Saturday, October 17, 2015

Paris Grand Slam 2015 - DAY 1

(Via IJF)

Women: -48kg | -52kg | -57kg | -63kg
Men:  -60kg | -66kg | -73kg 

The Paris Grand Slam 2015, the third IJF Grand Slam of the season, started on Saturday with a pulsating day of judo as the world spectacle opened the Accor Hotels Arena in the heart of the French capital.   

The French Judo Federation’s flagship event has attracted 440 judoka from 84 nations who are all savouring the big-event atmosphere as the arena formerly known as the Bercy creates a cauldron of noise and fervent support for the French faithful and all judoka.

Paris’ revered tournament is what every judoka wants on their CV while facing a 24-strong French team on home soil is a formidable prospect for every nation.  

On the opening day in Paris, the women’s -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and -63kg categories and men’s -60kg, -66kg and -73kg categories opened the third of five Grand Slams on the annual calendar with upcoming editions due in Abu Dhabi later this month and in Tokyo in December. The emotionally invested crowd saw 241 judoka in action on day one (119 men and 122 women). 

Mr. Jean-Luc ROUGE, French Judo Federation President, said: “We are really proud to inaugurate the new Bercy stadium, which now had to be called the Accor Hotels Arena.

“Bercy is one of the most impressive venues in the world, but it had to be renewed after years of good service. Today, we are happy that we could enter for the first time the arena, even if the renovation is still under process and will be completed within two weeks.

“We are very satisfied with the quality and it is very good for individual sports such as judo. Everything fits to our requirements and it will help us to promote judo among our fans and partners.“

Paris Grand Slam 2015 - the first event at the Accor Hotels Arena 

Mr. ROUGE explained: “It was a challenge to be ready on time and everybody, from the French federation to the International Judo Federation, and of course the Bercy staff, had to work until the very last second to welcome everybody for this 2015 edition of the Grand Slam. I want to thank everyone who made this possible. It was a great challenge, because we wanted to be the first sport to enter the Accor Hotels Arena, even before tennis. In judo we like challenges, we are used to challenges. We can be proud of that.“

Mr. Thierry BRAILLARD, French Minister of Sport, was among the distinguished guests in attendance on day one.

“The new Bercy is more elegant and functional than before,” said Mr. BRAILLARD.

“We are happy to see that Paris is among the best tournaments in the world, and we want to be the best. Paris Grand Slam must leave a print in everyone’s mind. The French federation and IJF organisation is very meticulous. All details are important and I can say that everything looks perfect.“

Olympic champion Kayla HARRISON (USA) is in Paris but decided to bide her time and wait until she felt fully fit to compete.

“I wanted to compete in Paris this year but unfortunately I was a little injured and with my coaches we decided that it was better to wait a little bit, in order to come back in full fitness for the end of the season,” said the American hero.

“I love this place so much. As athletes we’ve got all the ingredients to make a great competition. But I also enjoy watching it. The new Bercy looks very nice but even though it was totally renovated, the feeling and the vibes are the same. It’s incredible because everyone can feel the energy of this competition, which is so special. So far, I have seen really good judo and it’s very exciting to watch.“

The former world champion will be back in action for the last three events of the year in China (Qingdao Grand Prix), South Korea (Jeju Grand Prix) and Japan (Tokyo Grand Slam).

Kayla’s mother, who came to watch her daughter compete, said: “Of course, I wanted to see Kayla on the tatami. I came for that, especially since it’s my first time here for the Paris Grand Slam. But I totally understand that she couldn’t compete. Nevertheless I have really been enjoying the show. This is just a great event.“

On Sunday the heavyweights will have their chance to step into the arena to bid for points towards qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and close the competition. The women’s -70kg, -78kg and +78kg judoka will be joined in action on day two by the men’s -81kg, -90kg, -100g and +100kg judoka.  

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hashtag: #JudoParis2015


-48kg: MUNKHBAT starts Mongolian medal rush    

In the first final of the day, the 2013 world champion, MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) was penalised for passivity after one minute and 45 seconds giving a small advantage to Belgium’s Olympic bronze medallist Charline VAN SNICK, but a few seconds later, MUNKHBAT engaged a right handed ippon-seoi-nage for yuko. A run against the clock started for VAN SNICK but the very experienced Mongolian could control the fight until the very last seconds to secure a third Grand Slam gold medal, enough also to reinforce her first place on the world ranking list.         

