Tuesday, August 25, 2015

World Championships 2015, Astana DAY 2












Women: -52kg - Men: -66kg  




The World Championships 2015 delivered a magical day of judo on Tuesday at the Alau Ice Palace with surprises and breakthrough performances in abundance in Astana, Kazakhstan.  

The men’s -66kg category and women’s -52kg categories saw new world champions crowned as the favourites fell and a new crop of rising stars broke through in Kazakhstan’s capital city as 60 men were in action alongside 52 women.

Prior to the final block on day two, Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, joined Mr. Alejandro BLANCO, Spanish Olympic Committee President, to make a special presentation to two-time world champion Joao DERLY (BRA) who was officially introduced as an IJF Ambassador.

The long-time Brazilian international said: “It is a great honour for me become an IJF Ambassador and to represent my country in this way. I wish for the world to see the spirit of judo and to work to give back to the grassroots level of the sport.

“When I come to a special event like this, I still feel like I am a competitor, I feel that excitement. Now I will work for the development of our sport and that means a lot to me.”

Day one -48kg world champion Paula PARETO took the time on Tuesday to reflect on her opening day heroics. PARETO, who started judo at the age of 9, said: “I really wanted to achieve this result. On Sunday night I only had three hours sleep. I felt a lot of emotions yesterday and I feel the motivation and belief now to win the Olympics next year.”

On Wednesday, the attention of the sporting world will turn to the middleweights with the women’s -57kg and men’s -73kg categories set to be contested in Astana on the biggest annual stage in the sport.  


WOMEN

-52kg: Japan Opens its Gold Medal Prize List with NAKAMURA

The last fight of the category opposed the 2014 World silver medallist, Andreea CHITU (ROU) and the 2011 World Champion, NAKAMURA Misato (JPN). A first ko-soto-gake of the Japanese was close to producinga score, as CHITU miraculously escaped. A few seconds later she again escaped from an immobilisation just before yuko could be scored (8 seconds).


But less active than her opponent and with a right hand perfectly controlled by NAKAMURA, the Romanian was penalised with a first shido. With 19 seconds left on the scoreboard this was mission impossible for CHITU, and NAKAMURA Misato won her third world title following 2009 and 2011.


NAKAMURA said: "I feel very relieved right now. In the semi-final I got one shido and then twos hido, I was losing until the final seconds. But I remembered all the hard training I put in to my effort here and fortunately I was able to come back and win."

The first bronze medal fight opposed 20-year-old World Judo Masters bronze medallist Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) and Baku Grand Slam winner Erika MIRANDA (BRA), who had to overcome the disappointment of her defeat in the semifinal at the last second. Thirty seconds before the end of the fight, GIUFFRIDA was penalised with a shido for passivity, which this time MIRANDA could keep until the end to win a second bronze medal in a row at the World Championships.

The two athletes qualified for the second bronze medal fight were Darya SKRYPNIK (BLR) and Gulbadam BABAMURATOVA (TKM). For almost two minutes, neither SKRYPNIK nor BABAMURATOVA seemed to be capable of scoring anything, when the Belarus engaged a left handed uchi-mata, immediately combined by a change of direction for a incredible ko-uchi-gari for ippon.

With her position as current world number one, Andreea Chitu (ROU) was eagerly awaited in the -52kg category where the current world champion, Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS), was absent due to an injury. After a comfortable win in the first round against the Tunisian, Ayari HELA, the Romanian fighter had to double her efforts in the second round to beat the other Kosovan in that category in Distria KRASNIQI. It was not until the golden score that a small penalty seperated the two athletes. In the semifinal a surprise guest was invited to meet CHITU since in the second round, Gulbadam BABAMURATOVA (TKM) ended the course of world number five, Mareen KRAEH (GER), before she got propelled in the final four. CHITU won her ticket to the final with a superb uchi-mata on the edge of the competition area for waza-ari and was able for the second year in a row to contest the final of the world championships.

In Pool C, the Russian Natalia KUZIUTINA, winner of the World Judo Masters in Rabat this year and world number three was the favourite, but she could not overcome the Japanese hope, NAKAMURA Misato, who won by a yuko. Finally in the last quarter of the table, the hierarchy was respected, since Erika Miranda (BRA) could win one fight after another without too much trouble. In the semi-final, both athletes could not find a single opportunity to score, but MIRANDA had the possibility to enter the final until the very last second as she was leading by penalty. But NAKAMURA had other ideas. Pushing and pushing, she launched a last desperate attack, the Brazilian landing on her side for waza-ari to beat the final gong.

Mareen KRAEH (GER), MA Yingnan (CHN), Annabelle EURANIE (FRA), Joana RAMOS (POR) and Gili COHEN (ISR), who were all among the favourites, were early eliminated during the preliminary rounds.

