thethe mixed kumikata of the Dutch, the Georgian judoka who was changing from one side to the other one was penalised a second time. For the remaining time, MEYER just had to control, to launch one or two attacks and he could secure the score to step on the podium.

The second bronze medal fight saw Renat SAIDOV (RUS) facing SHICHINOHE Ryu (JPN). The first penalty went to SAIDOV after less than a minute, copied a few seconds later by SHICHINOHE who was also penalised for escaping. One more minute, and this time both athletes received a shido for passivity. One false attack later, SAIDOV received a third penalty, and could not escape longer from receiving the fourth one for hansoku-make and a bronze medal for SHICHINOHE.

RINER, Teddy (FRA) vs. BOR, Barna (HUN)

The Crown Prince joins the champions

Bronze medal fights

Final Results
1. RINER, Teddy (FRA)
2. BOR, Barna (HUN)
3. MEYER, Roy (NED)
5. SAIDOV, Renat (RUS)
7. JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN)
7. NATEA, Daniel (ROU)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Judo World Masters Mohammed VI, Rabat 2015 - Day 1

(Via IJF)



2 Gold for Japan, Russia and Mongolia, 1 Gold for Ukraine

The first day of the World Judo Masters, Mohammed VI, in Rabat, Morocco, featured the first seven categories as the women's -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and 63kg and men's -60kg, -66kg and -73kg categories were all in action at the Palace of Sport. With the top sixteen athletes per weight category being engaged, a show was guaranteed and the enthusiastic public was not disappointed, as round after round, the quality of judo was increasing. Broadcasted in over 150 countries, the event, which is offering 700 points to the winners, will definitely mark the beginning of a new period of development for judo worldwide.

Just one more paragraph for the intro: At the end of this first day, Mr. Vizer, the IJF President declared: “This a very good organisation and Morocco put a lot of effort to organize the World Masters. I especially want to thank His Majesty, the Kind Mohammed VI, for his great support. I also want to thank Teddy Riner, who played a key role to host the event in the country. My gratitude goes also to the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the National Olympic Committee of Morocco and the National Judo Federation, as well as to all those who participated in that success. Having the best judo players in the world guarantees to have a very high level of judo and that is what we had all day long. Throughout the preliminary rounds and the final block, we saw a lot of scores and I hope that tomorrow it will be the same. The World Masters are being held in Africa for the first time. It will open many doors to the development of judo in the continent. It is a very good motivation for all the judo players and beyond.“

The idea to organise the World Judo Masters came up last year, just after the World Championships in Chelyabinsk. The personal engagement of champions such as Teddy Riner, facilitated the process. The image that such a champion can bring is more and more important in the sporting world. But the Moroccan Judo Federation knew that they had to strictly follow the specifications of the International Judo Federation. After the location of the event was chosen between Tangier, Agadir, Marrakech, Casablanca and Rabat, the real work started.

Rabat was designated because it offered all possible facilities and a venue that looks designed to welcome judo events. After the IJF gave its final approval, the Moroccan Judo Federation obtained the government support, as Mostafa AZAROUAL, Director of Sports at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, explained: “Technically speaking, as the event is a clear international dimension, we had no other choice than to support it and the engagement of the government was compulsory. The commitment of His Majesty, Mohammed VI, is unique. The whole organisational process was personally followed by him. It is the proof that we are going in the right direction. Our mission was first to set up an efficient organisational structure. This event gives us an outstanding opportunity to promote sport at a national level, but also to promote Moroccan judo at the international level. It will definitely give a positive image of our country outside of its borders. And last but not least it offers a positive image to our youth.“

The effective preparatory work started at the end of 2014, and in January 2015, three committees were created: the surveillance Committee under the umbrella of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Steering Committee and the Local Committee. 

For the Federation the important point was to show that it could follow the IJF specifications. The President of the Federation, Mr. Chafik EL KETTANI, explained: “After having received the support of President Vizer, we wanted to show that we were capable of organising the World Masters. But besides having the support of our government and of the King of Morocco himself, we had the will to show that we had also the human ressources. We wanted to give a good example of what is possible. Through this event, we can show that judo is a universal activity. Morocco is a country of peace and tolerance, which is open to Africa and to the world. We are very proud for our country but also for the athletes of the world.“

The World Judo Masters will definitely leave a legacy locally and internationally. One of the goals of the organisers was to highlight the hospitality of the Moroccan people. For that more than 500 people are involved in the organisation and more than 1,200 persons (athletes, officials, staff, VIP, media) are accommodated. To coordinate the whole organisation, the IJF brought not less than 42 board and staff members and referees in Rabat. 

Click here to view the ongoing Olympic qualification list 

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hash tag:
#JudoRabat2015Judobase: Instagram:


-48kg: MUNKHBAT Adds One Line to her Prize List

Without any surprise the two top seeded athletes of the category, MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) and Paula PARETO (ARG), respectively world number one and three, met in the final. MUNKHBAT first defeated YAMAGISHI Emi (JPN) before she eliminated Shira RISHONY (ISR) in the semi final. In the second half of the draw, PARETO took advantage over Dayaris MESTRE ALVAREZ (CUB) and Maryna CHERNIAK (UKR). The big surprise of the day came immediately during the first round as KONDO Ami (JPN) was defeated by Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR) by yuko.

