Saturday, October 31, 2015

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 - U.A.E DAY 2

(Via IJF)

Women: -63kg | -70kg 
Men: -73kg | -81kg  

The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 continued on Saturday with 170 judoka targeting success at the IPIC Arena in the heart of Zayed Sports City.

The second day of the Grand Slam showcased the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories along with the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories as the busiest fields of the competition were contested.  

After two days of competition in Abu Dhabi, the medal table makes pleasant viewing for South Korea who are out in front with three gold medals. France are second with two gold medals and one bronze medal while Germany are in third position with one gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

On Sunday the action in the U.A.E concludes with the five remaining weight categories as the women’s -78kg and +78kg judoka will be joined in action on day three by the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg judoka.    

Returning Dutchman Noel VAN T END (NED) will be campaigning in the -90kg category on Sunday with a silver medal and a bronze medal already to show for the Dutch team’s efforts at the fourth Grand Slam of the season.  

VAN T END said: “I have been training well again. I was not able to compete at the Paris Grand Slam which was disappointing but the training camp in Paris went well so I think I am ready to fight again.”   

Features of the day


“He has a great sense of humour and is a very positive person when he is at home. He is always making me and our children laugh with his comments,” says his wife of 10 years, Lia Grigoriadi. It is one of those rare events where the 2004 Olympic gold medallist gets chance to experience some family time, even though his children are back home in Greece... READ MORE


“There is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome in me,” laughs Anabelle Euranie a day after winning the gold medal in the -52 kg category at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. She is like the main protagonists from R.L. Stevenson’s classic indeed, shy and unassuming off the mat, and a completely aggressive personality on it... READ MORE  

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hashtag: #JudoAbuDhabi2015


-63kg: AGBEGNENOU aces Abu Dhabi final in 61 seconds 

World silver medallist Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) continued her incredible hot-streak having medalled at every IJF event since 2013. AGBEGNENOU, 23, who is eying her first Olympic Games next year in Rio, defeated Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) by ippon in just 61 seconds.     

In the first semi-final AGBEGNENOU was victorious against 2013 world champion Yarden GERBI (IJF). The French star threw her long-time adversary but yet close friend with a ura-nage for waza-ari before adding a yuko with the same technique. GERBI failed to score and was relegated to the repechage. In the second semi-final TRAJDOS defeated former Tyumen Grand Slam silver medallist Ekaterina VALKOVA (RUS). The in-form world number four held down her opponent for 15 seconds with a kuzure-kesa-gatame having led by a waza-ari.

The first bronze medal was won by Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED) who was too strong for VALKOVA. The Russian was penalised twice for passivity which was decisive after four minutes in a scoreless contest as VAN EMDEN won the 12th Grand Slam medal of her career. The second bronze medal was won by GERBI who threw Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Juul FRANSSEN (NED) with a beautiful uchi-mata for ippon after 54 seconds.  

AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA) vs. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)

Bronze Medal Fights
VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED) vs. VALKOVA, Ekaterina (RUS)
FRANSSEN, Juul (NED) vs. GERBI, Yarden (IJF)

Final Results
1. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)
2. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)
3. GERBI, Yarden (IJF)
3. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)
5. VALKOVA, Ekaterina (RUS)
7. SCHLESINGER, Alice (GBR)                                                           

-70kg: VARGAS-KOCH submits POLLING for Grand Slam title 

Paris Grand Slam runner-up Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER) finished in pole position in Abu Dhabi as she beat European Games winner Kim POLLING (NED) in the -70kg final. VARGAS KOCH looked confident walking onto the tatami and attacked from the outset. The German judoka scored a yuko with a ko-uchi-gake before POLLING fought her way back to take the lead with two yuko scores. VARGAS KOCH settled the contest by submitting POLLING for a monumental victory with three IJF World Judo Tour events remaining in 2015.   

In the first semi-final POLLING defeated world number nine ARAI Chizuru (JPN) by a waza-ari from an ippon seoi-nage while in the second semi-final VARGAS KOCH bested Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN) by ippon with a minute left in their contest.

The first bronze medal was clinched by Katarzyna KLYS (POL) who could only be separated from ZUPANCIC after 79 seconds of golden score when the Canadian was penalised for passivity after KLYS put in successive attacks without a significant reply. The second bronze medal was won by ARAI who shut out Barbara MATIC (CRO) to make sure Japan were represented on the medal podium. ARAI is Japan’s only athlete in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and is part of a three-strong delegation. ARAI was joined by the sister act of double Olympic champion and double world champion UENO Masae as her coach and former double world champion and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist UENO Yoshie as her training partner. ARAI scored a yuko from an uchi-mata after 75 seconds on the edge of the mat and comfortably contained MATIC which is a rare sight on the IJF World Judo Tour.  


Bronze Medal fights
KLYS, Katarzyna (POL) vs. ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN)
MATIC, Barbara (CRO) vs. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)

Final Results
3. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)
3. KLYS, Katarzyna (POL)
5. MATIC, Barbara (CRO)
5. ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN)
7. BOLDER, Linda (IJF)
7. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)                                                                                                                                


-73kg: AN on the gold medal trail for South Korea

World bronze medallist AN Changrim (KOR) was in majestic form as he earned South Korea’s third gold medal of the competition. The 21-year-old hotshot, who only stepped up to the senior circuit a year ago, was unbeatable in Abu Dhabi as he showed his ippon judo to win four out of his five contests by the maximum score including the final against Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Igor WANDTKE (GER). The German fighter was penalised with a shido for passivity before the South Korean launched forward into a ko-uchi-gari for ippon.  

In the first semi-final WANDTKE was successful against Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner SAI Yinjirigala (CHN). Both judoka exchanged shido penalties rather than scores as they were tied at the end of regular time with two shidos apiece and no scores registered. In golden score SAI was finally undone as WANDTKE scored first with a yuko after 97 seconds. In the second semi-final AN bested Sagi MUKI (IJF) for a place in the gold medal contest. Both judoka were penalised for passivity before AN struck with a sumptuous tai-otoshi for ippon with 73 seconds left on the clock.  

The first bronze medal was claimed by MUKI who surpassed European Games bronze medallist Dirk VAN TICHELT (BEL). Neither judoka could break the deadlock so the contest was decided on shido penalties with the Belgian penalised twice with the last indiscretion coming for passivity while MUKI was only penalised once.  The second bronze medal went to Olympic champion Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) who won Georgia’s first medal in Abu Dhabi as he set a high tempo against SAI and maintained his impressive workrate for the full five minutes. An ouchi-gari from the Georgian earned a waza-ari score before both judoka were penalised for passivity with two minutes remaining. The unfortunate SAI had to face not one but two Olympic champions in his six contests having defeated -73kg Olympic champion Mansur ISAEV (RUS) in his second contest. 

