Saturday, August 29, 2015

World Championships 2015, Astana DAY 4

Women: -63kg | Men: -81kg  
The World Judo Championships produced a riveting day of judo as the defending world champions continued to tumble at the Alau Ice Palace in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Day four saw 123 judoka compete across the men’s -81kg and women’s -63 categories with 75 men in action and 48 women bidding for gold at the last World Championships before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Incredibly, all eight world titles decided in the first four days, have been won by new champions as the red backpatch worn by world champions has been a bad omen in Kazakhstan.

Olympic champion KIM Jae-Bum (KOR) saw his country’s gifted set of youngsters star in Astana so far, was unable to replicate his form of recent years as he was stunned by outsider Carlos LUZ (POR) in his opening contest. KIM, who was wearing his gold backpatch as the London 2012 gold medallist, was inconsolable as he prematurely exited the sport’s annual extravaganza.

With two days left of the individual competition, before Sunday’s team event, Japan have pulled away at the top of the medal table with a haul of four gold, two silver and three bronze medals. The home nation are second after their opening day exploits with one gold and one silver medal while South Korea’s young stars have sent them to third place with one gold and three bronze medals.

On Friday the Alau Ice Palace will showcase the women’s -70kg and -78kg categories along with the men’s 90kg category. 


-63kg: TRSTENJAK Dethrones AGBEGNENOU for Slovenia's first world gold

The final of the -63kg category opposed the two best -63kg athletes of the moment, Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) and Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA), and gave a chance to the French fighter to win a second world title in a row. But after less than a minute, the strongest attack came from the Slovenian side, with a left handed o-soto-gari for no score.

A few seconds later, TRSTENJAK again launched a drop-seoi-nage for waza-ari this time. AGBEGNENOU now had to take risks, which the Slovenian opportunistically utilised to score a yuko with o-soto-gari. TRSTENJAK continued to put an incredible non-stop pressure on AGBEGNENOU, who looked totally incapable of stopping the Slovenian who finally won the first ever gold medal at the world championships for her country.

The first bronze medal fight saw the world number eight, TSEDEVSUREN Munkhzaya (MGL) opposed to the 2013 world champion Yarden GERBI (ISR). After a minute of fight, TSEDEVSUREN was the first to score with an ample counterattack for waza-ari immediately followed with an immobilisation, which looked impossible to escape from, but GERBI produced an incredible effort to have two more minutes and and a half to come back but as time was flying, the podium was escaping from Gerbi. Despite her three penalties, TSEDEVSUREN won a well deserved bronze medal.

For the second bronze medal fight, the public saw TASHIRO Miku (JPN) facing Juul FRANSSEN (NED), but as the Dutch athlete was disqualified during the semifinal, the Japanese could directly step on the podium. The knock-out stages of the -63kg weight category respected the hierarchy since of the four top seeded athletes, only Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT) could not integrate the semi-finals, losing in the third round against face Marijana MISKOVIC (CRO). On top of the world after her excellent results this year (2nd in the European Games, winner in Budapest, Zagreb and Tbilisi GP), Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) reached the semifinals without being severely tested. If she won her first bout by yuko only against Pari SURAKATOVA (RUS), she won her next two confrontations with clear ippon against the Italian Edwige GWEND and the Mongolian TSEDEVSUREN Munkhzaya. Unterwurzacher being out, Juul FRANSSEN (NED) took her chance and qualified for the semifinals as well. But the Dutch athlete was disqualified and therefore couldn’t compete for the bronze.

In the second part of the draw, the reigning world champion, Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA), without much difficulty, was able to enter the semifinals where she found on er way her ‘best enemy’ but very good friend though, the Israeli, Yarden GERBI. The first round of the French could have been a trap against Hilde DREXLER (AUT) but Agbegnenou patiently made her penalized before she nailed DREXLER to the floor with a counterattack for waza-ari. For her second round, the world champion sent back to the locker room the Korean BAK Jiyun, with a powerful arai-goshi for ippon. In the quarterfinal, physically superior to her opponent, TASHIRO Miku (JPN), Agbegnenou made use of her power and tallent to inflict a first waza-ari on o-soto-gari, then a yuko on immobilisation to her opponent.