After 42 seconds, PARETO who had to suffer some strong attacks from MUNKHBAT, was penalised with a shido for passivity. Only a few more seconds were necessary for the Mongol athlete to secure another important title in her sporting career with an armlock for ippon.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the bronze medallist of the Zagreb Grand Prix in 2015, Irina DOLGOVA (RUS), and Maryna CHERNIAK (UKR), winner of the Tbilisi Grand Prix earlier this year. DOLGOVA scored a first yuko after a bit more than 30 seconds, and doubled the score with a sode-tsuri-komi-goshi a little later. Obliged to attack, CHERNIAK took the risk to be counter-attacked, and that is what happened after two minutes and forty seconds, when DOLGOVA scored a with an unstoppable combination o-uchi-gari-tane-otoshi for ippon.

In the second bronze medal contest, the winner of the Zagreb Grand Prix 2015, Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR), was facing Shira RISHONY (ISR), bronze medal last year in Jeju, Korea. The Israel judoka was penalised two times after the regular time, she offered the victory to Dilara LOKMANHEKIM.

Expected at the better level here in Rabat, the African Champion, Taciana LIMA (GBS) was eliminated at the first round, while Monica UNGUREANU (ROU) couldn’t enter the final block.

MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs. PARETO, Paula (ARG)

Bronze medal fights
DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS) vs. CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)

Final results
1. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
2. PARETO, Paula (ARG)
3. DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)
5. CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)
5. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)

-52kg: KUZIUTINA Brings Gold Back Home

Until the semi-final, the way to the gold medal was still open for Andreea CHITU (ROU), but defeated by HASHIMOTO Yuki (JPN), winner of the Tokyo Grand Slam in 2014, the Romanian entered the final block only to try to get the bronze medal. The final thus opposed the Japanese against the World bronze medallist, Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS). The Russian scored the first with a left handed ippon-seoi-nage for yuko and then had just to control the fight to secure the score until the end.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Annabelle EURANIE (FRA), who defeated Gili COHEN (ISR) in repechage, and the second Japanese athlete of the category, NAKAMURA Misato (JPN). Much taller than her opponent, EURANIE was quickly penalised, but she scored with a uchi-mata that she turned into a o-uchi-gari for waza-ari. Then the French had only to control. Penalised two more times, she still won to step on the podium.

In the second bronze medal fight, Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) was opposed to Andreea CHITU (ROU). The score was still open after three minutes and 59 seconds when CHITU launched a desperate uchi-mata to conclude the fight, but she was immediately countered for yuko almost on the final gong, giving a opportunist but beautiful victory to GIUFFRIDA and a place on the podium.


Bronze medal fights
EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA) vs. NAKAMURA, Misato (JPN)
GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA) vs. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)

Final Results
1. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)
3. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)
3. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)
5. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
5. NAKAMURA, Misato (JPN)
7. COHEN, Gili (ISR)
7. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)

-57kg: Mongolia Adds a Second Gold

As announced in the -57kg weight category, the predictions were very complicated and none of the top four seeded athletes of the day could enter the final, as DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL) fought the French Helene RECEVEAUX, who defeated the world and Olympic medallist, Marti MALLOY (USA) during the first round. The final did not show anything spectacular, both athletes being incapable of scoring and only one shido designated DORJSUREN as the new World Judo Master in the women’s -57kg weight category.

In the first bronze medal fight, Hedvig KARAKAS (HUN), who had a first victory against Myriam ROPER (GER) by armlock for ippon during the preliminaries, was opposed to Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU). For the first time of the final block, the golden score was necessary to decide the winner of a fight with only a few opportunities on both sides and even three more minutes were needed to see KARAKAS being penalised with a shido, giving the victory and bronze medal to Corina CAPRIORIU.

In the second bronze medal fight, Catherine BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD (CAN) faced world champion UDAKA Nae (JPN) and only penalties could decide the winner. With only one shido against her, UDAKA stepped on the podium.

Once again the big surprise was the defeat of the world and current Olympic champion MATUSMOTO Kaori (JPN), who was defeated by the experienced Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) during the first round with a yuko.


Bronze medal fights
KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN) vs. CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU)

Final results
1. DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)
2. RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA)
3. CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU)
3. UDAKA, Nae (JPN)
5. KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN)
7. FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT)
7. VERHAGEN, Sanne (NED)

-63kg: Last Gold Goes to Japan

In the absence of the world number one, Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA), Yarden GERBI had a good opportunity to reach the final and win some important points, but she was defeated in the semi-final by TASHIRO Miku (JPN), who was opposed to Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT). The Austrian defeated Anne-Laure BELLARD (FRA) in the second semi-final. After one minute, TASHIRO scored a first yuko with a o-uchi-gari. Stronger than her opponent, the Japanese waited until last ten seconds to finally immobilise UNTERWURZACHER for ippon, offering the last gold medal of the day to Japan.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Edwige GWEND (ITA) and Anne-Laure BELLARD (FRA). After two minutes, GWEND was already penalised with two shidos for passivity, incapable of blocking the long attacks of the French. Before the end of the fight, both athletes received a penalty, which did not change the final results, the bronze medal going back to Anne-Laure BELLARD.