WANDTKE, Igor (GER) vs. AN, Changrim (KOR)

Bronze Medal Fights
SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) vs. SAI, Yinjirigala (CHN)

Final Results
1. AN, Changrim (KOR)
2. WANDTKE, Igor (GER)
3. MUKI, Sagi (IJF)
5. SAI, Yinjirigala (CHN)
7. DREBOT, Serhiy (UKR)
7. UEMATSU, Kiyoshi (ESP) 

-81kg: IVANOV carves his name in history for Bulgaria  

Belgrade European Cup winner Ivaylo IVANOV (BUL) inked his name into the record books as he entered unchartered territory for Bulgaria by winning their first Grand Slam gold medal. IVANOV shone all day long as he won all six of his contests including the -81kg final against Tashkent Grand Prix winner Sergiu TOMA (UAE). The home judoka was urged on by the crowd who chanted his name with the only question being which colour medal will be the first for the United Arab Emirates in their home event. IVANOV, who was supported to compete in Abu Dhabi by the IJF, fired in front with a waza-ari as chants of U.A.E rung out around the arena only for TOMA to be penalised with shido for passivity and then a second for the same offence at the halfway point. IVANOV received a shido for a false attack before TOMA was penalised for passivity with 90 seconds left. A second waza-ari for the Bulgarian settled the contest and a historic moment in Bulgarian judo.  

In the first semi-final Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) was seen off by the breakout star IVANOV who scored two waza-ari. IVANOV countered a weak uchi-mata for his second score to win by wazari-awasette-ippon. In the second semi-final world bronze medallist Victor PENALBER (BRA) was second best against TOMA who scored yuko, waza-ari and then held down the Brazilian who elected to tap out with no escape on the horizon.

The first bronze medal was won by Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist CSOKNYAI Laszlo (HUN) after world number six PENALBER received hansoku-make for a leg grab. CSOKNYAI made a bright start as he attacked with a yoko-tomoe-nage but PENALBER anticipated the attack and was unmoved on the edge of the area. The Brazilian attempted to make the transition to ne-waza but used a leg grab in the process to gift the medal to the Hungarian. The second bronze medal went to world number 13 MAGOMEDOV who threw Baku Grand Slam winner Khasan KHALMURZAEV (RUS) for ippon after two minutes with a modified kata-guruma.           
IVANOV, Ivaylo (BUL) vs. TOMA, Sergiu (UAE)

Bronze Medal Fights
CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN) vs. PENALBER, Victor (BRA)
KHALMURZAEV, Khasan (RUS) vs. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)

Final Results
1. IVANOV, Ivaylo (BUL)
2. TOMA, Sergiu (UAE)
3. CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN)
3. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)
5. PENALBER, Victor (BRA)
7. DUMINICA, Valeriu (MDA)


10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: IPIC Arena

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 - U.A.E DAY 1

(Via IJF)

Women: -48kg | -52kg | -57kg 
Men: -60kg | -66kg

The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 got underway on Friday with judoka in action across five weight categories at the IPIC Arena in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city.

Following the Junior World Championships which took place from 23 - 27 October, the stars of the IJF World Judo Tour including Olympic and world champions have descended on the Middle East to compete in the fourth IJF Grand Slam of the season after visits to Baku (AZE), Tyumen (RUS) and Paris (FRA) a fortnight ago.

The three-day Grand Slam, which is taking place under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, offers vital Olympic qualification points towards the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and $154,000 in prize money will be divided among the medallists.

Abu Dhabi’s marquee judo event started with the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and the men’s -60kg and -66kg categories.


Prior to the final block, Mr. Marius VIZER, the IJF President, met with Colonel A.Hakim Al-Shino, President of International Military Sport Council.

Mr. VIZER presented Colonel A.Hakim Al-Shino, President of International Military Sport Council – CISM with the IJF Gold Card and IJF Jigoro Kano statue. The CISM President presented the CISM plaque to the IJF President.

The opening speech was made by Colonel A.Hakim AL-SHINO, President of International Military Sport Council.

“Hello everyone, dear IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER, hello to all spectators, welcome to the IPIC Arena. I’m here with people with great ambitions and a great desire to host this Grand Slam. I’m really happy to be here at this tournament and thank everyone involved in the organisation of this event. Thank you to the IJF, International Military Sport Council, I appreciate all of your support and I wish everyone here good luck in your lives.”

Mr. Nasser AL TAMIMI (below - centre), U.A.E Judo General Secretary, said: “Dear Mr. VIZER, dear President of International Military Sport Council, dear judo friends, ladies and gentlemen, first of all I welcome all countries participating here at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 and I wish you a good stay and good luck for the competition. I wish you good results also at the Olympics next year in Rio de Janeiro.”

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, officially opened the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 and had a special message for the international judo family.

“Dear President of International Military Sport Council, Colonel A.Hakim AL-SHINO, dear Nasser, dear judo family members, dear guests, I thank the U.A.E Judo Federation for the organisation of the Junior World Championships and this Grand Slam. On behalf of all the international judo community, thank you very much for all of the support of for World Judo Day. I congratulate the judo community for their activities on this special day for our judo family. I wish you all the best and a successful competition and I open the Grand Slam here in Abu Dhabi.”

On Saturday the action in Abu Dhabi continues on the three tatami with four weight categories competing as the women’s -63kg and -70kg judoka will be joined in action on day two by the men’s -73kg and -81kg judoka. Olympic champions Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) and KIM Jae-Bum (KOR) will be among those to look out for along with former world champions Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) and Yarden GERBI (IJF). 

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hashtag: #JudoAbuDhabi2015

Features of the Day

It has to take an elephantine memory to remember when was the last time Majlinda KELMENDI finished a bout crouched on her knees before collapsing on her back despondent and beaten. It’s a hard sight to imagine but that is exactly how it came crashing down for Kelmendi in her semi-final contest with Erika MIRANDA of Brazil in the -52kg category at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015. READ MORE

The disappointment is writ large on the face of Sarah MENEZES as she reflects upon her second-round loss in the -48kg category to Ebru SAHIN of Turkey. She sits with her Brazilian teammates but is probably alone in her thoughts while munching on some fruit in the warm-up area. Perhaps reflecting on where her preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are going wrong. She is yet to win a single event on the IJF World Judo Tour since the Tyumen Grand Slam in July 2014. READ MORE 


-48kg: Russia’s DOLGOVA surges to first Grand Slam gold        

Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Irina DOLGOVA surged to the first Grand Slam gold medal of her career as she defeated European Games silver medallist Ebru SAHIN (TUR) in the first final of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015. Both judoka were penalised for negative posture and after some typically intricate ne-waza work from DOLGOVA, the Russian captured the arm of SAHIN to submit her with a juji-gatame after just 67 seconds.  

In the first semi-final SAHIN dismissed Olympic bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final fellow Turkish judoka Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR) was undone by 20-year-old ne-waza specialist DOLGOVA.  

The first medal contest of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 was won by LOKMANHEKIM who defeated Baku Grand Slam winner Monica UNGUREANU (ROU). With both judoka registering a yuko the contest was in the balance until LOKMANHEKIM stretched forwards to attack with an ouchi-gari for a yuko score. The second bronze medal was won by former Rome European Open bronze medallist XIE Shishi (CHN) who produced a career-best result at the expense of CSERNOVICZKI. In a scoreless contest XIE was penalised once while her opponent could not impose herself in the contest as she received three shidos with the final one being given for passivity. 

