Wednesday, September 2, 2015

World Championships 2015, Astana DAY 7

The World Judo Championships 2015 was the talk of the sporting world for the final time on Sunday as the team competition concluded judo’s seven-day spectacle. 

After six days of individual competition, which saw only one of 14 world champions from 2014 retain their title in record-breaking Teddy RINER (FRA), the world waited with expectations for the team event which has become a grand occasion in the sport. The women’s event featured 15 teams while the men’s event featured 14 teams with Japan the top seeds in the former and France occupying top billing in the latter. 

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, was full of praise for the organising committee and the first edition of a World Judo Championships in Kazakhstan.

“It was a great world championships and the organisation was at the level we were expecting,” said Mr. VIZER.

“I am really happy because everything went well, from the organisational point of view to the sports dimension. The Kazakhstan Judo Federation can be proud of what has been achieved to hold this 2015 edition of the worlds, the last one prior to the Olympic Games, next year in Rio. But Kazakhstan can also be proud of the fantastic first two medals they obtained during the first day of competition. This is a great satisfaction.

“When we look at the results, we have 13 new world champions as only one athlete could retain their title from last year in Teddy RINER who definitely proved that he is an outstanding champion. It’s a big achievement for him and for our sport. Today we organised the team event, which we wish and believe should integrate the Olympic Program in Tokyo 2020. This is one of the most exciting events in judo.”

Mr. Vladimir BARTA, IJF Head Sport Director, also praised the seven-day event and the champions who gave a fantastic of themselves and their sport.

"The only defending champion who won again here is Teddy RINER. This is impressive. But it also shows the level of the competition. When Olympic and world champions don’t have the guarantee to even step on the podium, this proves that our sport is in good shape and that we have many generatiosn of champions and future great champions.

“It was hard for everybody here in Astana. When you have so much potential medallists, even the big countries have difficulties.

“Of course Japan was very successful, and what is interesting is that they came here with young athletes. South Korea also came with a very young team, which promises extraordinary confrontations in the upcoming years.

I’m convinced that at the beginning of the week, the world ranking list will be severely shaken, with new athletes showing up their names in the top five.

“There are so many things so say about that championship and the superb new world champions we crowned in Astana, but I want to underline the performance of Slovenia. Even if it’s a so called small country, they have a real judo system and they regularly bring new champions. This is a good example for many countries.“

Before the medal matches in the team event, the closing ceremony took place and the IJF flag was handed over from this year’s hosts, the Kazakhstan Judo Federation to the Hungarian Judo Association who will host the next edition of the World Championships in 2017 in the capital city of Budapest.

Mr. Karim MASSIMOV, Kazakhstan Prime Minister, said: “Dear Mr. VIZER, dear guests, I would like to congratulate everyone for their role in this event and we are here to close the World Championships in the hospitable land of Astana.

“On these days not only Kazakhstan fans enjoyed the event but all the sports fans from all over the world have turned their attention to our country. The best athletes from 120 countries have shown their best skill and I would like to wish success to the champions who have won and all the athletes who have participated in these championships.

Mr. VIZER said: “Mr. Prime Minister, dear guests, ladies and gentlemen, spectators, media, guests, thank you to the Kazakhstan Judo Federation for the organisation of this successful World Championships.

“Thank you to all the athletes’ coaches, referees, thank you Ministry of Sport, and Organisation of Combat Sport, the Kazakhstan Judo Federation, President Kenges RAKISHEV and all members of Judo Federation of Kazakhstan. Thank you spectators and all the media and everyone who has contributed to the successful organisation of these championships. See you in the next worlds in Budapest and good luck.”


Japan unstoppable in Astana

The surprise participant of the final was team POLAND (POL) who faced JAPAN (JPN) in the final. For the first fight the 2015 world champion NAKAMURA Misato faced Karolina PIENKOWSKA. Rapidly the Japanese scored two yuko and was close to concluding the match with an immobilisation but the Polish escaped for no score but the public did not have to wait long to see the NAKAMURA again conclude a ground work session with an immobilisation, this time for ippon. First point for Japan..


The second contest and second point was secured by YAMAMOTO Anzu against Arleta PODOLAK in the women’s -57kg. The Japanese arm-locked the Polish after having scored a yuko.


It didn’t take much time for TASHIRO Miku to add a third point against Anna Borowska. After an ample uchi-mata for yuko, she immediately followed the impact with an immobilisation for ippon.