In the last pool, Yarden GERBI (ISR) defeated the American, Hannah MARTIN, with a small yuko, before winning against Ana CACHOLA (POR) and against the experienced Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED). The semi-final was very promising, since two years ago GERBI defeated Agbegnenou to clinch the world title, before the French took her revenge last year agains the same GERBI. The third confrontation on the occasion of the world judo championship was again won by the French after a terrific fight, but she needed the golden score to finally sore an unstoppable ippon with o-uchi-gari, since both athlete totally neutralized one each other during the regular time.


Bronze Medal Fights
TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL) vs. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)

AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA) vs. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)

Repechage finals
TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL) vs. MISKOVIC, Marijana (CRO)
TASHIRO, Miku (JPN) vs. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)

Final Results
2. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)
3. TASHIRO, Miku (JPN)
3. TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL)
5. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)
7. MISKOVIC, Marijana (CRO)
7. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)


-81kg: NAGASE Controls Pietri for Gold

The second and last final of the day saw the stable NAGASE Takanori (JPN) and the 2013 world champion Loic PIETRI (FRA) fighting to inscribe their name on the top of the prize list of the 2015 edition of the world championships. The first attack came from Pietri with a left handed drop-seoi-nage, which did not put the Japanese in danger.

NAGASE, may be one of the most discrete members of the Japanese squad was very concentrated all day long, and he did not lose the opportunity to develop his groundwork. After a precise sequence, he could pin down PIETRI for 20 seconds for ippon, adding one more gold medal for Japan.

The first bronze medal fight opposed LEE Seungsu (KOR) and Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN), who secured a new world medal with yuko obtained with an opportunist o-soto-gari.

For the second bronze medal spot on the podium Victor PENALBER (BRA) faced Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO). At the halfway point of the fight, the Georgian was already penalized twice for passivity, far away from the show that he presented to the Russian public last year. One more penalty later, and Penalber could celebrate his bronze medal.

The 76 engaged competitors made the -81kg weight category the largest of the championship. Quantity and quality as many athletes were eligible to climb on the top of the podium at the end of the day. Favorite, Georgian, Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI, went through the qualifying to reach the semifinals, after several tough battles. A little less flamboyant than last year, TCHRIKISHVILI secured the victories, even if he needed to use penalties against Aziz KALKAMANULY (KAZ) and against the solid German Sven Maresch.

In the pool B, Ivan Nifontov (RUS) having been eliminated quickly, the Japanese Takanori NAGASE integrated the last four, while in the third quarter of the table, Antoine Valois-Fortier (CAN) showed once again his international value. Silver medalist last year behind TCHRIKISHVILI and Olympic medalist in London, the Canadian is a safe bet and within a few years he has already built an enviable prize list.
The first semifinal opposed Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO) and NAGASE Takanori (JPN). The Georgian confirmed that it was not his best day and he was defeated by NAGASE by yuko.

Maybe not in top form, the 2013 world champion, Loic Pietri (FRA) had to redouble his efforts to reach the semi-finals for the third time in a row in three appearances at the world championships. In the quarter final, he eliminated the Brazilian Victor Penalber by two yuko, the first one on counterattack and the second with a combination, ipon-ko-uchi-gari. In the previous rounds, he was very close to lose against Greek Alexios NTANATSIDIS. Led by yuko, PIETRI was saved by the fourth penalty given to his opponent at the last second of the fight.

This the second semi-final was a revenge of last year semi-final as Valois-Fortier and Pietri clashed again for a place in the final. This time, PIETRI did not let his chance go. Scoring a first yuko he then had to control his opponent who was putting an outstanding pressure on him to make the French penalized. Calmly, PIETRI put his hands on Valois-Fortier’s judogi to suddenly engaged a fantastic ipon-ko-uchi-gari combination for ippon.

The biggest surprises of the day came from the early elimination of the Olympic Champion Kim Jae-Bum, who was thrown for ippon by the Portuguese, Carlos LUZ (POR).

NAGASE, Takanori (JPN) v PIETRI, Loic (FRA)

Bronze Medal Fights
LEE, Seungsu (KOR) vs. VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN)

TCHRIKISHVILI, Avtandili (GEO) vs. NAGASE, Takanori (JPN)

Repechage finals
MARESCH, Sven (GER) vs. LEE, Seungsu (KOR)
DUMINICA, Valeriu (MDA) vs. PENALBER, Victor (BRA)

Final Results
1. NAGASE, Takanori (JPN)
2. PIETRI, Loic (FRA)
3. PENALBER, Victor (BRA)
5. LEE, Seungsu (KOR)
7. DUMINICA, Valeriu (MDA)
7. MARESCH, Sven (GER)

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