SAHIN, Ebru (TUR) vs. DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)

Bronze Medal Fights

Final Results
1. DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)
2. SAHIN, Ebru (TUR)
3. XIE, Shishi (CHN)
5. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)
7. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
7. LIMA, Taciana (GBS)                                                           

-52kg: EURANIE erases Brazilian hopes in 26 seconds      

European Games silver medallist Annabelle EURANIE (FRA) was the star of the -52kg category as she emerged from a high-quality field to defeat world bronze medallist Erika MIRANDA (BRA) in the -52kg final. The French fighter scored ippon after just 26 seconds which guided the Frenchwoman onto the top of the podium as her country won half of the medals on offer in the -52kg category.        

In the first semi-final EURANIE beat Olympic bronze medallist and compatriot Priscilla GNETO (FRA) by a yuko. In the second semi-final world double world champion Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS) was stunned by MIRANDA as she was beaten for the first time since the 2013 European Championships. MIRANDA went in front by a waza-ari with exactly two minutes to go and then ended the 44-fight win-streak of the Kosovo hero by submitting her with shime-waza.

The first bronze medal was clinched by KELMENDI who showed no emotion as she left the tatami having beaten Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Mareen KRAEH (GER) but having lost her unbeaten record in her previous contest. KRAEH could not break down KELMENDI who was tentative rather than imposing as she made sure there was no repeat of her semi-final slip. Three shido penalties were given to KRAEH while KELMENI was penalised once and the flag Kosovo could still be raised at the IPIC Arena. The second bronze medal was won by GNETO a week after her younger sister Astride took bronze at the Junior World Championships in the same venue. GNETO stopped 22-year-old Karolina PIENKOWSKA (POL) from gracing an IJF medal podium for the first time on shido penalties (1:2) after the most promising attempt from the French fighter, a koshi-jime strangle effort, was gamely resisted by the Polish fighter.                          

EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA) vs. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)

Bronze Medal Fights
KRAEH, Mareen (GER) vs. KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS)
PIENKOWSKA, Karolina (POL) vs. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)

Final Results
1. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)
2. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)
3. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)
3. KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS)
5. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)
5. PIENKOWSKA, Karolina (POL)
7. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
7. COHEN, Gili (IJF) 

-57kg: KIM Jan-Di clinches back-to-back IJF World Judo Tour gold 

Tashkent Grand Prix winner KIM Jan-Di (KOR) won her second consecutive IJF World Judo Tour event as Budapest Grand Prix winner LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE) was unable to win her country’s first Grand Slam gold medal. Two-time Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist LIEN, who lives in Japan and trains with members of their national team, lost out on shido penalties (2:3) as KIM continues her upward trajectory towards the summit of the category.  

In the first semi-final LIEN fought her way past Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Catherine BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD (CAN) by a yuko which was the only time either defence was breached. In the second semi-final KIM defeated former Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Loredana OHAI (ROU) after the latter was penalised with a shido for passivity.

The first bronze medal was won by beaten semi-finalist OHAI who beat Jovana ROGIC (SRB) by forcing her to submit to a juji-gatame with three minutes remaining. The second bronze medal was won by Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Viola WAECHTER (GER) who pointed towards her teammates in the crowd after she was awarded the contest against BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD. WAECHTER won by way of shido penalties (1:2). 

LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE) vs. KIM, Jan-Di (KOR)

Bronze Medal Fights
ROGIC, Jovana (SRB) vs. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)

Final Results
1. KIM, Jan-Di (KOR)
2. LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE)
3. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)
3. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)
5. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)
7. BLOT, Laetitia (FRA)
7. FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT)                                                                  


-60kg: PAPINASHVILI pips boy wonder TSENDOCHIR 

European Games bronze medallist Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) pipped Junior world silver medallist TSENDOCHIR Tsogtbaatar (MGL) in the first men’s final in Abu Dhabi. TSENDOCHIR, 19, who won four of his five contests a week ago at the Junior World Championships, fell behind to a waza-ari before pulling back a yuko by countering a trademark pick up attempt from the Georgian. PAPINASHVILI added a yuko before TSENDOCHIR added a second and then the former was in defensive mode as he changed his tactics. The Georgian talent received his third penalty for passivity with 14 seconds left and all but grinded to a halt in the final seconds as TSENDOCHIR was desperately unlucky to finish as the runner-up for the second time in Abu Dhabi in the space of a week.  

The Mongolian starlet received a tap on the back and hug from IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER during the awarding ceremony for his battling display.

World champion Yeldos SMETOV (KAZ) was shocked in his first contest by Bekir OZLU (TUR) by a shido penalty and will be keen to return to action as soon as possible.      

In the first semi-final Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Diyorbek UROZBOEV (UZB) lost out to TSENDOCHIR by a shido penalty. In the second semi-final PAPINASHVILI was severely tested by Minsk European Open silver medallist Bekir OZLU (TUR) but prevailed by a shido.

The first bronze medal was claimed by world silver medallist Rustam IBRAYEV (KAZ) who squeezed past OZLU by a yuko score in a closely fought contest. The second bronze medal went to world number 16 UROZBOEV who captured a place on a Grand Slam podium for the first time in his career be seeing off Zagreb Grand Prix winner Hovhannes DAVTYAN (ARM) in golden score. DAVTYAN was penalised for the fourth and final time after 33 seconds of added time to receive hansoku-make and finish in fifth-place.                                                                
TSENDOCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL) vs. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)

Bronze Medal Fights
IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ) vs. OZLU, Bekir (TUR)
DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM) vs. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)                          

Final Results 
2. TSENDOCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL)
3. IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ)
3. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
5. DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM)
5. OZLU, Bekir (TUR)
7. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA) 

-66kg: World champion AN defeats Olympic champion GALSTYAN    

World champion AN Baul (KOR) stepped onto the tatami for the first time in a competition since winning the world title in Astana. The 21-year-old won his first Grand Slam gold medal in a fascinating contest which matched the world champion against the Olympic champion. World number 52 Arsen GALSTYAN (RUS) has struggled for form since his London 2012 triumph but on this evidence is finally set to make a dent in the category and be in contention for selection for Rio 2016 to defend his title. AN reigned supreme in the -66kg category once again as he was penalised twice while GALSTYAN was penalised on three occasions.            

In the first semi-final Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) was humbled by GALSTYAN by the maximum score in 23 seconds while in the second semi-final AN defeated European Games bronze medallist Sebastian SEIDL (GER).

The first bronze medal was won by world bronze medallist Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) who beat SEIDL after one minute of golden score when the German was penalised for a false attack to his surprise. The second bronze medal went to the one and only ZANTARAIA who defeated European Games winner Kamal KHAN-MAGOMEDOV (RUS) on shido penalties and helped up the exhausted Russian after the time elapsed.                         
GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS) vs. AN, Baul (KOR)

Bronze Medal Fights
SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB) vs. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)

Final Result
1. AN, Baul (KOR)
2. GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS)
3. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
3. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)
5. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)
7. BOUCHARD, Antoine (CAN)
7. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)

10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg

10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90g, -100kg, +100kg

Location: IPIC Arena

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015, U.A.E PREVIEW

(Via IJF)

The fourth IJF Grand Slam of the year begins in the capital of the United Arab Emirates on Friday with 489 judoka eyeing glory across 14 weight categories.