In the second bronze medal contest, Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) was opposed to Yarden GERBI (ISR). A first shido was given to both athletes for blocking the opponent, then GERBI was penalised again and suddenly looked terribly exhausted and not in the position to put TRAJDOS in danger. It is actually the contrary which happened, the German scoring a waza-ari followed by an immobilisation for ippon.


Bronze medal fights
GWEND, Edwige (ITA) vs. BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA)
TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER) vs. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)

Final results
1. TASHIRO, Miku (JPN)
3. BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA)
3. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)
5. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)
5. GWEND, Edwige (ITA)
7. LABAZINA, Marta (RUS)
7. YANG, Junxia (CHN)


-60kg: TAKATO Dominates SAFAROV in a Terrific Final

The bronze medallist of the 2013 World Championships in Rio, Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) had a perfect competition day until the final where he faced 2013 World Champion, Naohisa TAKATO (JPN), who demonstrated incredible judo throughout the preliminary rounds. Between the two finalists there was no observation round, each attack from both sides being very strong. The final score does not really reflect the engagement of the two champions, who delivered a terrific fight. But throughout the final, penalties were distributed, two to SAFAROV and only one to TAKATO, the Japanese winning the World Masters title.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the two Uzbek athletes, Diyorbek UROZBOEV and Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV. Penalised two times LUTFILLAEV, then scored a first yuko, followed by a first waza-ari and concluded a good series with a superb sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for a second waza-ari-wasate-ippon.

In the second bronze medal fight Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) was opposed to the world number one GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL). During the first part of the fight only penalties were distributed on both sides, two to PAPINASHVILI and one to GANBAT, when the Georgian launched a spectacular reverse sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for yuko. Totally exhausted it looked like ‘mission impossible’ for PAPINASHVILI to secure the score. Penalised two more times, he still was ahead with his yuko, but GANBAT launched a sutemi-waza for waza-ari, immediately followed with an immobilisation for ippon.

SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE) vs. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)

Bronze medal fights
UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB) vs. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO) vs. GANBAT, Boldbaatar (MGL)

Final results
1. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)
2. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)
3. GANBAT, Boldbaatar (MGL)
3. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
5. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
7. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
7. ENGLMAIER, Tobias (GER)

-66kg: ZANTARAIA Reigns in Rabat
Favorite of the competition, Mikhail PULYAEV (RUS) was defeated in the semi-final, by Dzmitry SHERSHAN (BLR) with a superb ippon. In the final, the Belarusian was opposed to Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR), who produced one of his best competition peformances ever. Less active than his opponent, ZANTARAIA was penalised with a first shido for passivity. But this was nothing to impress the former world champion (Rotterdam 2009), who with a powerful koshi-waza put a full stop to a fantastic day for him.

The first bronze medal fight saw the bronze medallist of the 2010 world championships, Loic KORVAL (FRA), opposed to DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL). As both athletes were not able to score anything, the difference was made by the number of penalties, two on the French side, one for DAVAADORJ, who thus won the bronze medal.

The second bronze medal fight opposed TAKAICHI Kengo (JPN) and Mikhail PULYAEV (RUS). After one minute and a half, both competitor were penalised with a shido for passivity, PULYAEV looking more forceful on his attacks, which were just lacking of precision. But the only strong attack of the Japanese, with a right handed drop-morote-seoi-nage, was enough to score ippon, giving no chance to PULYAEV to escape.

Neither Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) or Colin OATES (GBR) could enter the final block.

SHERSHAN, Dzmitry (BLR) vs. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)

Bronze medal fights
KORVAL, Loic (FRA) vs. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)
TAKAICHI, Kengo (JPN) vs. PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS)

Final results
1. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)
2. SHERSHAN, Dzmitry (BLR)
3. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)
3. TAKAICHI, Kengo (JPN)
5. KORVAL, Loic (FRA)
5. PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS)
7. OATES, Colin (GBR)

-73kg: IARTCEV Concludes in Gold for Russia

Top seeded athlete, Dex ELMONT (NED) was defeated during the first round by Pierre DUPRAT (FRA), who then lost against the current world champion, NAKAYA Riki (JPN). But once again the Japanese lost his semi-final against Nugzari TATALASHVILI (GEO), who was opposed to Denis IARTCEV (RUS) for the title of World Master. Less than one minute was necessary for IARTCEV to score a clear uchi-mata for ippon.

In the first bronze medal fight, Pierre DUPRAT (FRA) faced Rustam ORUJOV (AZE). Penalised twice, DUPRAT was running against the clock to try to score, at least a yuko to take the advantage. But this game is also risky and the French was first thrown with a quick ko-uchi-gari for yuko before finishing on his back after an opportunist o-soto-gari from ORUJOV for ippon.