The first semi-final saw MUNKHBAT hold down Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Maryna CHERNIAK (UKR) for 17 seconds and the Ukranian submitted while in the second semi-final former Asian Championships runner-up XIE Shishi (CHN) fell to VAN SNICK by ippon.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the winner of the Tyumen Grand Slam this year, Julia FIGUEROA (ESP), and XIE, whose best result this year was a seventh place also in Tyumen. Half way through the contest, FIGUEROA scored a first waza-ari to take a strong lead and despite the two penalties that she also received the Spanish fighter could maintain her advantage. The second bronze medal was won by Jeju Grand Prix silver medallist Shira RISHONY (ISR) who prevailed in a tight contest against beaten semi-finalist CHERNIAK. With both judoka struggling to break the deadlock the decisive moment came with two minutes left as the Ukrainian received a shido for passivity. 
MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)                                                                                                                                             
Bronze Medal Fights
XIE, Shishi (CHN) vs FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)                       
CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR) vs RISHONY, Shira (ISR)                                                                                                                                               

Final Results
1. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)                        
2. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)                                        
3. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)                               
3. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)  
5. XIE, Shishi (CHN)  
5. CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)    
7. GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (KAZ)                     
7. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)                                                                      

-52kg: Kosovo's hero KELMENDI victorious on return 

After a long spell on the sidelines through injury and for her comeback on the big stage, two-time world champion Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS), who was fighting on the IJF World Judo Tour for the first time in a year, was searching for a win on her big return. After her competition day in Paris, she can be totally reassured as no one during the day could really put her in danger or even put force her off balance a single time. In the final she was opposed to the Swiss judoka Evelyne TSCHOPP, the surprise competitor in the final. Earlier during the day, the world number one, Andreea CHITU (ROU) was prematurely eliminated, as well as most of the other favourites. Strong on her legs, and totally confident with her hands, KELMENDI didn’t give a chance to TSCHOPP and drove her to the mat with a perfectly executed o-uchi-gari for ippon. 

In the first semi-final TSCHOPP topped Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) by ippon after leading by a yuko while on the adjacent mat KELMENDI dispatched former world bronze medallist HASHIMOTO Yuki (JPN) with waza-ari and yuko scores having trailed by a yuko.

The first bronze medal contest opposed the two Japanese competitors engaged today in the women’s -52kg weight category. Giving no chance to her teammate HASHIMOTO, it was SHISHIME who scored two waza-ari, the first with an attack into the attack (sen-no-sen), followed at the end of the fight with a de-ashi-barai. The second bronze medal was won by Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla GNETO (FRA) as KRASNIQI could not compete due to injury.                       
KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS) vs TSCHOPP, Evelyne (SUI)            
Bronze Medal Fights
HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN) vs SHISHIME, Ai (JPN)                   
KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS) vs GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)                                               

Final Results
1. KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS)      
2. TSCHOPP, Evelyne (SUI)                                                       
3. SHISHIME, Ai (JPN)                                               
3. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)                                                                              
5. HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN)     
5. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
7. MUNKHBAATAR, Bundmaa (MGL)    
7. MA, Yingnan (CHN)                                                                                                                                

-57kg: MONTEIRO wins in Paris for the second time  

The -57kg final opposed world number two and top seeded athlete, DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL) against the current European champion Telma MONTEIRO (POR). After two minutes the Mongolian had the smallest advantage on the scoreboard as MONTEIRO was penalised with a shido for a forbidden foot kick. But less active than her opponent, DORJSUREN was also penalised for passivity. Throughout the day, only a handful of golden scores were required and this was the case of the final and it was only a last false attack from DORJSUREN which gave the fourth victory in Grand Slam to the Portuguese, who took several long seconds to realise that one more time she could step on the top of the medal podium.

In the first semi-final DORJSUREN bested veteran FILZMOSER Sabrina (AUT) by wazari-awasette-ippon while in the second semi-final MONTEIRO downed Tyumen Grand Slam winner YOSHIDA Tsukasa (JPN) in a scoreless contest by the only shido.