There is a glint reflected off the exterior of the pristine white IPIC Arena in the Sheikh Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi. Rather fittingly, it seems, as the venue for this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Slam gets ready to host its second big judo event of the year, just 3 days after the conclusion of the Junior World Championships.

The IJF World Judo Tour stops in Abu Dhabi following the Junior World Championships 2015 which were held in the Emirates capital over the last week. In attendance for the Grand Slam are 5 Olympic and 2 world champions, of whom the most prominent will be recently crowned world champion (-60kg) Yeldos SMETOV (KAZ). SMETOV will be taking to the tatami for the first time since his historic triumph in an-all Kazakh final in Astana on August 24, 2015 and despite being seeded second will be the man to watch out for in his weight category.

In the women’s field, all eyes will be on Majlinda KELMENDI of Kosovo who will be looking to continue her remarkable run in Abu Dhabi where she is yet to lose a single contest in an IJF event since her first run out on in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in October 2011. The double world champion in the -52kg category made a triumphant return from injury in the Lisbon European Open before winning the Paris Grand Slam earlier this month and showcased just why she is building a reputation of being one of the ‘invincibles’ on the World Judo Tour. 

“I am happy where I am at but not very happy. I will not be so till the time I achieve the place where I belong which is to become world champion again eventually and to gain the top position in the world rankings,” said KELMENDI ahead of the draw, sounding an ominous warning to all her rivals in the field even while she seeks to make a full recovery from the back injury that forced her to skip the World Judo Championships this year.

The Official Draw of the IJF Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015

Mr. Vladimir BARTA, IJF Head Sports Director, announced that the IJF World Judo Tour’s latest event has attracted 300 male judoka and 189 female judoka from 88 nations.  

Mr. Mohamed MERIDJA, IJF Education and Coaching Director, made the opening address on behalf of the International Judo Federation.

“Dear guests, dear ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the International Judo Federation and our President Mr. Marius VIZER, we are delighted to welcome you all to Abu Dhabi for the Grand Slam. We thank the U.A.E Federation for a successful Junior World Championships and now look forward to the Grand Slam. I wish good luck to all the teams, coaches and athletes."

Mr. Nasser AL-TAMIMI, U.A.E Judo Federation General Secretary, made the welcome address on behalf of the organising committee.

“Dear judo friends, on behalf of our Federation, I welcome you all to the United Arab Emirates for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. Following a very successful fifth edition of the World Judo Day on Wednesday, it is our pleasure for the judo family to be united in Abu Dhabi. I’d like to welcome all of you to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, I hope you enjoy your stay here and I wish you all good results at the Grand Slam and at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

Click here to read about the #WorldJudoDay 2015 - UNITY. Send information, pictures and videos from your activities to Stay tuned to for news on every #WorldJudoDay project as many activities are still being held throughout the world. 

Click here to view the ongoing Olympic qualification list 

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hash tag:
#JudoAbuDhabi2015Judobase: Instagram:



Olympic champion Sarah MENEZES (BRA) has not won an IJF World Judo Tour medal since taking gold at the 2014 Tyumen Grand Slam. The 25-year-old Brazilian will have to change her fortunes around this weekend but can expect to be pushed to her limits just to escape her pool with world number four and Lisbon European Open winner Taciana LIMA-BALDE (GBS) for company in the same pool. 

Sarah MENEZES (BRA) said: “This is an important event for me. I am looking forward to it with my teammates.”


Andreea CHITU (ROU) is an omnipresent threat on the IJF World Judo Tour and enters the fourth Grand Slam of the season as the top seed. The Romanian will be among the favourites along with world bronze medallist Erika MIRANDA (BRA) and double world champion Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS).

Erika MIRANDA (BRA) said: “This is my first competition after the Worlds Championships, I really want to compete in Abu Dhabi because this competition will show whether my work is going in a good direction or not. I want to reduce my errors until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”


World silver medallist Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU) leads the -57kg category into action on Friday and will look to convert her status as the number one seed into Grand Slam gold. The participation of judoka such as former world champion Rafaela SILVA (BRA), Olympic bronze medallist Automne PAVIA (FRA) and former world bronze medallist Miryam ROPER (GER) illustrates how crucial this Grand Slam has become to every delegation. 


World silver medallist Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) has yet to compete since losing her 2014 world crown in the -63kg final in Astana. The 23-year-old French favourite has taken an extended break since the Worlds as she watched the Paris Grand Slam from the stands and will hope to be coming into the tournament feeling revitalised. Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) will be confident of challenging for what would be the first Grand Slam title of her career.

Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) said: “I feel really good now after my break. For me Paris was still too early to compete after the World Championships.”


European Games winner Kim POLLING (NED) took bronze in Paris a fortnight ago with Grand Slam gold having eluded her thus far this season. The Dutch ace will be in action alongside Junior world champion GERCSAK Szabina (HUN) who has remained in Abu Dhabi to continue her upward progression while ARAI Chizuru (JPN) is the only representative for Japan.

GERCSAK Szabina (HUN) said: “After the junior gold I want to take some results finally at -70kg at the senior level. I hope I can do it here in Abu Dhabi. I feel very good with myself and my form and I hope I can take a medal.”


Fresh from winning the Paris Grand Slam on home soil Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) is ready to once again position herself as one of the leading protagonists in the thrilling -78kg category. Former world champion Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) returns to action following her shock early exit in Astana while Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist JOO Abigel (HUN) is searching for a route to the podium having been away from the medals since May. 


World champion YU Song (CHN) has been highly-active since capturing her first world title. The heavyweight, who will compete on Sunday, won bronze at the Tashkent Grand Prix and finished fifth at the Paris Grand Slam last time out. YU is a fighting champion and will need to give a performance befitting of her world champion status with Tashkent Grand Prix winner KIM Minjeong (KOR) and Emilie ANDEOL (FRA) in close proximity. 

Use the hashtag #JudoAbuDhabi2015 to join in on the social media discussion 



World bronze medallist KIM Won Jin (KOR) is the top seed in the men’s lightest weight category which will be contested on day one. KIM, who was part of a highly-successful South Korean team in Astana, saw Yeldos SMETOV (KAZ) eclipse the entire field in Kazakhstan to win the world title. SMETOV dons his new red backpatch for the first time on Friday in his first competition since becoming a national hero.   

Former world champion GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL) said: “I am training as usual every day, twice a day. Now everything is working towards the Olympics. I was very happy to be the 2014 world champion and had the red backnumber for a year but unfortunately I was not strong enough this year but I want the gold backpatch after Rio 2016.”


Paris Grand Slam silver medallist and the king of the highlight reel Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) is in Abu Dhabi with the incentive of becoming the world number one if he can medal. While a red sticker in some spheres suggests someone is still learning their craft, for 21-year-old AN Baul (KOR), the colour indicates that he ruled the world this summer and, once the rookie of his team, he is now one of the faces of judo in South Korea, Asia and the world. Baku Grand Slam winner Nijat SHIKHALIZADA (AZE) and world bronze medallist Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) will be among the leading opposition.  

Kilian LE BLOUCH (FRA) said: “The competition is very strong. Even the first round will be very tough because he (Kamal KHAN-MAGOMEDOV - RUS) is a good fighter and I am looking forward to the challenge.”