Final
CHITU, Andreea (ROU) vs. NAKAMURA, Misato (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA) vs. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)
SKRYPNIK, Darya (BLR) vs. BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)

Semi-Finals
CHITU, Andreea (ROU) vs. BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)
NAKAMURA, Misato (JPN) vs. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)

Repechage finals
GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA) vs. ADIYASAMBUU, Tsolmon (MGL)
KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS) vs. SKRYPNIK, Darya (BLR)


Final Results
1. NAKAMURA, Misato (JPN)
2. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
3. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)
3. SKRYPNIK, Darya (BLR)
5. BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)
5. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)
7. ADIYASAMBUU, Tsolmon (MGL)
7. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)
     

MEN

-66kg: Precocious South Korean AN wins the world title at 21 

The second and last final of the day opposed 2013 Junior world champion AN Baul (KOR) and European Games bronze medallist Mikhail PULYAEV (RUS), who definitely were the two strongest athletes of the category today in Astana, showing great judo throughout the day. With three penalties on each side and less than a minute on the scoreboard, any action or penalty could have decided who would be the new world champion of the category. When the final gong echoed in the Alau Ice Palace, everything was still undecided and both champions continued into golden score.


Exactly after one minute of golden score, a last left handed morote-seoi-nage attempt from AN finally gave him the victory as PULYAEV, penalised with a shido for passivity, had to settle for his second silver medal in a row at the World Championships. FISU Universiade winnner AN was fifth at the last Tokyo Grand Slam and third in Düsseldorf this year.


AN said: "I am so happy, I really can't believe it. I have to thank my coach and all of the team who have helped me to achieve this. I can't describe how I feel, the gold medal is what I always dreamed of and I am ecstatic."

In the first bronze medal fight, home fighter Yeldos ZHUMAKANOV (KAZ) was the first up as he forced Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) off balance with a drop-seoi-nage but for no score. Both athletes were then penalised for passivity. When SOBIROV was penalised a second time, the public really started to believe that Kazakhstan could win a third medal within two days of competition. But with a combination that only SOBIROV has the secret of (O-soto-tani-otoshi), he scored a yuko, transformed into a waza-ari to put a strong option on a new world medal, an advantage that SOBIROV kept until the end to win his third world medal (2 gold, 1 bronze).

SOBIROV said: "I have felt the difficuluty of this category for a long time but each category has incredible athletes. Now I feel like I am getting better and better. I and more confident and that has helped me and especially as I look forward to the Olympic Games in Rio. I will next be in action at the Tashkent Grand Prix in Uzbekistan in October."

In the second bronze medal fight, DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL) and Golan POLLACK (ISR) stepped on the tatami, with the hope to win a first world medal. Penalised two times already after three minutes of fight, POLLACK scored a yuko with o-uchi-gari just before the final gong.

POLLACK eliminated seeded number seed, the athletic Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR), who won the World Masters in 2015. Keeping his momentum, POLLACK qualified for the semi-finals by eliminating Elio VERDE (ITA) during the next fight.

The second quarter of the table was on fire, since from the third round on, the world champion Ebinuma Masashi (JPN) faced the double world champion and Olympic medallist, Rishod Sobirov (UZB). In a flash of genius which he is the only one capable of, SOBIROV dodged an unstoppable uchi-mata from the Japanese and counterattacked to score one of the most beautiful ippons of the championship so far. On next round SOBIROV was defeated by AN Baul (KOR) for a spot in the semifinals. The Korean managed to enter the final winning against POLLACK by penalty.

In the second part of the table, the silver medalist of the last World Championships in Chelyabinsk and World number two, Mikhail PULYAEV (RUS), cleaned the pool again to reach the final block of a major world event. To access the final he was opposed to the Kazakh fighter, Yeldos ZHUMAKANOV, for the joy of the public. But ZHUMAKANOV couldn’t do anything against PULYAEV who perfectly controlled the end of the Kazakh’s sleeves to block all the attacks. In the meanwhile, PULYAEV secured victory with a left handed eri-seoi-nage for ippon.

Of the eight seeded athletes earlier in the day, only the first three in the world ranking were still running for a medal before the final block.

Final
AN, Baul (KOR) vs. PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS)

Bronze Medal Fights
SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB) vs. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL) vs. POLLACK, Golan (ISR)

Semi-Finals
POLLACK, Golan (ISR) vs. AN, Baul (KOR)
PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS) vs. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)

Repechage finals
VERDE, Elio (ITA) vs. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
SEIDL, Sebastian (GER) vs. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)


Final Results
1. AN, Baul (KOR)
2. PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS)
3. POLLACK, Golan (ISR)
3. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
5. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)
5. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
7. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)
7. VERDE, Elio (ITA)

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