The second bronze medal fight opposed GANBAATAR Odbayar (MGL) and NAKAYA Riki (JPN). After one minute and a half, GANBAATAR scored first with a left handed uchi-mata, for yuko. The situation started to become complicated when NAKAYA was penalised twice. But the Japanese remained calm and concentrated, almost sure that he would find the solution before the end and that is what he actually did by scoring a first waza-ari with a ko-uchi-gari, followed by an immobilisation for ippon.


Bronze medal fights
DUPRAT, Pierre (FRA) vs. ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)
GANBAATAR, Odbayar (MGL) vs. NAKAYA, Riki (JPN)

Final Results
1. IARTCEV, Denis (RUS)
3. NAKAYA, Riki (JPN)
3. ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)
5. DUPRAT, Pierre (FRA)
5. GANBAATAR, Odbayar (MGL)
7. DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA)
7. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)



11:00 Preliminaries on two mats
16:30 Opening Ceremony
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -70kg, -78kg, +78kg
Men: -81kg, -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: Palace of Sport - Palais des Sports Prince My Abdellah Rabat - Address: Avenue Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco

Friday, May 22, 2015

Judo World Masters Mohammed VI, Rabat 2015 - Preview

(Via IJF)


The IJF World Judo Tour has now moved on to Morocco for the invite-only World Judo Masters event which will take place from 23-24 May at the Palace of Sport in Rabat. For the very first time in history, after Suwon (KOR 2010), Baku (AZE 2011), Almaty (KAZ 2012) and Tyumen (RUS 2013) the event gathering the top sixteen athletes per weight category will be held on the African soil. Under the patronage of the King of Morocco, his Highness Mohammed VI, the World Judo Masters will offer 700 points to the winners.

The efforts made by the Moroccan Judo Federation with the support of the International Judo Federation, to welcome delegations and officials and to propose a world class event, are impressive and the stadium which hosts the event, totally dressed in red, is visible from afar. The welcome conditions, the accommodation and preparation are optimal.

During the official draw of the competition, Mr. Marius Vizer, the IJF President, declared: “It is a great honour and occasion to be united in Rabat, one year prior to the Olympic Games and I am convinced that we will have a fantastic event. Year by year, the popularity of judo is increasing and we have had so far a lot of successes. I can already announce that next year, the event will be held in Mexico, in Guadalajara. I wish good luck to all the participants.“

Mr. Vizer also added: “I want to underline the very good synergy between the African Judo Union and the IJF to organise this edition of the World Masters. This event, which under the hospices of the King of Morocco, his Majesty Mohammed VI, is very important. It is a great promotion for our sport that will be broadcasted over 150 countries. It is a fantastic tool to show the values, the tradition and the culture of Morocco worldwide.“

After his address to the 51 heads of delegations, who were present for the draw, Mr. Marius Vizer presented the IJF Golden Plaque to the Moroccan Judo Federation President, Mr. Chafik El KETTANI, who said: “In the name of the federation, the Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, I want to welcome you all in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, on African soil. Thank you very much to his Majesty, the King Mohammed VI, who has been strongly supporting us since the beginning. My gratitude goes to Mr. Vizer, to his staff and to the AJU staff. This event is important for Morocco and for Africa. We want to transform our continental open into a Grand Prix. We also want to open a new training African Centre in our country. Having such an event here, will help us to succeed in our goals. Morocco is a county of peace and confidence. I am looking forward to watching great judo during the next two days and to see the spirit of our sport and the fairplay fly over the world.“

Mr. Marius Vizer presents the IJF Golden Plaque to Mr. Chafik El KETTANI

General Lasana Palenfo, the African Judo Union President said: “It is with great pleasure that I see you all here. Welcome to Morocco. After several continental events, I am happy to welcome the IJF back on our continent. I thank his Majesty, Mohammed VI, for his support and all of you, who made that event possible.“

The format of the competition, that brings together the top sixteen athletes per weight category of the moment, ensures a quality show and every fight will be the equivalent of a World Judo Tour final. Places on the podium will be particularly expensive, in a context where it is very difficult to make any predictions.

Last year, Morocco, which has a long tradition of organizing international events (Junior World Championships Agadir 2010, Casablanca continental open), proposed its candidature to host the Masters 2015. After the world championships, the World Masters is the most important competition in the world.

Since 2007 and the election of Mr. Marius Vizer as the IJF President, judo has deeply evolved and modernized. In recent years, the international calendar was extended by numerous events (Grand Prix, Grand Slam, Masters) which all give points for the world ranking, which itself determines the Olympic qualifications. The rules have been adapted to offer a more dynamic and spectacular judo and to offer to the athlete the opportunity to restore their taste to score ippon. Undoubtedly, the competitions of this weekend will perfectly illustrate this evolution and the medalists of Rabat might step again in the podium of the Rio Games in 2016.