World number one Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) took silver on his return to action at the Paris Grand Slam and his immediate participation in the subsequent event here in Abu Dhabi shows the Azeri is back to full strength. Budapest Grand Prix winner UNGVARI Miklos (HUN) and Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Victor SCVORTOV (UAE) will also be challenging for -73kg honours along with Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Nick DELPOPOLO (USA).

Nick DELPOPOLO (USA), who returns to competition having recovered from a torn abdominal muscle, said: “I trained in Munich for two weeks, followed by the Paris training camp and another half week at the Judo Institute. For me personally, I have fought the majority of guys in my pool, I like my chances as long as I'm executing my game plan.”


Olympic bronze medallist Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) is the judoka to beat in the -81kg category having won back-to-back Grand Prix, Grand Slam and World Championships medals. Olympic champion KIM Jae-Bum (KOR) lost his first contest at the World Championships and will hope to banish that memory with success in Abu Dhabi. Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Sven MARESCH (GER) and World Championships bronze medallist Victor PENALBER (BRA) are also taking part.

Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) said: “I’m feeling good. I’m not in the best shape but still think I can do good things in Abu Dhabi. Training is going well but my main focus is really on next summer!” 


World Judo Masters bronze medallist Noel VAN T END (NED) is the top seed on his return to action. European Games bronze medallist Ilias ILIADIS (GRE) and former world silver medallist TOTH Krisztian (HUN) can both light up any tournament whilst Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist USTOPIRIYON Komronshokh (TJK) is hurtling up the world ranking list and has his first Grand Slam medal in his sights.

Noel VAN T END (NED) said: “I have been training well again. I was not able to compete at the Paris Grand Slam which was disappointing but the training camp in Paris went well so I think I am ready to fight again.”


World number one Elmar GASIMOV (AZE) finished fifth at the Paris Grand Slam as he looks to recapture the form which saw him win the World Judo Masters in May. With no medal since then, GASIMOV’S, world number one spot is in jeopardy, with former world champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) hoping to draw inspiration from his recent training trip to Japan.

Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) said: “I don't feel great, because I have still some problems with my body, but I will do my best for my best result. I was twice in Japan this year, and in November I go as well. For me this is very important. I like Japan, because in Japan the people are very friendly. And for training it’s the best place.”


Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Faicel JABALLAH (TUN) could be the premier heavyweight on Sunday as the world number two starts the day as the top seed. The African Games winner will face opposition from Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Daniel ALLERSTORFER (AUT) and Pan American Games silver medallist Freddy FIGUEROA (ECU).

Daniel ALLERSTORFER (AUT) said: “I am really looking forward to Abu Dhabi. Last year I finished in fifth place and this was my first top 7 result at a Grand Slam. So I hope I can also make a good result this year.”

Freddy FIGUEROA (ECU) said: "This has been a good year for me winning a silver medal in the Pan Am Games and moving up several places in the IJF world ranking list. I am so excited to be in the Grand Slam and I look forward to winning some fights and adding points towards Rio 2016.” 

10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -48kg, -52kg, -57kg 
Men: -60kg, -66kg 

10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg

10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: IPIC Arena

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


(Via IJF)

From Australia to Argentina, the World Judo Family was united by its support for the 5th edition of the World Judo Day. Perhaps fortuitously as the theme for this year was ‘Unity’ and there was plenty of it on display on the 155th birth anniversary of Master Kano.

“I congratulate the international judo community on the occasion of the 5th edition of the World Judo Day. Unity is very important for the international judo community because it is related to the dignity, values and honour of our sport. I wish that the international judo community works with unity, harmony and peace for the benefit of our sport,” said Mr. Marius Vizer, the president of the International Judo Federation.

To further spread the values and message of judo, judo federations, clubs and communities across the world organised special programmes. At the centre of all these activities was initiation of more people into the sport and to provide a greater sense of belonging to the dedicated practitioners of the art.

With the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam due to start in 2 days time, the World Judo Day also assumed a rather poetic setting as the capital of the United Arab Emirates became the melting pot of the world’s elite. With 92 countries in attendance, the warm-up area was a veritable personification of this year’s theme as scores of judoka spoke only one common language, that of judo.

“The one important lesson to learn and teaching to propagate when we travel the world is to respect everyone. Everybody has a different way of doing things and it is important that respect is maintained,” opined 2-time world champion (-52 kg), Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo, when asked about the unity that the annual judo calendar brings to the global judo community. Kelmendi herself has done her bit in bringing a country together through the power of judo and all of Kosovo is rallying behind her to bring unprecedented sporting glory to the nation.

One champion who has been there in bringing that particular glory to a nation is Arsen Galstyan. The Russian won the gold medal in judo in London in 2012 and remembers very clearly how it brought an entire nation together in celebration of the feat. “It always starts with teamwork,” said Galstyan but there is something even more holistic about judo, according to the teachings of Master Kano himself. It is a unification of body and mind, which is enhanced by every step a judoka takes to achieve success and glory.

WJD project in Puerto Rico

“When I travel across the world to practice judo, I come across many cultures and their teachings. All of these are important to observe so that I can not just be a better judoka but also a better person,” explained Galstyan.

The teachings of judo apply not just to a dojo but also to life and that was exactly the aim of Jigoro Kano. The world has embraced these values and this unification extends even beyond this most glorious day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Junior World Championships 2015, Abu Dhabi DAY 5 - TEAM EVENT

(Via IJF)

The IJF Junior World Championships 2015 produced an exhilarating finale as the team event was the last action of the five-day junior showcase in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

The men’s team competition featured 14 teams of five judoka while the women’s team competition consisted of 13 teams of five judoka.

Japan retained their team titles from Fort Lauderdale 2014 with a 4-1 victory against France in the junior women’s final and a 5-0 demolition of Georgia in the junior men’s team final.

IJF Executive Committee members and distinguished guests on the last day of the Junior World Championships 2015 

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, used the occasion of the last day of the Junior World Championships competition in Abu Dhabi to look ahead to #WorldJudoDay on Wednesday 28 October. The theme this year is UNITY and all week-long famed judoka have been supporting the initiative which was introduced in 2011.

Mr. VIZER said: “I want to congratulate the international judo community for this fifth edition of the World Judo Day, which this year has the theme of UNITY. This is an important value of our sport. It is associated with other values such as honour, respect and friendship. Through the promotion of our moral code we can show that judo unites the people from all over the world and by doing so we can contribute to the development of a better society and to peace.“

Now in its fifth year, #WorldJudoDay is the annual celebration for all judoka. The IJF will be reporting on all the activities held thoughout the world and asks all judoka and coaches to send information, pictures and videos from their event to  

IJF Referees, IJF Referee Commission Head Referee Directors and IJF Referee Director 

The IJF World Judo Tour remains in the United Arab Emirates for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam from 30 October - 1 November with Olympic and world champions descending on the Middle East for the fourth IJF Grand Slam of the season. Judo fans can watch all three days live at Join in on the social media discussion by using the hashtag #JudoAbuDhabi2015 


IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hash tag: #JnrJudo2015Judobase:


New-look Japanese team still unstoppable 

In the Junior World Team Championships women’s final Japan showed their superiority as they unleashed their best young judoka to defeat France 4-1 in the final. TOMIZAWA Kana (JPN) bested Gwenaelle PATIN (FRA) in the opening contest by a yuko but bronze medallist Sarah HARACHI (FRA) restored level terms against world champion FUNAKUBO Haruka (JPN).

