Thursday, November 26, 2015

Jeju Grand Prix 2015 - DAY 1

(Via IJF)

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

The Jeju Grand Prix 2015, the final Grand Prix of the year, got underway on Thursday with 148 judoka fighting in South Korea across the five lightest weight categories at the Halla Gymnasium.

The ninth Grand Prix of the season is part of a triple-header of successive events in Asia as the IJF World Judo Tour has arrived in South Korea following last week’s visit to China for the Qingdao Grand Prix while the season reaches its conclusion next week in Japan at the Tokyo Grand Slam.

On day one in Jeju, an event which is now in its third edition, the action opened with the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and the men’s -60kg and -66kg categories with Olympic champion Sarah MENEZES (BRA) among the hopefuls.    

The opening ceremony took place ahead of the first final block as South Korean’s top judo competition was officially opened by IJF Head Sports Director Mr. Vladimir BARTA.   

IJF Executive Committee members and Presidents of the Korean Judo Association and Korean Olympic Committee. From L-R: Mr. KIM Jindo, Mr. Mohamed MERIJDA, Mr. KIM Junghaeng, Mr. Vladimir BARTA and Mr. Armen BAGDASAROV

The opening speech was made by Mr. KIM Jindo (above - left), President of Korea Judo Association, who welcomed everyone to Jeju and recognised the contributions of those integral to the Association hosting such as high-profile competition which is the latest Rio 2016 Olympic qualification event.

“I would like to welcome you to the beautiful island of Jeju,” said Mr. KIM.

“I would like to thank Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President and Mr. MOON Wonbae, Korean Judo Association Referee Director, as well as all the officials, judoka and interested parties who all worked hard to prepare this event. I wish you all the best in your own nation’s honour with a sense of fairplay and sportsmanship. I wish all of the judo family all over the world good health and thank you.”

Mr. KIM Byungrip read the next speech on behalf of Mr. WON Heeryong, Governor of the Jeju Province.   

“Judo athletes, coaches, referees, guests from home and abroad, welcome to an international treasure of the world. We are proud to host the Judo Grand Prix here in Jeju, one of the biggest events towards qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Participants have come from all over the world and I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President and everyone who has supported this event.

“This event will serve to show the ability and talents from around the world as well as the spirit of judo and we can share our mutual friendships. The athletes will display all of their skills that they have cultivated for this moment and I hope their dreams come true.”

The opening speeches of the Jeju Grand Prix 2015

Mr. KIM Junghaeng, President of Korean Olympic Committee and former Korean Judo Association President, said: “First of all I would like to give my thanks to Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, as well as all members of the IJF Executive Committee and the Governor of Jeju. I hope all participants show their best of judo and I hope we all consider the friendship of athletes from different countries. I trust that you will enjoy our culture and I hope that this event will be a great success and wish you the best victory here.”

The stage was set for Mr. Vladimir BARTA, IJF Head Sports Director, to open the three-day Grand Prix.

“Dear Presidents, dear Governor, judoka, officials and guests, it is a pleasure to be here in Jeju for the third edition of this Grand Prix which is our final Grand Prix of the year.

“We are delighted to have a record entry for this edition with 421 judoka competing from 70 nations including five current Olympic champions.

“After the Qingdao Grand Prix last week, the circuit has moved on to Jeju as part of our ongoing Asian leg of the IJF World Judo Tour and the season will conclude next week at the Tokyo Grand Slam. I wish good luck to all the athletes and thank you all for your continued support throughout this year.”

Mr. BARTA (above - right) presented the IJF World Judo Tour gold card to Mr. KIM Jindo, President of Korea Judo Association.

On Friday the action on Jeju island 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.   

IJF President on Twitter:
Official event hashtag: #JudoJeju2015


-48kg: GALBADRAKH shines for Kazakhstan                                      

Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist GALBADRAKH Otgontsetseg (KAZ) won her first tile for Kazakhstan as she defeated Olympic bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) in the -48kg final. GALBADRAKH is always in the medal hunt at IJF events and her result is not unexpected after bronze medals at the Grand Prix events in Tashkent and Qingdao in recent outings. GALBADRAKH led by a waza-ari and doubled her advantage with ashi-waza before receiving a shido for a false attack as she switched to a more tactical approach and maintained her modest advantage. CSERNOVICZKI was shut out for all four minutes as Kazakhstan made a golden start to the Jeju Grand Prix. 

In the first semi-final former World Judo Masters bronze medallist Dayaris MESTRE ALVAREZ (CUB) lost out to CSERNOVICZKI. Both judoka exchanged shido penalties after an opening stage which lacked potency and the highlight came when CSERNOVICZKI threw her Cuban opponent for ippon with a sode-tsurikomi-goshi with 28 seconds left. In the second semi-final Olympic champion Sarah MENEZES (BRA) suffered a miserable day as she was well-beaten by the determined GALBADRAKH Otgontsetseg (KAZ). GALBADRAKH held down the struggling Brazilian for 10 seconds for a yuko score and added a second yuko which proved enough for a place in the final.