Click here to view the ongoing Olympic qualification list 

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hash tag:
#JudoRabat2015Judobase: Instagram:



The 2013 world champion and world number one, MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) has much to do in a category where the differences between the athletes are less and less visible. The silver medallist of the last World Championships, Paula PARETO (ARG) is demonstrating great consistency at the international level and the Japanese, KONDO Ami, who despite a small hiccup in Düsseldorf earlier this year, remains on a nice series in 2015. The recent African champion, Taciana LIMA (GBS) has also shown that she has a great international potential, as well as the Romanian Monica UNGUREANU, who won a superb gold medal in Baku a few weeks ago.


With the two top athletes of the category being absent (especially Majlinda KELMENDI from Kosovo), the top seeded athlete of the Masters will be Andreea CHITU (ROU) who might take this opportunity to move forward in the world ranking. Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS), who won the Qingdao Grand Prix last year and was present on the podium in Chelyabinsk, will also try to gain some precious points to secure Olympic qualification. The other favourites for a place in the final block will be Mareen KRAEH (GER), Gili COHEN (ISR), Yuki HASHIMOTO (JPN), Jaana SUNDBERG (FIN), Yulia RYZHOVA (RUS) and MA Yingnan (CHN).


The -57kg category will feature some of the best athletes in the world with the presence of world leader, Telma MONTEIRO (POR), Olympic medallist and silver medallist of the 2013 worlds Marti MALLOY (USA), the Romanian Corina CAPRIORIU and Miryam ROPER of Germany, who despite her feeling of having a little trouble coming back to her best, could still show her experience at this level of competition. But the leading name of the category remains the Olympic champion, MATSUMOTO Kaori (JPN) who will face Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) in the first round. If the Japanese fell slightly in the world rankings, she remains one of the undisputed favourites for the title.


Due to a foot injury just before the Masters, the world number one, Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA), will follow the competition from the stands. Her friend, Yarden GERBI (ISR) might take this opportunity to steal the spotlight. She will find on her way to the title, Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT), Martyna RAJDOS (GER), Edwige GWEND (IRA), TASHIRO Miku (JPN), Anne-Laure BELLARD (FRA), Hilde DREXLER (AUT) and YANG Junxia (CHN). Rizlen ZOUAK (MAR), will represent Morocco with good chance to reach the final four.


The world number one, back in top-level action, Kim POLLING (NED), could secure her superiority over the category in Rabat. Nevertheless, she will have to thwart the medal desires of the other contenders: Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER), the current world champion, Yuri ALVEAR (COL), the Pan-American champion, Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN), Bernadette GRAF (GER), Sally CONWAY (GBR), ARAI Chizuru (JPN), and the Olympic medallist, Gevrise EMANE (FRA). An other chance for the host country will come from Assmaa NIANG.


With the Brazilian world champion and world number one, Mayra AGUIAR, absent, it is the French judoka Audrey TCHEUMEO, who will be the favourite in the category. But it is difficult to make predictions while the world and Olympic champion, Kayla HARRISON (USA) is in second position and other athletes such as Luise MALZAHN (GER), JOO Abigel (HUN), both dutch athletes, Marhinde VERKERK and Guusje STEENHUIS, Victoriia TURKS (UKR) and Natalie POWELL (GBR) are also in the draw.


World champion and Olympic champion, Idalys ORTIZ (CUB), may this weekend go down in history of world judo by adding a World Masters title to her already impressive prize list. The heiress of TONG Wen (CHN), YU Song, could prevent the Cuban to obtain a new worldwide honour. Among the other favourites for the title will be Franziska KONITZ (GER), YAMABE Kanae (JPN), Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN), TACHIMOTO Megumi (JPN), another Chinese, MA Sisi, and the Ukrainian, Svitlana IAROMKA.



The world number one, GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL) will undoubtedly be one of the favourites. But the World Master title could go back to world number two Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO), while TAKATO Naohisa (JPN), number four in the ranking list, will try to take points to move up in the rankings. The Russian team, which came into Rabat in force, could also put a man on the podium, in the form of Beslan MUDRANOV. But it is without counting on other outsiders who could upset the established order.


Russian, Mikhail PULYAEV, will be the favourite in the category of -66kg, while the Mongolian DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg could meet him in the final if all goes well for both leaders. But they will find on their way the magician Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR), Dzmitry SHERSHAN (BLR) and the British fighter Colin OATES, who finished second on the occasion of the Baku Grand Slam a few weeks ago. One must not forget the former world champion and Olympic medallist Rishod SOBIROV (UZB), who is committed to showing that he is still among the best judo players in the world.


The Dutchman Dex ELMONT will be challenged for the title in a category that will be hotly-disputed. Rustam ORUJOV (UZB), who recently won the Grand Slam of Baku, is ambushed at the second place in the world ranking, while SAINJARGAL Nyam-Ochir (MGL) and his third place at the world ranking, also wants to demonstrate his strength. But Israeli, Sagi MUKI, could thwart all predictions, while world medallist, Victor SCVORTOV (UAE), could allow the UAE to win a first medal at the World Masters.