NABEKURA Nami (JPN) made it 2-1 to Japan by throwing Clemence EME (FRA) with an uchi-mata for a yuko and then secured the yoko-shiho-gatame.

AOYAGI Remi (JPN) secured the title for Japan by beating Marina OLARTE (FRA) after the latter was penalised with a shido as her country’s lead was unassailable. TOMITA Wakaba (JPN) defeated Morgane DUCHENE (FRA) by ippon for a double gold medal and 4-1 scoreline in the final. 

Double world champion TOMITA (above), 18, said: "I really enjoyed the atmosphere at this event and I felt a lot of support from my teammates and parents who were able to stay until the end of our match before travelling home. In Japan my goal is to earn a selection for the Tokyo Grand Slam and then compete in big international competitions."

The heayvweight, who started judo aged 6, will compete next week at the Kodokan Cup in Chiba and said her "big dream" is to win the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

In the semi-final defending champions Japan beat Germany 4-1 to take their place in the final. Cadet world champion TOMIZAWA Kana (JPN) defeated Nieke NORDMEYER (GER) to put Japan in front. Junior world champion FUNAKUBO Haruka (JPN) doubled her country’s advantage by holding down Theresa STOLL (GER) on two occasions for 15 seconds each time. Fellow world champion NABEKURA Nami (JPN) made it 3-0 as she threw Amelie STOLL (GER) twice with uchi-mata and earned a waza-ari for each effort to clinch Japan’s progression. Lisa DOLLINGER (GER) pulled one back against AOYAGI Remi (JPN) by a yuko before TOMITA Wakaba (JPN) held down Anna Maria WAGNER (GER) with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for her second waza-ari.

In the second semi-final France defeated South Korea by the same scoreline as Junior World Championships bronze medallist Astride GNETO (FRA) bested KIM Yihyeon (KOR) on shido penalties to give her country the perfect start. Sarah HARACHI (FRA) made it 2-0 with victory against LEE Haeran (KOR) by osaekomi before GONG Seoyoung (KOR) kept her team in the match by beating Clemence EME (FRA) courtesy of a yuko score. Marina OLARTE (FRA) clinched it for France as she defeated LEE Dabin (KOR) and in the heavyweight contest HAN Mi Jin (KOR) forfeited her clash against Morgane DUCHENE (FRA).

The first bronze medallists were the Netherlands who edged out South Korea in a nail-biting match. The Dutch team, who won two medals in the individual competition, came from behind to win the second, third and fourth contests and register a 3-2 victory. The second set of bronze medals were won by Germany as they demolished Kazakhstan 4-1. Germany’s women were too strong for their Kazakh counterparts who earned their only win in the five contests from Anna STARCHENKO who threw Theresa STOLL (GER) with a sumptuous sasae-tsurikomi-ashi. 

France vs Japan                   

Bronze Medal Fights
South Korea vs Netherlands   
Germany vs Kazakhstan         

Final Results
1. Japan         
2. France         
3. Netherlands           
3. Germany  
5. South Korea   
5. Kazkahstan  
7. Australia  
7. Tunisia            


Japan rout Georgia for gold 

Japan routed Georgia in the junior men’s team final 5-0 as they swept the board in the team competition with men’s and women’s success as they did a year ago in Fort Lauderdale. In the first contest ASARI Masaya (JPN) defeated Tornike NAGLIASHVILI (GEO) by ippon before YAMAMOTO Yuji (JPN) of Tenri University eked his way past Tamaz KIRAKOZASHVILI on shido penalties (2:3).

FUJIWARA Sotaro (JPN) bested Levan GUGAVA (GEO) by a waza-ari to seal gold for Japan.

MUKAI Shoichiro (JPN) shaded Giorgi GVELESIANI (GEO) by way a shido penalty given to the Georgian while TANAKA Genta (JPN) brought the Junior World Championships to a close by throwing Giorgi LAZUASHVILI (GEO) for ippon. 

Mr. TOMOUCHI Masahiko, Japanese head coach, provided some insight into the Japanese team selection and success as preparations are already at an advanced stage for their home Olympics at Tokyo 2020. 

"We prepared for this event with a week-long training camp where a lot of hard work was done. Our aim is to take these athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We want them to grow together in judo, they are all junior champions in Japan and that's why they were selected. 

"After Rio 2016 we will look to the future and the Tokyo 2020 Olymic Games with younger athletes and we are planning to make regular training camps with our juniors and seniors together. We explained to our athletes how important it is today in the team competition to represent our flag and our country and they understood this and it helped to bring them together as a team."

In the semi-finals Japan were given a thorough test by Uzbekistan who were leading 2-1 and had a spot in the gold medal match within their grasp. ASARI (JPN) held down MATYAKUBOV (UZB) for 20 seconds to give Japan the lead but Uzbekistan fired back to win the next two contests. SHOMURODOV defeated YAMAMOTO Yuji (JPN) by ippon after two minutes of golden score and BOBONOV then saw off FUJIWARA (JPN) on shido penalties (1:2) to put Uzbekistan on the brink of advancing to the final. With the Japanese contingent in the crowd looking uncharacteristically nervous, MUKAI (JPN) was the calmest person in the IPIC Arena as he trapped KHURRAMOV (UZB) with a modified kami-shiho-gatame hold to restore parity. TANAKA (JPN) then thundered his way past BAHODURZODA (UZB) in the heavyweight contest with a beatufiul tai-otoshi after 62 seconds for ippon.

In the second semi-final Georgia were made to graft by a hard-working Egypt team who have made an unprecedented impact at the Junior World Championships in Abu Dhabi. Leading contenders Georgia did not need any favours from their opponents but profited from two consecutive hansoku-make commited by the surprise outfit to race to a 2-0 lead which gave them one foot in the finals. Georgia’s winning-streak continued until the fifth and final contest when WAHID (EGY) defeated TUSHISHVILI (GEO) by a yuko as consolation for Egypt who moved into the repechage final.

The first set of bronze medals were captured by Russia who were rampant against Egypt as they won 4-1. With a 4-0 lead and gold already secured, Egypt’s heavyweight Ahmed WAHID stepped up and saved same pride against Ruslan SHAKHBAZOV (RUS) by ippon. The second set of bronze medals went to Belarus who beat Uzbekistan 3-2. Dzmitry MINKOU, Yahor VARAPAYEU and Daniel MUKETE all struck for Belarus by ippon in the first, third and fourth contests respectively.  

Japan vs Georgia 

Bronze Medal Fights
Egypt vs Russia   
Uzbekistan vs Belarus 

Final Results
1. Japan      
2. Georgia          
3. Russia             
3. Belarus  
5. Egypt        
5. Egypt  
7. Algeria  
7. Iran                          

Monday, October 26, 2015

Junior World Championships 2015, Abu Dhabi DAY 4

(Via IJF)

Junior Women: -78kg | +78kg
Junior Men: -100kg | +100kg 

The IJF Junior World Championships individual competition was brought to an explosive close by the heavyweights on Monday at the IPIC Arena.