The first bronze medal was won by 2014 world champion UDAKA Nae (JPN) who squeezed her way past teammate YOSHIDA who was urged on by her parents in the crowd. The Japanese judoka fought to a stalemate with shido penalties deciding the fate of the medal and YOSHIDA was penalised three times while UDAKA only received one penalty. The second bronze medal was won by the ageless FILZMOSER who defeated Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist KARAKAS Hedvig (HUN) for the final place on the podium. KARAKAS was penalised twice in a contest which did not produce a score as the Austrian ran off the tatami to embrace with her coach.       
MONTEIRO, Telma (POR) vs DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)                                                                                                                                                        
Bronze Medal Fights
YOSHIDA, Tsukasa (JPN) vs UDAKA, Nae (JPN)            
FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT) vs KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN)                                        

Final Results 
1. MONTEIRO, Telma (POR)          
2. DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)                                                
3. UDAKA, Nae (JPN)                                                                        
3. FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT)                      
5. YOSHIDA, Tsukasa (JPN)               
5. KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN)                           
7. ROPER, Miryam (GER)                       
7. GJAKOVA, Nora (KOS)                                                                          

-63kg: World champion TRSTENJAK maintains winning-streak  

As it is the case with Kelmendi in the -52kg, the current -63kg world champion, Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO), seems unstoppable. Winner of the world title in Astana, she added a new Grand Slam gold medal to her prize list today by defeating the Dutch fighter Juul FRANSSEN in the final. If the score looked close, as TRSTENJAK won with a single yuko, never ever during the whole fight, FRANSSEN seemed to be in the position to take the advantage. With the points won in Paris, the Slovenian is definitely controlling the number one position in the world and will be the big favourite next year in Rio. Will Clarisse Agbegnenou, who was not competing this year in Paris, be able to become the next Olympic Champion? Is Yarden Gerbi able to change what looks to be already written? Everything is still possible and the months to come will be decisive.

In the first semi-final TRSTENJAK saw off European Games winner Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) by a yuko while former world champion Yarden GERBI (ISR) was beaten by Juul FRANSSEN in the second semi-final.

In the first bronze medal contest, once again, Yarden GERBI (ISR) secured a place on the podium after having defeated the Japan's Junior world champion MINEI Miho, who put a lot of pressure on the 2013 world champion, but GERBI, could take advantage of MINEI’s mistake to score a waza-ari, while in the other second bronze medal fight, Edwige GWEND (ITA) faced TRAJDOS and was immobilised during the golden score offering the victory to the German.
FRANSSEN, Juul (NED) vs TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                                                                                                                                                                             
Bronze Medal Fights
GERBI, Yarden (ISR) vs MINEI, Miho (JPN)            
TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER) vs GWEND, Edwige (ITA)                                   

Final Results 
1. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                               
2. FRANSSEN, Juul (NED)                                               
3. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)                                                             
3. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)                      
5. MINEI, Miho (JPN)                          
5. GWEND, Edwige (ITA)                            
7. TELTSIDOU, Elisavet (GRE)                       
7. SCHLESINGER, Alice (GBR)                                     


-60kg: Golden lightweight TAKATO dashes French hopes  

Number five seed, Vincent LIMARE (FRA) knew he had to produce his best judo to reach the podium. This is what he did throughout the preliminary rounds by successively defeating Nuno CARVALHO (POR), Juan POSTIGOS (PER) and Jeroen MOOREN (NED). In the semi-finals he found in his path the seeded number one, fifth in the world, Uzbek Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB). Being an outsider but strongly encouraged by the French public helps and LIMARE had to wait for the golden score to score a waza-ari which sent him to the final where he met the 2011 world champion and current world number 11, TAKATO Naohisa (JPN), who went through the preliminary rounds without any major issue.    

LIMARE was quickly penalised with a shido for false attack after he totally missed a sutemi-waza technique. Thirty seconds later, the same mistake generated the same result and LIMARE was penalised again. After several dangerous attacks and a very good preparation with the sleeve of his opponent, TAKATO dropped on his knees to engage an acrobatic kata-guruma, LIMARE twisting into the air, to land almost fully on his back for a waza-ari. Even if the French did not give up, he had to escape from several incredible attacks from the Japanese who was never really in danger throughout his competition day.

In the first semi-final LIMARE outlasted Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) as he won in golden score by a waza-ari after 43 seconds of added time. In the second semi-final DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) slipped to defeat against TAKATO by ippon after one minute.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Jeroen MOOREN (NED), fifth at the European Games this year and the silver medallist of the 2013 World Championships in Rio, DASHDAVAA. When both athletes entered the last minute only penalties were distributed as the two athletes had two shido to their names. This was the moment that DASHDAVAA decided to counter attack a last attempt for MOOREN to score ippon. In the second bronze medal contest, Ludovic CHAMMARTIN (SUI), bronze medallist in Baku on the occasion of the first edition of the European Games, faced LUTFILLAEV,already winner of two Grand Prix this season. Only 31 seconds were necessary for LUTFILLAEV to score a perfect ippon with an opportunistic de-ashi-barai.
LIMARE, Vincent (FRA) vs TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)                                                                                          

