Monday, August 31, 2015

World Championships 2015, Astana DAY 6












Women: +78kg  | Men: -100kg | +100kg


The World Championships 2015 provided one last unmissable day of individual action on Saturday as Olympic champion Teddy Riner won a record-breaking eighth world title in Astana and the Frenchman was the only judoka to retain their title from the 14 winners a year ago.

The team competition will bring the last World Championships before Rio 2016 Olympic Games to a close on Sunday as the world will have one more chance to see their heroes compete on the greatest stage on the IJF World Judo Tour.

Olympic champion and French idol Teddy RINER (FRA) was battling for a record-breaking eighth world crown to surpass Japan’s TAN Ryōko (née Tamura) and TONG Wen (CHN) who were tied on seven world gold medals.

RINER, 26, who was in action once previously this year when he took gold at the World Judo Masters in May, also had the aim of becoming the only world champion from a year ago to successfully retain their title in Kazakhstan.

Olympic and world champions fell dramatically on all six days of the individual competition as new talents arrived on the world level and contenders became medallists with less than a year until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.   

The individual competition finished with 13 out of 14 world titles changing hands as RINER not only showed that he is a class apart in his own category but also incredible nerve in the limelight as the umpteen members of the media waited to question France’s heavyweight superstar.  



WOMEN

+78kg: YU Already on her Way to Rio

In the final match of the women’s category, YU Song (CHN) and TACHIMOTO Megumi (JPN) were opposed to replace, on the top of the world, the Cuban Idalys ORTIZ. Favourite of the competition, YU Song confirmed her World Masters title obtained earlier this year in Rabat, Morocco, by winning by a penalty. This offers the nineteenth gold medal to China at the world championships since the event exists and their first podium in Astana. 


In the first bronze medal contest, YAMABE Kanae (JPN) faced Ksenia CHIBISOVA (RUS) and after a minute, the Japanese was already leading by a yuko scored with an action-reaction movement. A few seconds later, she didn’t give any opening to CHIBISOVA to escape from an immobilisation for ippon, to win her first senior world medal.

The second bronze medal contest could have been one of the possible finals of the day in the women’s +78kg as Olympic and current world champion, Idalys ORTIZ (CUB) was opposed to MA Sisi (CHN). Much smaller than her opponent, the Cuban was nonetheless faster and immediately after the attempt to counterattack MA Sisi, ORTIZ immediately followed her action on the ground to immobilise the Chinese for ippon, offering the first medal of this championship to Cuba.

For several years, China is present on the international scene in the women’s + 78kg weight category. Once again, the Chinese athletes demonstrated that in Astana, with the semifinal between YU Song (CHN) and MA Sisi (CHN). Both of them qualified for the first semifinal of the category without being really challenged, Yu Song, winner of World Masters in Rabat in 2015, confirming her role as one of the favourites for the Olympic title, next year in Rio, if the qualification does not escape her to the benefit of her compatriot, Ma Sisi.

If there is one undeniable fact that is that both Chinese judoka know perfectly one another and that the rivalry is great between them to win the ticket to Rio 2016. In those conditions it is difficult to develop spectacular judo. Thus it is a tight fight which the public followed and only a small yuko differentiated the two athletes to the benefit of YU Song.

Once again, times were tough for the current world champions, since the Cuban Idalys ORTIZ (CUB), the reigning world and Olympic champion, had herself been eliminated in the quarterfinals by TACHIMOTO Megumi (JPN) who fought CHIBISOVA Ksenia (RUS) for a place in the final. Even before the final block began, with this semi-final, CHIBISOVA already achieved her best performance of the year, since in 2015 she only achieved a fifth place in the Grand Slam of Baku. As both fighters received two shidos during the regular time, golden score was needed and obviously, CHIBISOVA seemed to have a little advantage, but the Japanese exploited the first mistake of the Russian to score a yuko with a Japanese-style o-uchi-gari.