Four weight categories were in action as the junior women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -100kg and +100kg categories all graced the tatami. The world’s leading young heavyweights battled it out for world glory ahead of Tuesday’s World Team Championships.

One week ago, on the occasion of the Paris Grand Slam, France’s 11 Olympic judo champions were presented to the public during a very touching ceremony. In the upcoming months, they will all participate in several educational activities to promote the values of judo throughout France. Séverine VANDENHENDE, Sydney 2000 Olympic champion, was among the judo heroes present on the tatami at the Accord Hotels Arena last weekend. This week, the French hero is present in Abu Dhabi, as a coach, during the Junior World Championships.

Sydney 2000 Olympic champion Séverine VANDENHENDE (centre) is part of the French coaching staff at the Junior World Championships

IJF: What did you feel when you stepped onto the tatami last weekend in Paris?
Séverine Vandenhende (SV): That it was incredible to be there. I think it was the first time that such a ceremony was organised and maybe the last time. Having the 11 French Olympic champions together was fantastic and I feel honoured to be among them. Bercy is a magical place for all judoka. There is no other competition like the Paris tournament. The public is incredible, warm, heartfelt, unique, a little patriotic but that’s logical.

IJF: What image or moment do you remember the most from your Olympic title?
SV: Actually I don’t really remember any specific moment from my competition day. Everything goes so fast. It’s like a whirlpool. But I remember very well when I came back to the residence where the team was staying. It was after the doping control and all the media obligations. I sat in the backyard. Everything was super quiet. That’s where I started to read all my messages and that’s when I started to realise that I did something great.

IJF: Based on your experience, what message did you deliver to your athletes today?
SV: I tell them that they must be patient. A career is long. Mine was dotted with injuries. One year prior to the Games I was laying on the surgery table. But what is important is to always believe in your dreams and build on experience. I explain to my athletes that they must come off the tatami feeling proud of what they did. Sometimes they will lose but they must have the feeling that they gave everything and they must have no regrets. During a World Championships like this one, I tell them that they must be proud of wearing the national judogi.

IJF: Tell us about the life of an Olympic champion after their competitive career?
SV: When I put an end to my career, I wanted to become a sports teacher. But then I realised that young people in high school were not that motivated to do sport and I really wanted to transmit something. So I passed my exams to become a judo teacher and a national coach. Today I take care of the juniors here in Abu Dhabi and I have really the feeling that my experience can be useful.

IJF: What are your impressions of these Junior World Championships?
SV: The level is very high and is increasing. It’s interesting to see that athletes who are already competing in the senior category have some difficulties. I am impressed also by Kosovo. With Majlinda KELMENDI, they already showed to the world that there is not any more small judo nations. Now they have also a Junior World champion. Last week, Distria KRASNIQI did not compete for the bronze medal in Paris because she felt a little pain in her shoulder. It was a good choice as now she is the new Junior World champion. Of course Japan is still the best nation, but Europe is pushing and our athletes are not any more afraid to fight against the Japanese. I was also very impressed by the Dutch athlete, Frank DE WIT, who won the bronze in Paris last weekend and is now Junior World champion. Many competitors are fighting in both age categories, so the difference of level between senior and junior is getting smaller. We have seen really good judo so far and I am really pleased to see that judo is entertaining and that the public can enjoy watching it. It is important for our sport.

IBSA Judo demo and IJF Junior World Team Championships Draw

Official Draw - Junior World Team Championships 2015  

Mr. Daniel LASCAU, IJF Sports Director, conducted the draw ahead of the final block on day four in Abu Dhabi. The Junior Women’s competition will feature 13 teams while the Junior Men’s competition includes 14 teams with Japan the top seeds in both events.  

Before the final block, IBSA Judo, the governing body for Visually Impaired (VI) judo, staged a special demonstration of Paralympic judo featuring Paralympic champions and medallists. VI judo joined the Paralympic Games programme at Seoul 1988 and women’s judo was added at Athens 2004 while the sport was also showcased at the first European Games in Baku. 

The IJF and IBSA Judo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the occasion of the 2014 Budapest Grand Prix, the home city to the IJF Presidential office and IBSA Judo. Mr. Norbert BIRO, Chairman of the IBSA Judo Committee, who at the time hailed the 2014 MoU signing as “a turning point in the history of IBSA" led the IBSA Judo demonstration in Abu Dhabi. 

“In the 1970s IBSA Judo was born and in 2014 we signed an MoU agreement with the International Judo Federation in order to work together to help us achieve a professional level,” said Mr. BIRO.

“We have started to work together and have organised seminars for coaches and referees and of course at the European Games this year we were included as a medal sport. Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, invited us to make this demonstration at the Junior World Championships and it’s been a great chance for us to continue to show people a positive impression of visually impaired judo. We have our IBSA Judo European Championships coming up in November and we are looking to increase our event calendar. We are confident of an excellent edition of the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016 and hope that visually impaired judo can be a focal point.”

Click here to watch a video guide to VI judo  

The team competition will bring the Junior World Championships 2015 to a riveting conclusion on Tuesday and the action will start at 10.00am local time.

Click here to view the draw


IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hash tag: #JnrJudo2015Judobase:


-78kg: Magical MATIC captures gold for Croatia   

Former Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Brigita MATIC (CRO) was one of the favourites in the -78kg category and duly delivered for Croatia who got off the mark on the last day of the individual competition. MATIC defeated Bratislava Senior European Cup winner Klara APOTEKAR (SLO) in the -78kg final. The Croatian youngster took the lead with a yuko from a drop ippon seoi-nage and then set about protecting that advantage. MATIC was penalised for an overly defensive posture but was rarely threatened as she clinched the latest accolade of her thriving career.  

In the first semi-final MATIC defeated Belgrade European Cup silver medallist Julie HOELTERHOFF (GER) by wazari-awasette-ippon. After throwing for a waza-ari to open the scoring the Croatian talent followed up with a kesa-gatame hold for 15 seconds and a place in the final. In the second semi-final APOTEKAR outmanoeuvred senior German Championships bronze medallist Anna Maria WAGNER (GER) to claim their nervy contest on shido penalties. APOTEKAR was penalised once for a gripping infringement while WAGNER was penalised twice and was sent into the repechage.

The first bronze medal was won by WAGNER who saw off former EYOF winner Kamila PASTERNAK (POL) by a yuko and waza-ari while the second bronze medal was also destined for Judo Bund as HOELTERHOFF defeated former Junior European Championships winner Anastasiya TURCHYN (UKR). HOELTERHOFF was successful by a waza-ari score as her teammates in the stands celebrated a -78kg double for Germany. 

APOTEKAR, Klara (SLO) vs MATIC, Brigita (CRO)                      

Bronze Medal Fights
WAGNER, Anna Maria (GER) vs PASTERNAK, Kamila (POL)      
HOELTERHOFF, Julie (GER) vs TURCHYN, Anastasiya (UKR)               

Final Results
1. MATIC, Brigita (CRO)                
2. APOTEKAR, Klara (SLO)                     
3. WAGNER, Anna Maria (GER)                 
3. HOELTERHOFF, Julie (GER)                   
5. PASTERNAK, Kamila (POL)                  
5. TURCHYN, Anastasiya (UKR)                 
7. GROENWOLD, Larissa (NED)       
7. DUCHENE, Morgane (FRA)        

+78kg: TOMITA topples the opposition for heavyweight gold      

Junior Asian Championships silver medallist TOMITA Wakaba (JPN) became Junior world champion for Japan after a perfect day in Abu Dhabi. All four opponents were powerless to stop TOMITA who ended every contest by ippon. The 18-year-old bested three-time Junior European Cup winner Camila NOGUEIRA (BRA) in the +78kg final by an uchi-mata on the edge of the area with 48 seconds left.

