Friday, August 28, 2015

-73kg Competition Report

Muki Sagi (ISR) is the ranked player in this pool but Shohei Ono (JPN) was the real star. A big thrower, Ono has missed many IJF circuit competitions due to some disciplinary issues that resulted in a competition ban for several months. This, plus the fact that he unexpectedly got eliminated early in last year's world championships caused his rankings to plummet. Nevertheless, Ono was the player to watch. He dismissed his first opponent, Sai Yinjirigala (CHN) with a fast uchimata for waza-ari and then with an unexpected sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. Next, he took out Jorge Fernandes (POR) with a well-time kouchi-gari followed by a blistering osoto-gari for ippon. Against Vadzim Shoka (BLR), Ono decided to use his two favorite techniques, osoto-gari and uchimata, which scored waza-ari each. This brought him up against Sagi, who is quite a thrower himself. But he was no match for Ono, who threw him multiple times. First, with uchimata for yuko, then koshi-guruma for another yuko, then a big uchimata for waza-ari, and finally an unexpected drop morote-seoi-nage for yuko.

In Pool B, An Changrim (KOR) was doing to his opponents what Ono was doing in Pool A. He threw Igor Wandtke (GER) with a slick reverse seoi-nage for ippon. Then, he used a drop morote-seoi-nage against Dex Elmont (NED) for waza-ari. After that, it was back to reverse seoi-nage, against Nikola Gusic (MNE), for yet another ippon. The very strong Mongolian, Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal (MGL) gave him a tough fight but also succumbed to his throws: drop sode-tsurik-komi goshi for waza-ari and drop morote-seoi-nage for ippon.

In this pool Nugzari Tatalashvili is the ranking player but Hong Kuk Hyon (PRK) was the one to look out for. He was the silver medalist at the previous world championships but had not competed much in the IJF world circuit so his ranking was not high. He easily threw his first opponent, Cheung Chi Yip (HKG) with a hip throw for ippon. He had a tough time against Marcelo Contini (BRA) though and had to rely on penalties to win. Jaromir Jezek (CZE) gave him a shock by throwing him with ura-nage for yuko. He responded with a drop morote-seoi-nage for yuko to even things up. Then, he pushed ahead with a koshi-guruma for waza-ari. Against the tough Odbayar Ganbaatar (MGL), Hong once against used seoi-nage to score waza-ari and held on to that lead for the rest of the match. 

Riki Nakaya (JPN), as the defending world champion, opened up the accounts by throwing Jake Bensted (AUS) with a slick reverse seoi-nage for waza-ari. A pin later on gave him waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. Against Javier Ramirez (ESP), Nakaya used a hand technique to take him down and proceeded to pin him for ippon. Perhaps the combination technique of the tournament happened in Nakaya's match against Sharofiddin Boltaboev (UZB). Nakaya came in with a one-handed uchimata and proceeded immediately to throw him with tomoe-nage for ippon. Against the awkward Miklos Ungvari (HUN), Nakaya relied on groundwork and pinned him for ippon.

Ono (JPN) vs An (KOR)
The battle between Ono and An was one worthy of the final. Ono opened up the accounts with his favorite uchimata for waza-ari. An then scored a waza-ari when he managed to counter Ono's osoto-gari attempt. With time ticking away and a shido down, An adopted a high grip on Ono who took advantage of the situation to throw him backwards with an ura-nage for a thundering ippon. The crowd gave a rousing applause. They enjoyed that.

Not to be outdone, Nakaya threw Hong with a very unorthodox and low osoto-gari that scored ippon. The crowd roared its approval. 


Hong came out fighting hard against Sainjargal (MGL) but the Mongolian surprised him with a sode-tsuri-komi-goshi that launched him into the air. Hong was lucky the score was only yuko. But he couldn't get back the score from the tactical Mongolian.

Sainjargal's teammate, Ganbaatar was not as experienced in tactical fighting and lost out to An on penalties.

The final bout, between Ono and Nakaya, was something of a grudge match. Both were fierce rivals who jostled for top position in Japan. In Astana, it was Ono who shined and he threw Nakaya with a powerful osoto-kosoto combination that floored his opponent. As Nakaya did not fall flat on his back and waza-ari was given but it was too difficult for Nakaya to get that sore back and Ono was world champion once again (he first won it in 2013 in Rio).

Nakaya, Ono, Sainjargal, An

No comments:

Post a Comment