The -81kg category will definitely be one of the most anticipated categories of the weekend with the presence of world number one and world champion, Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO) who has shown some flaws during his last appearances. He will be closely followed by the 2013 world champion, Loic PIETRI (FRA) who would like to show him that he is the leader of the category. But what about Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER, Olympic and world medallist, who always raises his level at major events, or the Russian roster which has no fewer than four athletes competing, Ivan NIFONTOV, Khasan KHALMURZAEV, Alan KHUBETSOV and Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV. American Travis Stevens will look to take the advantage of the World Masters occasion.


Georgia will present its second world leader in the person of Varlam LIPARTELIANI who almost steps on the podium on every appearance. In the absence of world number two, it's Noel VAN T END (NED) who is waiting to snatch the trophy from LIPARTELIANI. But it will probably not be the idea of the reiging world and 2004 Olympic champion, Ilias ILIADIS (GRE), who could once again show his experience at this level. The two Russians Kirill VOPROSOV and Kirill DENISOV, will also be part of the favourites to claim a medal, while the Cuban, Asley GONZALEZ, world champion in 2013, marks a comeback on the international scene.


The world champion and world leader, Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), could add another important line to his prize list here in Rabat, though Elmar GASIMOV (AZE) will be a serious contender for the title. It will also be interesting to follow the fight between the two German judoka, Karl-Richard FREY and Dimitri PETERS, who are battling to decide who will go to the Games next year. The French Cyril MARET, who still lacks consistency, could seize the opportunity to shine at the highest level, while Dutch Henk GROL is always in pursuit of a major title in the category. One must not forget, another world champion from 2013, who is fighting, Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE).


Who can dethrone the seven-time world champion and Olympic champion, Teddy RINER (FRA), who will be expected to win by everybody in Rabat. Slightly injured a few weeks ago, these World Masters are a real test for the king RINER. Will it be Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO), Faicel JABALLAH (TUN) who can destabilise him? Or should one count on a repeat of the final of the last world championships between the French and the Japanese, SHICHINOHE Ryu, who was close to score to discover who will be the next opponent to RINER? Answer Sunday.



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

Women: -48kg, -52kg, -57kg, -63kg
Men: -60 kg, -66 kg, -73kg


11:00 Preliminaries on two mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -70kg, -78kg, +78kg
Men: -81kg, -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: Palace of Sport - Palais des Sports Prince My Abdellah Rabat - Address: Avenue Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why no bridge call?

I was going through some Zantaraia fights and came across this match from the 2013 Rio World Championships where he almost lost to his Algerian opponent who managed to throw him in the last minute of their bout with a tai-otoshi. Zantaraia spun out with what looks very much like a bridging action. The referee initially awarded a waza-ari to the Algerian but that was later changed to no score.

Actually far from no score, I think the Algerian deserved an ippon. Watch the clip below, as well as the slow motion replays, and tell me that's not a bridge.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Baku Grand Slam 2015 - DAY 3

(Via IJF)

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

The Baku Grand Slam 2015 produced a stirring third and final day as the heavyweights lit up the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre with a flurry of ippons on Sunday.

The Azerbaijan audience saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals.

IJF Sports Director Mr. Daniel LASCAU reflected on the first Grand Slam of the year and in particular the strength of the competition in Baku.

“We have seen very motivated delegations here in Baku and especially the athletes who have shown a very high rate of activity," said the former world champion.

"We are still in a period where athletes who are not seeded are coming through for medals and that is good to see. As for the organisation, it has been very good and in addition we have seen good judo. It is clear to me that Azerbaijan is well prepared to host the European Games in June.”

Judo will be part of the inaugural  European Games in June

European Judo Union Vice President Mr. Michael VACHUN was in attendance on Sunday ahead of June’s inaugural European Games which will effectively serve as this year’s European Championships.

Mr. VACHUN said: “Fans can expect to see the best judoka in Europe in June and many are ranked at the top of the world. The European Games will be a great presentation of judo and a wonderful occasion we are all very much looking forward to. We will have worldwide television coverage and it will be a must-see spectacle for not just judo fans but anyone who considers themselves as a sports fan.”

Hosts Azerbaijan and talent-laden Romania shared top spot on the medal table as both countries accumulated exactly the same medal haul of two gold medals and one silver medal with two fifth-place finishes and one seventh-place. 

The IJF World Judo Tour now moves on to Africa for the invite-only World Judo Masters event which takes place from 23-24 May at the Palace of Sport in Rabat, Morocco and as always fans can watch all the action live at   


-78kg: STEENHUIS stars for the Netherlands      

Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Guusje STEENHUIS (NED) took her career to new heights as she improved on her 2014 bronze medal by taking gold with a scintillating display of heart and talent. The 22-year-old squared off against former world silver medallist OGATA Akari (JPN) in the -78kg final. London 2012 Olympian OGATA has fallen out of favour in the Japanese team in recent times but reminded judo fans of her ability while STEENHUIS starred despite trailing to a yuko from an osoto-gari after 52 seconds. The Dutch fighter replied with a waza-ari from a strong harai-makikomi effort and went on to secure a fine gold medal and her maiden Grand Slam title.  