In the first semi-final NOGUEIRA squeezed past former European Youth Olympics Festival winner Yelyzaveta KALANINA (UKR) by a single shido given against the Ukrainian for passivity. In the second semi-final former Junior Asian Championships bronze medallist HAN Mi Jin (KOR) was beaten by TOMITA who moved on into the +78kg final. After TOMITA went in front with a yuko score, HAN was penalised with a shido for passivity and TOMITA was not finished as she trapped her opponent with a modified kami-shiho-gatame hold to progress into the gold medal contest.

The first bronze medal was captured by HAN (KOR) in golden score against Prague Junior European Cup bronze medallist Beata PACUT (POL). With the scoreboard untroubled after four minutes, the contest required added time and PACUT was penalised for passivity to give the contest to her opponent. The second bronze medal went to KALANINA who was marginally more positive than San Jose Junior Pan American Cup silver medallist Ellen FURTADO (BRA). The Brazilian lacked any vigour and the Ukrainian, who weighed in at 104.3kg last night, claimed the contest and a place on the podium on shidos. FURTADO was penalised three times with the last coming for passivity while KALANINA pitched an unblemished record.    
NOGUEIRA, Camila (BRA) vs TOMITA, Wakaba (JPN)     

Bronze Medal Fights
HAN, Mi Jin (KOR) vs PACUT, Beata (POL)     
KALANINA, Yelyzaveta (UKR) vs FURTADO, Ellen (BRA)               

Final Results
1. TOMITA, Wakaba (JPN)                 
2. NOGUEIRA, Camila (BRA)               
3. HAN, Mi Jin (KOR)                   
3. KALANINA, Yelyzaveta (UKR)                        
5. PACUT, Beata (POL)                      
5. FURTADO, Ellen (BRA)                            
7. WILLIAMS, Mackenzie (USA)      
7. SZIGETVARI, Mercedesz (HUN)              


-100kg: Number one seed ILYASOV rules for Russia  

Junior World Championships silver medallist Niyaz ILYASOV (RUS) won the -100kg title as Russia enjoyed their most successful day of the competition. ILYASOV battled Prague Junior European Cup winner Leonardo GONCALVES (BRA) in the final as Russia’s number one seed was pitted against against Brazil’s number two seed. ILYASOV led by a yuko and added a waza-ari from a pick up before showing his supremacy by holding down his foe for 15 seconds and the gold medal. 

After stepping off the podium, ILYASOV said: “This was my last juniors, I fought the Japanese in the first round and it feels like our team has faced them a lot here. At least we don’t have them in the team event, maybe in the semi-final if all goes well.”

In the first semi-final ILYASOV thwarted Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Domenik SCHOENEFELDT (GER) by two waza-ari scores as the Russian already looked to be on the verge of world glory. In the second semi-final Brazilian GONCALVES, who was urged on by the most vocal team in the arena, bested Junior European Championships silver medallist Oleg ABAEV (RUS). The Russian judoka was penalised twice for passivity before being submitted with shime-waza by the impressive GONCALVES.

The first bronze medal was won by National Cadet Championships silver medallist Nikita AZAROV (KAZ) who registered a score in each column as he dominated ABAEV. A waza-ari, yuko and finally ippon, sent the Kazakhstan judoka fighter onto the podium for his country’s second medal of the competition. The second bronze medal was clinched by Prague Junior European Cup silver medallist Anton SAVYTSKIY (UKR) who defeated SCHOENEFELDT by ippon with 14 seconds left having been in front by a waza-ari. 

ILYASOV, Niyaz (RUS) vs GONCALVES, Leonardo (BRA)        

Bronze Medal Fights
ABAEV, Oleg (RUS) vs AZAROV, Nikita (KAZ)   
SCHOENEFELDT, Domenik (GER) vs SAVYTSKIY, Anton (UKR)          

Final Results
1. ILYASOV, Niyaz (RUS)                  
2. GONCALVES, Leonardo (BRA)                   
3. AZAROV, Nikita (KAZ)                   
3. SAVYTSKIY, Anton (UKR)               
5. ABAEV, Oleg (RUS)            
5. SCHOENEFELDT, Domenik (GER)                  
7. PANTIC, Danilo (MNE)         
7. DJORDA, Slobodan (SRB)              

+100kg: Russia’s BASHAEV strikes junior gold at first attempt       

Former Junior European Championship bronze medallist Tamerlan BASHAEV (RUS) won Russia’s second gold medal of the day as he defeated Junior Bremen Masters winner TANAKA Genta (JPN) in the heavyweight final which was the last contest of the individual competition. TANAKA struck first as he produced a foot sweep for a yuko score but BASHAEV replied with force and a waza-ari and controlled the remainder of the contest to seal the finest result of his young career.   

BASHAEV, who is a second year student at Moscow University of Physical Education, said: “This was my first time competing at the Junior World Championships. I fought at the Cadet World Championships in Miami in 2013 and lost my first fight.

“I am thrilled to win gold at this level at my first attempt. I want to win the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, this is what drives me every day.”

In the first semi-final TANAKA defeated Prague Junior European Cup winner Sergii ZVIERIEV (UKR) on shido penalties (1:2) while in the second semi-final BASHAEV bested 2013 Cadet World Championships bronze medallist Messie KATANGA (FRA). With KATANGA struggling with three shidos to his name, BASHAEV was penalised for going out and then not taking a grip. BASHAEV earned a place in the final by wazari-awasette-ippon as he hold down his opponent with a mune-gatame for 15 seconds after first throwing for a waza-ari.

The first bronze medal was won by KATANGA who defeated 17-year-old Junior Pan American Championships bronze medallist Joao Cesarino SILVA (BRA) on shido penalties (1:2) while the second bronze medal was clinched by 19-year-old Junior World Team Championships gold medallist OGAWA Yusei (JPN). The son of 1992 Olympic silver medallist and four-time world champion held down ZVIERIEV with a kami-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds for ippon. 
TANAKA, Genta (JPN) vs BASHAEV, Tamerlan (RUS)            

Bronze Medal Fights
KATANGA, Messie (FRA) vs SILVA, Joao Cesarino (BRA)     
ZVIERIEV, Sergii (UKR) vs OGAWA, Yusei (JPN)    

Final Result
1. BASHAEV, Tamerlan (RUS)                    
2. TANAKA, Genta (JPN)            
3. KATANGA, Messie (FRA)          
3. OGAWA, Yusei (JPN)             
5. SILVA, Joao Cesarino (BRA)                 
5. ZVIERIEV, Sergii (UKR)              
7. TUSHISHVILI, Guram (GEO)      
7. MADZHIDOV, Khurshed (TJK)