In the -70kg, Katarzyna KLYS was opposed to ARAI Chizuru, who was fifth in the individual tournament. ARAI inscribed the first yuko on the scoreboard with an o-uchi-gari. But the yuko was finally cancelled after it was analysed with the video. KLYS did more than resisting against ARAI, and with less than one minute to go she was only one shido behind the Japanese and unfortunately for her, her last uchi-mata attempt did not give a score. Thus the fourth point went to Japan.


The last fight of the final opposed Daria POGORZELEC and the bronze medallist of yesterday’s heavyweight category, YAMABE Kanae, who concluded with a school-style arai-goshi for ippon. Japan becomes the new team world championship.


The first bronze medal fight opposed GERMANY (GER) and MONGOLIA (MGL). Overexcited by the challenge of winning a new team medal at the world level, Germany had defeated the French in the repechage final, while Mongolia couldn’t enter the final as they were beaten by Japan to access the final. After a few seconds, Germany scored a first point in the -52kg category, MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg being thrown with a nice piece of o-guruma for ippon by Mareen KRAEH but Mongolia reduced the score with a short victory by penalty from DORJSUREN Sumiya against Miryam ROPER. TSEDEVSUREN offered a second point to Mongolia with a fantastic left handed ippon-seoi-nage for ippon against Martyna TRAJDOS. It was a perfect scenario as Szaundra DIEDRICH, who was under the pressure of TSEND-AYUSH Tserennadmid, scored a ippon in the last seven seconds of the fight. It was now the turn of Luise MALZAHN and Javzmaa ODKHUU to make the difference and give the decisive point to their team. While the second bronze medal match was already over, Germany and Mongolia were still fighting to inscribe their names on the prize list. With one yuko and one penalty each, nothing was decided yet, when ODKHUU scored a waza-ari, immediately followed by MALZAHN on the floor with an arm-lock for ippon. The bronze medals went to Germany.

The second bronze medal fight saw South Korea facing Russia who won the first point with an immobilisaton for ippon by Yulia RYZHOVA against KIM Mi-Ri. The second point went to Korea and to KIM Jan-Di with a yuko, while the it took less than 40 seconds for Ekaterina VALKOVA to score ippon and point 2 with a arm-lock, against BAK Jiyun. Russia secured a place on the podium with the third point as Iana KRIUKOVA had no opponent. KIM Minjeong concluded with a superb ippon against Aleksandra BABINTCEVA but that didn’t change the final result, Russia winning the bronze medal against Korea by 3 victories to 2.

The French, the defending team world champions since last year in Chelyabinsk, came for ‘gold and nothing else’, declared the staff of the French squad. But that was before the preliminary rounds as in the final quarter they were defeated by a surprising Russian team who won 3 to 2 despite the presence in the team of Automne Pavia bronze medallist, Clarisse Agbegnenou, silver medallist, and Gevrise Emane gold medallist in the individual championships. With France eliminated, the Russians had the road to the final wide open, but it was too early to look past team Poland who got the better of the Russians to enter the world final.

In the second part of the draw, Japan was unquestionably the favourite and their stars did not leave many chances to their opponents, defeating in the first round the Brazilians and the Chinese in the quarterfinals. Finally, during the semi-final, they secured their place in the final to join Poland, already qualified by defeating Mongolia.


Bronze Medal Fights


Repechage finals

Final Results
1. Japan (JPN)
2. Poland (POL)
3. Germany (GER)
3. Russia (RUS)
5. Mongolia (MGL)
5. Korea, South (KOR)
7. France (FRA)
7. China (CHN)


Tough Victory for Japan Against South Korea

The very last final of the 2015 edition of the World Judo Championships in Astana, saw the two best teams of the day Japan and South Korea facing off. Would Japan be able to succeed to themselves? Or could Korea create the surprise after their very good results during the individual tournament? 

Five fights to go to answer those questions. Wearing his red back number for the final time, the 2014 World Champion, EBINUMA Masashi was opposed to the 2015 world champion AN Baul. Ebinuma launched the first attacks and AN was penalised for passivity. Using the same strategy of being always first on the hands and attacking non-stop, Ebinuma again pushed AN to be penalised a second time, while the strongest attack of this first fight came from the Korean side, AN launching a Korean-style seoi-nage from which the Japanese miraculously escaped for no score. But with one minute to go, EBINUMA was still ahead of his opponent. This time it was Ebinuma’s turn to be penalised for dropping on his knees but this was not enough for AN to come back, giving a first point to Japan.