The first medal contest of the Jeju Grand Prix 2015 pitted the out-of-form MENEZES against Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist JEONG Bo Kyeong (KOR). A waza-ari from the home judoka via a drop seoi-nage proved to be the only score of the contest as MENEZES cut a despondent figure after her latest disappointment and has a lot to do to be in a position to defend her Olympic crown next summer. The second bronze medal was won by Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR) in golden score as MESTRE ALVAREZ was disqualified for a leg grab. With two shidos apiece and no scores registered after four minutes the contest required added time and having gone close with a prodding ko-uchi-gari the Cuban judoka gifted the contest and medal to her rival after 42 seconds of added time. 
GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (KAZ) vs CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)                                                                              
Bronze Medal Fights
MENEZES, Sarah (BRA) vs JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)                           
MESTRE ALVAREZ, Dayaris (CUB) vs LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)                                                                                                                                                     

Final Results
1. GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (KAZ)                               
2. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)                       
3. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)            
3. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)             
5. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)                                                        
5. MESTRE ALVAREZ, Dayaris (CUB)          
7. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)                         
7. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)                                                                             

-52kg: CHITU returns to the top of the podium     

World silver medallist Andreea CHITU (ROU) reigned in Jeju as the Romanian star was unmatched on day one in the -52kg category. CHITU met a new opponent in the final as she was matched up against former Junior World Championships bronze medallist UCHIO Mako (JPN). Japan have sent a 12-strong youthful team replete with accomplished juniors bidding to make an impression in South Korea. Grand Prix debutant UCHIO was caught with a lethal piece of ashi-waza in the final with 94 seconds remaining as CHITU showed her class and now moves on to Japan for the season-ending Tokyo Grand Slam. 

In the first semi-final CHITU (ROU) bested Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla GNETO (FRA) by ippon with 31 seconds remaining in a highly-competitive contest which showed why both judoka are among the -52kg elite. In the second semi-final France’s second -52kg competitor Annabelle EURANIE (FRA) was surprised by UCHIO Mako (JPN) as the former faded in the final minute as she visibly tired in the closing stages against the Japanese youngster. UCHIO prevailed on shido penalties 1:2 to move into the final on her first appearance at this level.

The first bronze medal was clinched by Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Roni SCHWARTZ (ISR) who narrowly defeated EURANIE. SCHWARTZ led by a yuko and that margin was maintained until the time elapsed as the Israeli won her third Grand Prix bronze medal. The second bronze medal was won by world number 11 GNETO as Taipei Asian Open bronze medallist KIM Mi-Ri (KOR) was penalised four times to receive hansoku-make.     
UCHIO, Mako (JPN) vs CHITU, Andreea (ROU)                                 

Bronze Medal Fights
EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA) vs SCHWARTZ, Roni (ISR)                     
GNETO, Priscilla (FRA) vs KIM, Mi-Ri (KOR)                                                                                                                                                                                       
Final Results
1. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)                                 
2. UCHIO, Mako (JPN)
3. SCHWARTZ, Roni (ISR)                                                                          
3. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)  
5. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)                             
5. KIM, Mi-Ri (KOR)                                 
7. MUNKHBAATAR, Bundmaa (MGL)        
7. BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)                                                                                                                                

-57kg: Unbeatable KIM Jan-Di closes on category leaders  

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam gold medallist KIM Jan-Di (KOR) is in the form of her life having today won her third IJF event in two months. KIM won in the U.A.E and the Tashkent Grand Prix before that as she’s catapulted herself to become one of the leading names in the category. KIM was handed a tough assignment in the final against the ever-improving Nekoda SMYTHE DAVIS (GBR) and arrived into the arena to a big ovation from her teammates and the partisan home crowd. A yuko from the home judoka settled the contest and now KIM will rest before returning to the tatami to compete in 2016 with realistic ambitions of winning an Olympic medal in Rio. 

In the first semi-final SMYTHE DAVIS was successful against home opposition as she beat KIM Minju (KOR) who was looking to open her IJF World Judo Tour medal account on day one. The South Korean was penalised twice in a scoreless contest which was once more than her British foe and it was the latter who advanced to the final. In the second semi-final Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE) took KIM Jan-Di to golden score in a fascinating battle between two in-form judoka. A shido for LIEN after 31 seconds for passivity settled the outcome and KIM progressed while LIEN went into one of the two bronze medal contests. 