Final
YU, Song (CHN) vs. TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
YAMABE, Kanae (JPN) vs. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)
ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB) vs. MA, Sisi (CHN)

Semi-Finals
YU, Song (CHN) vs. MA, Sisi (CHN)
TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN) vs. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)

Repechage finals
YAMABE, Kanae (JPN) vs. ZAMBOTTI, Vanessa (MEX)
ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB) vs. KONITZ, Franziska (GER)


Final Results
1. YU, Song (CHN)
2. TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN)
3. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)
3. YAMABE, Kanae (JPN)
5. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)
5. MA, Sisi (CHN)
7. KONITZ, Franziska (GER)
7. ZAMBOTTI, Vanessa (MEX)

MEN

-100kg: Sixth Gold for Japan and World Title for HAGA

The battle between the two Germans, Karl-Richard FREY (GER) and Dimitri PETERS (GER), definitely has a positive impact on their performance. This time it was last year’s bronze medallist at the Chelyabinsk world championships, FREY, who entered the final, against HAGA Ryunosuke (JPN). After three minutes, FREY, penalised two times already, was running after HAGA, whose attacks were all dangerous. Controlling the situation without issues, finally HAGA added one more title for the Japanese delegation.


The first bronze medal fight opposed Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL) and Cyrille MARET (FRA). After a few seconds, NIKIFOROV injured a finger and was looking physically diminished. Slowly but surely MARET was pushing to make NIKIFOROV penalised, which he was three times for passivity. But a world medal is a world medal and the Belgian took his courage in both hands to throw MARET two times for ippon and to win his first world medal.

The defending world champion, Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), having been eliminated in semifinal, faced the Olympic bronze medallist Dimitri PETERS (GER) for a place on the podium, in a fight of the strong men. Taking advantage of a mistake from KRPALEK, PETERS thrust his opponent into the tatami for a waza-ari, which was corrected to an ippon, offering a second world medal to the German.

The morning was long and trying for the current world champion, Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), and every fight was a real battle. He won with a small penalty only in the first round, against Artem BLOSHENKO (UKR). Then it took him three minutes 34 seconds before he could find the solution against the 2013 world champion, Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE), and KRPALEK, who looked untouchable last year, was thrown with a yuko in the middle of the fight. In the quarter-finals again, the battle was tough to surpass Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL). Although he scored twice, the Belgian managed to superbly counter KRPALEK, but only for one yuko, which was very close to a waza-ari. The Czech could finally relax a little before attacking his semifinal against Karl-Richard FREY (GER), who, however, seemed to gain momentum throughout the preliminary rounds. The German eliminated in the quarter-final, 2008 Olympic champion, Naidan Tuvshinbayar (MGL), after a battle that had to go to golden score before FREY could finally find an opportunity to score. In the semifinal, again FREY produced a fantastic effort and he catapulted KRPALEK with an incredible sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi for ippon.

In the second half of the draw, Cyrille MARET (FRA), who for several years has demonstrated his raw power and is tipped as a possible world medallist, pulled himself to the semifinals, having beaten on the way the national hero, Maxim RAKOV (KAZ), world champion in 2009 in Rotterdam. The French, who never got a medal at this level of competition, seemed to have his chances today in Astana though. In the semifinals he was opposed to the little known Japanese, HAGA Ryunosuke, even if he has already won the Düsseldorf Grand Prix this year. For more than four minutes, both MARET and HAGA were fighting for the sleeve. It was obvious that the first who could control the fabric, would be dangerous and that is exactly what the Japanese did with less than one minute on the scoreboard. Under pressure with his two penalties, HAGA caught MARET’s sleeve once and immediately launched uchi-mata for yuko. The fight was over and the French may have many regrets.