Bronze Medal Fights
MOOREN, Jeroen (NED) vs DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)                       
CHAMMARTIN, Ludovic (SUI) vs LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)                                                                                            

Final Results
1. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)                                    
2. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)
3. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)                            
3. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)                                                                    
5. MOOREN, Jeroen (NED)                                                
5. CHAMMARTIN, Ludovic (SUI)                                                   
7. TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)                       
7. MILOUS, Sofiane (FRA)                                                                        

-66kg: DAVAADORJ battles past ZANTARAIA for Paris title     

Despite his acrobatic skills, Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR), couldn’t this time climb his way onto the top of the podium. But one must recognise that the longevity of his career is impressive as the Ukrainian was already world champion in 2009 in Rotterdam. But today DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL) was the strongest and the first yuko came from an o-uchi-gari, from which ZANTARIA almost escaped, but was enough to secure the title in Paris. 

In the first semi-final DAVAADORJ defeated Nijat SHIKHALIZADA (AZE) by a waza-ari while in the second semi-final ZANTARAIA stopped the progress of TAKAJO Tomofumi (JPN) on shido penalties.

In the first bronze medal contest TAKAJO rapidly took the advantage with a shoulder movement executed with the end of the sleeves for waza-ari against Sergiu OLEINIC (POR). Even if the Portuguese was clearly dominated, he didn’t surrender and kept believing that he could still win the fight, but TAKAJO didn’t offer him that opportunity and scored a second waza-ari with a reverse seoi-nage just before the final gong. The second bronze medal went to DOVDON Altansukh (MGL) who held down SHIKHALIZADA for 20 seconds with tate-shiho-gatame to win his country’s second medal in the -66kg category. With Azerbaijan Judo Federation Vice President and Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Elnur MAMMADLI looking on, he saw his charge lose out on the ground as Mongolia continued to impress on day one.   
DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL) vs ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)                                                                                                                                                    
Bronze Medal Fights
TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN) vs OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)                     
SHIKHALIZADA, Nijat (AZE) vs DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)                                                                                                                                                         

Final Result
1. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)                                         
2. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)                                                                               
3. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN)  
3. DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)                                                                  
5. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)                     
5. SHIKHALIZADA, Nijat (AZE)     
7. VERDE, Elio (ITA)                   
7. SHAMILOV, Yakub (RUS)                                                         

-73kg: AKIMOTO defeats world number one for gold     

Top seeded athlete of the category, Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) reached the final, already sure to add some precious points to retain his world number one position on the ranking list. The presence in the final of AKIMOTO Hiroyuki (JPN) was more of a surprise as he was not among the top eight of the category. But after a few seconds the Japanese already took the lead with a superb yoko-tomoe-nage for waza-ari. But that was not enough, and AKIMOTO added a fourth Grand Slam gold medal to his prize list after he scored a last ditch morote-seoi-nage for ippon this time.

In the first semi-final ORUJOV denied SUN Shuai (CHN) a place in the final as the Azeri progressed by ippon while in the second semi-final AKIMOTO beat Rok DRAKSIC by the same margin. 

The first bronze medal was won by Igor WANDTKE (GER) who grows in stature with every outing and on this occasion sealed a place on the podium at the expense of out-of-form former European champion DRAKSIC by ippon. The second bronze medal went to European Games winner Sagi MUKI (ISR) who defeated losing semi-finalist SUN after 90 seconds to win his country’s third medal in Paris. 
AKIMOTO, Hiroyuki (JPN) vs ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)                                                                                                                                                     
Bronze Medal Fights
DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO) vs WANDTKE, Igor (GER)                       
SUN, Shuai (CHN) vs MUKI, Sagi (ISR)                                                                                                                                                     

Final Result
1. AKIMOTO, Hiroyuki (JPN)                                          
2. ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)                                                                                 
3. WANDTKE, Igor (GER)                        
3. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)                                          
5. SUN, Shuai (CHN)  
7. DUPRAT, Pierre (FRA)                   
7. ESPOSITO, Antonio (ITA)                                                                                                                             



09:00 Preliminaries on four mats
16:00 Final block (bronze on two mats, finals on one mat)

Women: -70kg, -78kg, +78kg
Men: -81kg, -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: Accor Hotels Arena

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