The second fight opposed the 2014 world champion, and 2015 world silver medallist, NAKAYA Riki and the bronze medallist of the 2015 edition of the worlds in -73kg, AN Changrim. A first penalty for passivity was given to AN, followed by a second one a minute later. NAKAYA also got penalised for false attack, when AN seemed to take advantage of the weaknesses of his opponent. After having tried several times his reversed seoi-nage, one more time, AN having both hands NAKAYA’s right collar, suddenly started to roll under his opponent centre of gravity. Impossible to escape from the Japanese for a perfect ippon. 1 - 1 after two fights.


The third contest opposed Nagase Taknori, world champion in -81kg and LEE Seungsu, fifth in the same category. At halfway point of the match, both athletes were penalised with a shido. A second penalty given to LEE offered a close victory to NAGASE, but enough to add one point to the Japanese. 2-1. 


For the fourth fight, YOSHIDA Yuya met the 2015 -90kg world champion GWAK Dong Han. After almost a minute of fight, YOSHIDA was penalised with a first shido for false gripping. One more shido for both athletes were distributed. In control until the last seconds, GWAK mentioned the penalty difference, to win one more point for Korea. Everything had to be decided during the final match.


Thus the last fight opposed OJITANI Takeshi and KIM Sung-Min. After more than a minute of observation, both OJITANI and KIM were penalised for passivity and the Korean was almost thrown with a tremendous o-soto-gari, which cost him a new penalty. It was KIM’s turn to put the Japanese in danger as he launched a sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi but for no score. One minute to go and the final result was still uncertain. Nevertheless, OJITANI could keep the score and the final victory went to Japan.


The first bronze medal fight opposed the host country KAZAKHSTAN (KAZ) against MONGOLIA (MGL). The Alau Ice Palace was alive with the cheers of the public, in -66kg, Gabit YESSIMBETOV tried to give the first point to Kazakhstan against KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar. But the Mongolian scored the first waza-ari of the match, which was enough to win the first point for the Mongolian delegation. A second point was added when GANBAATAR Odbayar defeated Zhansay SMAGULOV in -73kg, the Kazakh being penalised four times. OTGONBAATAR Uuganbaatar finally gave the third and winning point to Mongolia after having scored a yuko with a drop seoi-nage executed with one hand concluded with a strangulation for ippon. Giving to chance to the host country, Mongolia added a fourth point with the victory of LKHAGVASUREN Otgonbaatar against Samat YESSEN. The last fight of the bronze medal match could have been a final of the world championships as the local hero, 2009 World Champion, Maxim RAKOV was opposed to the 2008 Olympic Champion, NAIDAN Tuvshinbayar. RAKOV won a first and last point for the host country, Mongolia finishing on the podium.

In the second bronze medal fight Georgia faced Germany. At the end of the first fight only a yuko could differentiate Vazha MARGVELASHVILI and Sebastian Seidl in the favour of the Georgian. It was time for the Olympic champion, Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI, to enter the tatami, against Igor WANDTKE for a really tough fight, which ended with a waza-ari on the Georgian side and the second point for Georgia. The solid Sven MARESCH stepped on the tatami against Nugzari TATALASHVILI, with a clear mission: no more mistakes, the point was needed for Germany. Mission accomplished for Maresch as he kept the first yuko that he scored with a ko-soto-gari until the final gong. But this was in vein as Beka GVINIASHVILI added a third point to the Georgian team to already secure the victory and the medal. Despite the weight difference, Varlam LIPARTELIANI concluded with a superb seoi-nage for ippon against Svven HEINLE. Bronze medal for Georgia.

At the sight of the individual results of the past six days, a final between Japan, the defending champion, and Korea, including young athletes who were under the spotlightsfor throughout the week, was expected after the qualifying phases, and this is the scenario that took place. Yet the story could have been different. On paper, the semi-final Japan-Germany seemed strongly in favour of the first, but after the good results obtained yesterday of the German competitors, things were not so easy for the Japanese champions, the victory being decided on a small yuko awarded in the -90kg category.

In Pool C, the Koreans made short work of the French, eliminating them with five victories to zero. Then the younger Korean generation did not give much chance to Russia before winning against the Mongolian team in the semifinals.


Bronze Medal Fights


Repechage finals

Final Results
1. Japan (JPN)
2. Korea, South (KOR)
3. Mongolia (MGL)
3. Georgia (GEO)
5. Kazakhstan (KAZ)
5. Germany (GER)
7. Brazil (BRA)
7. Russia (RUS)

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