Final
FREY, Karl-Richard (GER) vs. HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL) vs. MARET, Cyrille (FRA)
PETERS, Dimitri (GER) vs. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)

Semi-Finals
KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE) vs. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)
MARET, Cyrille (FRA) vs. HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN)

Repechage finals
NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL) vs. NAIDAN, Tuvshinbayar (MGL)
MAMEDOV, Chingiz (KGZ) vs. PETERS, Dimitri (GER)


Final Results
1. HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN)
2. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)
3. NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL)
3. PETERS, Dimitri (GER)
5. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
5. MARET, Cyrille (FRA)
7. MAMEDOV, Chingiz (KGZ)
7. NAIDAN, Tuvshinbayar (MGL) 

+100kg: The King Riner Remains the King for the eighth time
The hotly-awaited fight of the whole competition, the final of the men’s heavyweight category, was a rematch of last year’s final between Teddy RINER (FRA) and SHICHINOHE Ryu (JPN). Would SHICHINOHE be able to find the solution against Riner? That was the question the world was asking. The mark of the great champions is always bring able to evolve and RINER came to Astana with new techniques including his sutemi-waza which he applied after the Japanese dropped on his knees after a minute of fight for waza-ari. A few penalties for passivity later given to both athletes, and again Riner applied his new technique for yuko this time.


The first bronze medal match opposed the German Andre BREITBARTH and the Georgian Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO). In the beginning of the fight, OKRUASHVILI took the lead with an ample uchi-mata, BREITBARTH heavily landing on his side for waza-ari. The mission of the Georgian then became clear: to keep the score. Despite two penalties, he succeeded and won the second bronze medal of his delegation on the occasion of the 2015 edition of the World championships.

The second bronze medal match saw Iakiv KHAMMO (UKR) and KIM Sung-Min (KOR) trying to access the podium. After forty seconds, KIM engaged a right handed arai-goshi, but suddenly the Korean could feel that his feet were taking off and a second later his back was landing flat on the floor of the Alau Ice Palace for ippon and the bronze medal to Iakiv KHAMMO.

Superlatives are lacking to describe the career of the French giant, Teddy RINER: Olympic champion and now eight-time world champion. Each of his appearances on the international circuit attracts crowds and media. Whether in Paris or Astana, most young people want an autograph or a photo with the star of judo. It is not easy to prepare and focus in these conditions. Still, nothing seems to disturb the Guadeloupean, who once again did not give much chance to his opponents in the preliminary rounds of the competition. After an initial fight, against the Estonian Juhan METTIS, Riner successively eliminated Iurii KRAKOVETSKII (KGZ) and Andre BREITBARTH (GER) to find in the semifinal the Korean KIM Sung-Min (KOR) who he already knows very well. The Korean, a little overshadowed by the aura of the defending world champion, managed to go through the knockout stage with no major problems and started his semifinal with the will to try to dethrone the king Riner. With a first sumi-gaeshi, Riner scored a waza-ari, followed with an immobilisation for yuko. Totally dominated by the incredible power of the French, Kim couldn’t avoid the second sumi-gaeshi for a second waza-ari, synonymous of qualification to the final for the current world champion, who therefore will be the only reigning world champion capable to keep his title.

In the second half of the draw, Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO), winner of the first European Games last June, produced a great effort to reach the semi-finals where he was opposed to the vice-world champion 2014, the Japanese SHISHINOHE Ryu (JPN), who immobilised the Georgian to enter his second world final in a row.


Final
RINER, Teddy (FRA) vs. SHICHINOHE, Ryu (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
BREITBARTH, Andre (GER) vs. OKRUASHVILI, Adam (GEO)
KHAMMO, Iakiv (UKR) vs. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)

Semi-Finals
RINER, Teddy (FRA) vs. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)
OKRUASHVILI, Adam (GEO) vs. SHICHINOHE, Ryu (JPN)

Repechage finals
BREITBARTH, Andre (GER) vs. BOR, Barna (HUN)
HEINLE, Sven (GER) vs. KHAMMO, Iakiv (UKR)


Final Results
1. RINER, Teddy (FRA)
2. SHICHINOHE, Ryu (JPN)
3. KHAMMO, Iakiv (UKR)
3. OKRUASHVILI, Adam (GEO)
5. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)
5. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)
7. BOR, Barna (HUN)
7. HEINLE, Sven (GER)

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