The first bronze medal was won by LIEN who bested former world champion Rafaela SILVA (BRA) on shido penalties. SILVA was penalised three times while LIEN was penalised twice as the coach of the Chinese Taipei judoka TANIMOTO Ikumi looked on with glee during the awarding ceremony. The second bronze medal was won by Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Viola WAECHTER (GER) against KIM by two yuko scores without reply.
KIM Jan-Di (KOR) vs SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)                          
Bronze Medal Fights
LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE) vs SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)               
KIM, Minju (KOR) vs WAECHTER, Viola (GER)                                      
Final Results 
1. KIM Jan-Di (KOR)              
2. SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)                                                     
3. LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE)     
3. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)                                         
5. SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)                                                
5. KIM, Minju (KOR)                                
7. MINAKAWA, Camila (ISR)                          
7. ZABLUDINA, Irina (RUS)                                                                    


-60kg: KIM Won Jin excels at home  

World number one and world bronze medallist KIM Won Jin (KOR) defeated 2014 world champion GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL) in the -60kg final in Jeju. GANBAT, who is still targeting his first gold medal since his success in Chelyabinsk last year, went ahead with a waza-ari before KIM was penalised with a shido for passivity. GANBAT received a shido for going out of the area before KIM scored a waza-ari of his own and stepped up his workrate as he actively hunted down the Mongolian in the last minute. GANBAT received two shidos for passivity and KIM prevailed with three shidos against the former and only one against the home fighter.  
In the first semi-final KIM defeated Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Vincent LIMARE (FRA) by a yuko score after the Frenchman only went close with ashi-waza. In the second semi-final GANBAT bested World Judo Masters silver medallist Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) with waza-ari and yuko scores going unanswered as both judoka were penalised twice.

The first bronze medal was claimed by European Games silver medallist SAFAROV who beat former Pan American Championships bronze medallist Javier GUEDEZ (VEN). The 33-year-old Venezuelan veteran was competing for an IJF medal for the first time in his career and caught the eye in the opening rounds with some explosive ippon judo. SAFAROV is one of the premier judoka in the lightest men’s category and had too much quality for GUEDEZ who didn’t give up a score but lost out on shido penalties with two against him while the Azerbaijan fighter posted an unblemished record. The second bronze medal went to Pan American Championships silver medallist Eric TAKABATAKE (BRA) who defeated LIMARE in an absorbing contest. TAKABATAKE won his fifth Grand Prix medal with victory against the young Frenchman. Brazil’s TAKABATAKE opened the scoring with a yuko from an uchi-mata before adding a waza-ari from a ura-nage. To his credit LIMARE continued to press into the last seconds and registered a waza-ari on the buzzer but lost out by just a yuko.                                
GANBAT, Boldbaatar (MGL) vs KIM, Won Jin (KOR)                                                                                               

Bronze Medal Fights
SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE) vs GUEDEZ, Javier (VEN)                          
LIMARE, Vincent (FRA) vs TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)                                                                   
Final Results
1. KIM, Won Jin (KOR)                                                                
2. GANBAT, Boldbaatar (MGL)                                        
3. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)                                 
3. TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)    
5. GUEDEZ, Javier (VEN)                             
5. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)  
7. ABELRAHMAN, Ahmed (EGY)                      
7. MUSHKIYEV, Ilgar (AZE)                                                                                                              

-66kg: PULYAEV rules for Russia      

World silver medallist Mikhail PULYAEV (RUS) defeated 21-year-old IJF World Judo Tour debutant FUJISAKA Taroh (JPN) in the -66kg final as he ensured that his team improved on last week’s Qingdao Grand Prix where they left empty-handed. A yuko for the Russian was the difference as seasoned campaigner PULYAEV was made to work by the Japanese newcomer who had won his four previous contests by ippon.                    

In the first semi-final PULYAEV (RUS) saw off Glasgow European Open bronze medallist Fabio BASILE (ITA) with a yuko in the final 40 seconds as he pulled away from his game opponent in the closing stretch. In the second semi-final former world silver medallist Azamat MUKANOV (KAZ) was downed by FUJISAKA after just 51 seconds as the Kazakh fighter was forced to tap out to shime-waza.

The first bronze medal was won by Golan POLLACK (ISR) by wazari-awasette-ippon against MUKANOV and the Israeli was joined by his teammate Tal FLICKER (ISR) on the podium as he beat losing semi-finalist BASILE who was penalised with a shido for going out which settled the scoreless contest.                         
PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS) vs FUJISAKA, Taroh (JPN)                     
Bronze Medal Fights
MUKANOV, Azamat (KAZ) vs POLLACK, Golan (ISR)                           
BASILE, Fabio (ITA) vs FLICKER, Tal (ISR)                                                                                                            

Final Result
1. PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS)  
2. FUJISAKA, Taroh (JPN)                        
3. POLLACK, Golan (ISR)                                                                                   
3. FLICKER, Tal (ISR)                                 
5. MUKANOV, Azamat (KAZ)                                  
5. BASILE, Fabio (ITA)               
7. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)                       
7. SHIKHALIZADA, Nijat (AZE)                                                                                                                                          

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: Halla Gymnasium

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