In the first semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Daria POGORZELEC (POL) lost out to OGATA who opened the scoring with a waza-ari from an osoto-gari and continued to press in ne-waza. OGATA trapped her Polish opponent in osaekomi and finally settled into a yoko-shiho-gatame for 15 seconds and a place in the final.

In the second semi-final STEENHUIS defeated Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Kerstin THIELE (GER). Dutch fighter STEENHUIS was reactive on the ground as she countered a tame attack with shime-waza and Olympic silver medallist THIELE was sent into the bronze medal contest.  

The first bronze medal was won by Olympic champion Kayla HARRISON (USA) as THIELE was penalised twice in a scoreless contest. HARRISON suffered a surprise defeat to POGORZELEC in the quarter-finals and while the American’s appearance in the bronze medal contest might have been a rare sight, the reigning world bronze medallist continued her prolific medal spree on the World Judo Tour. HARRISON has won more medals on the IJF World Judo Tour since 2009 than any other judoka and long will that be expected to continue. The second bronze medal contest was won by the determined Pole POGORZELEC by a slender margin of one shido against Budapest Grand Prix winner Marhinde VERKERK (NED) as POGORZELEC continued her rise to -78kg notoriety.        
OGATA, Akari (JPN) vs STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)                                                                                                                            
Bronze Medal Fights
THIELE, Kerstin (GER) vs HARRISON, Kayla (USA)                   
POGORZELEC, Daria (POL) vs VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)                                                     
 Final Results
1. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)                           
2. OGATA, Akari (JPN)
3. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)                    
3. POGORZELEC, Daria (POL)                                         
5. THIELE, Kerstin (GER)
5. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)                                                          
7. DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS)                      
7. TURKS, Victoriia (UKR)                                                                                 

+78kg: Outsized IAROMKA puts Ukraine on the board  

Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Svitlana IAROMKA (UKR) showed Tallinn European Open bronze medallist her ne-waza prowess as she subdued Santa PAKENYTE (LTU) after some good movement which had conviction and yielded her country’s first and last medal of the Baku Grand Slam. Both judoka were penalised after 25 seconds and after exchanging further penalties for passivity, IAROMKA sensed an opening on the ground and held her taller Lithuanian rival with a kesa-gatame for another hard-fought result. 

In the first semi-final PAKENYTE held off Pan American Championships runner-up Rochele NUNES (BRA) in a contest which was only settled on shido penalties. One shido against Brazil’s number two heavyweight NUNES was the difference as PAKENYTE guaranteed a place on the medal podium. In the second semi-final IAROMKA humbled Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Ksenia CHIBISOVA (RUS). The Ukrainian fighter showed more industry and was a worthy winner as she went through to the final by ippon to leave no doubt in her mind that she could claim gold.

The first bronze medal was won by Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist and top seed Jasmin KUELBS (GER) who returned to winning ways by defeating CHIBISOVA by a waza-ari after four minutes. The second bronze medal was clinched by Zagreb Grand Prix winner Belkis Zehra KAYA (TUR) who scored two waza-ari and recognised the respectful ovation from the judo-loving crowd by making a heart sign with her hands. KAYA made sure of victory with just 23 seconds left as she turned to osaekomi-waza for the second and match-winning waza-ari.  
IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR) vs PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)                                                                  

Bronze Medal Fights
CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS) vs KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)                     
NUNES, Rochele (BRA) vs KAYA, Belkis Zehra (TUR)                                                                                  

Final Results
1. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)                                                         
2. PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)                     
3. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)                            
3. KAYA, Belkis Zehra (TUR)                                                            
5. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)                                            
5. NUNES, Rochele (BRA)                                                      
7. OZEN, Gulsah (TUR)    
7. WEISS, Carolin (GER)                                                                    


-90kg: Brilliant BAKER blasts through in Baku 

All Japan Championships winner BAKER Mashu (JPN) won the second Grand Slam gold medal of his fast-rising career as he showed his quality all day long. BAKER defeated Samsun Grand Prix winner Noel VAN T END (NED) in the -90kg final with a yuko from an ouchi-gari opening the scoring. Tokyo Grand Slam 2013 winner BAKER defiantly resisted a ko-uchi-gake attack and protected his advantage for top spot. 

BAKER said: "This is the second time I have won a Grand Slam gold medal and I want to stay at this level. I won all my fights by ippon before the final which is important to me. Now my goal is to be seeded for the World Championships this year after being officially selected for the competition."

In the first semi-final VAN T END was in devastating form as he threw Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Joakim DVARBY (SWE) twice for waza-ari inside 90 seconds to leave the Swede reeling. In the second semi-final BAKER beat Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Walter FACENTE (ITA) after 99 seconds with an emphatic ko-soto-gake which sent the Italian out of the area with velocity.

The first bronze medal was awarded to FACENTE who saw off Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Aaron HILDEBRAND (GER) in just 55 seconds. The Italian started with a waza-ari fom an osoto-gari and immediately followed up with a kesa-gatame hold for 15 seconds and HILDEBRAND lost by wazari-awasette-ippon. The second bronze medal was captured by DVARBY who came from behind to triumph against Samsun Grand Prix runner-up Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB). DVARBY trailed to a yuko score and struggled to establish himself in the contest as he was penalised three times for gripping infringements. To his credit DVARBY kept his belief and toppled KUKOLJ with a tomoe-nage for ippon with nine seconds remaining.          
BAKER, Mashu (JPN) vs VAN T END, Noel (NED)                                                                          

Bronze Medal Fights
FACENTE, Walter (ITA) vs HILDEBRAND, Aaron (GER)                     
DVARBY, Joakim (SWE) vs KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)                                                                                                       

Final Results
1. BAKER, Mashu (JPN)  
2. VAN T END, Noel (NED)                      
3. FACENTE, Walter (ITA)                                          
3. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)                                                  
5. HILDEBRAND, Aaron (GER)                                                                
5. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)                                                           
7. JURECKA, Alexandr (CZE)                    
7. ELMONT, Guillaume (NED)                                                                            

-100kg: Russian BISULTANOV denies GASIMOV gold   

World number two Elmar GASIMOV (AZE) produced some highlight reel moments during his charge to the final but 2014 Zagreb Grand Prix winner Adlan BISULTANOV (RUS) did not read the script as he denied the Azerbaijan fighter a fitting finale. Former World Judo Masters bronze medallist GASIMOV, 24, trailed to a yuko score and the crowd played their part in willing on their compatriot but BISULTANOV was unperturbed and silenced the home crowd to take the title.   

In the first semi-final GASIMOV came from behind to spectacularly throw Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Jorge FONSECA (POR) with 13 seconds left. FONSECA broke the deadlock with 35 seconds on the clock and GASIMOV had enough in reserve to lift up FONSECA who was literally hanging over his back for a split second and was driven up and over for a majestic ippon which will be played over and over again. In the second semi-final BISULTANOV bested Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner HAGA Ryunosuke (JPN). The Russian fighter had a waza-ari advantage when HAGA executed an appealing uchi-mata for a yuko but his opponent was cautious enough to the increasing threat of the Japanese fighter who could not conjure up a second score.

The first bronze medal was won by FONSECA, his first at this level, as he returned from an agonising defeat against a home fighter to gain a taste of revenge by beating former world champion Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE). The home fans chanted the name of their judoka and he needed the support as he gasped for oxygen against a workman like FONSECA who took the bronze medal by a single shido. The second bronze medal was won by African Championships silver medallist Ramadan DARWISH (EGY) who overcame HAGA with a single yuko which was the only time the scoreboard was in action during a nervy five minutes.      

FONSECA said: "I feel good, I am growing stronger with every competition and I have more and more belief in myself. I was disappointed with the way I lost the semi-final, I felt very bad as it was a difficult moment for me. I moved forward and was pleased to win the medal. Now I hope to qualify for the World Masters."       
BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS) vs GASIMOV, Elmar (AZE)                                                                                                 
Bronze Medal Fights
FONSECA, Jorge (POR) vs MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)           
HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN) vs DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)                                                                                                   

Final Result
1. BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS)                                        
2. GASIMOV, Elmar (AZE)                                        
3. DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)                                         
3. FONSECA, Jorge (POR)                                                           
5. HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN)
5. MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)                                   
7. PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR)                       
7. GROL, Henk (NED)                                                                       

+100kg: New territory for Hungarian heavyweight BOR     

Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist BOR Barna (HUN) entered unchartered territory on the last day in Baku as he contested a Grand Slam final and dually won his first gold medal on this stage. World number eight BOR has grown into being a serious heavyweight contender and claimed the last contest of the Baku Grand Slam against Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Roy MEYER (NED). BOR and MEYER cancelled each other out for the full five minutes with only two shido penalties to their names but the result was determined 30 seconds later when a ko-soto-gari earned a yuko score and the winner screamed with delight.    

In the first semi-final BOR was too powerful for Aslan KAMBIEV (RUS) as he won by ippon at the halfway stage while in the second semi-final MEYER also saw off Russian opposition. The Dutch fighter shaded Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Andrey VOLKOV (RUS) with a drop seoi-nage enough for a yuko score.

The first bronze medal went to VOLKOV who dismissed Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Oleksandr GORDIIENKO (UKR) by ippon after only 36 seconds. The second bronze medal went to Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Levani MATIASHVILI (GEO) who bested KAMBIEV. Georgian youngster MATIASHVILI went ahead with a waza-ari from ashi-waza and wrapped up a crucial result with osaekomi-waza for 15 seconds as he outperformed teammate and top seed Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO) who had fallen to KAMBIEV in the second round.             

MEYER, Roy (NED) vs BOR, Barna (HUN)     


Bronze Medal Fights
VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS) vs GORDIIENKO, Oleksandr (UKR)         
KAMBIEV, Aslan (RUS) vs MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)                                                                                                                

Final Result
1. BOR, Barna (HUN)                                                                            
2. MEYER, Roy (NED)                      
3. VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS)                                                
3. MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)                     
5. GORDIIENKO, Oleksandr (UKR)                                                                  
5. KAMBIEV, Aslan (RUS)
7. NATEA, Daniel (ROU)