Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ippon or Arm Block for Hansoku-Make?

We all know that leg grabs are illegal in judo. But what if you merely block and do not grab? Is it ok? No, it's not. It's hansoku-make. We can argue all we want about how overly harsh that rule is but as it stands right now, this is the rule. According to Juan Barcos of the IJF Referee Commission, when Japanese coach Kosei Inoue saw the playback, he accepted the hansoku-make decision against the Japanese (blue) player.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Continuous action ippon or stepping out shido?

One of the most confusing aspects of judo rules concern the edge of the contest area. Many judo players, including top competitors have gotten caught for stepping outside. But are there exceptions when stepping outside is ok?

Perhaps.

Perhaps not.

The IJF Referee Commission seems to think there could be exceptions but many people disagree and say if you want to have rules, it's better to stick to the rules. Alexander Iastkevitch, Ezio Gamba and Daniel Lascau all believe that if stepping outside is shido, then it must be shido in all cases.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Was the side takedown too delayed?

Waza-ari or no score? There is no question that blue was rolled onto her back. There is also no dispute that it was a roll rather than a throw. So, at most it'd be a waza-ari and not an ippon. But the question is, was White's transition from drop seoi-nage into a side takedown too delayed for it to be considered a score? Or was it one continuous movement and thus merited the waza-ari score?




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Some German judo news

(Via IJF)

 

QUANTITY AND QUALITY IN DÜSSELDORF FOR THE 2015 SEASON KICKOFF

The IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer, who was present in Düsseldorf for this third day of competition declared: “We had a really good kickoff the 2015 season here in Germany. In terms of number of participants and number of countries, this Grand Prix is a success. But it is also the case from a technical perspective. It shows the quality of the athletes, who are ready to compete throughout the season the get qualified for the Games next year. The overall quality was very good. I am also pleased to see that we had a very enthusiastic public throughout the weekend. I could follow the first two days from abroad and the event really looked good on TV. To have full stadiums is important for our sport. I wish to the judo family to have a fantastic year were quality will be the key word at all level.

A MINUTE OF SILENCE IN THE MEMORY OF WILLEM RUSKA

A week ago the judo family lost one of its greatest legends as Willem Ruska of the Netherlands passed away aged 74. The 1972 double Olympic gold medallist was inducted into the IJF Hall of Fame in 2013. The public, officials and athletes were kindly asked to please observe a minute’s silence in the memory of Willem Ruska.

AWARDS

Just before the final block, Mr. Vladimir Barta, the IJF Head Sports Director, presented an IJF plaque to Ursola Braun, who has been a life long photographer for the German Judo Federation and a national referee for many years. At the end of the final block. Mr. Barta also presented an IJF Placket to Heide WOLLERT (GER), bronze medallist at the 2009 World Championships in Rotterdam, who put an end to her sports career.


MIRYAM ROPER, BACK TO HER FAMILY ROOTS IN PANAMA

During the last day of competition, the IJF media department met Miryam Roper (GER). The world number three and 2013 world bronze medallist was supposed to compete in Düsseldorf but because she was sick had to withdraw a few days prior to the event. Nevertheless, she spent the whole weekend in Düsseldorf to meet her fans and the media. “Three days without competing, it is really difficult. I really wanted to be on the tatami, but that was not possible. Today, I have the impression to be more tired than if I had fought“, explained the champion.

It was also the occasion for her to explain more about her last trip to Panama. “My father is from Panama, but I was there only once and it was 16 years ago, even though I have a lot of family there.“ Miryam Roper was in her father’s home country from December 15 to 20, 2014. “The country has changed a lot since the last time I was there. It has become more modern. In one part of Panama City, I even had the impression to be in Dubai. The Panama channel helps a lot with the economy. But still the infrastructure is fragile“, says Miryam Roper.

But she was not only there to visit her family. She was also invited by a friend, Omar, to visit his club and train with children. “The most complicated for me was the timing (laughs). I am German and I like to be on time. But it was so great to share my experience with the children. The training conditions are complicated. There is a lack of equipment but people are very motivated and they were keen to meet me and I was to meet them.“


Miryam Roper participated in several judo sessions with participants from 3 to 20 years old and even her little cousin, who she never met before did her first judo lesson: “She is only 12 years old. The last time I came here, she wasn’t born. She is really strong and motivated and after two hours she was able to do some nice o-soto-gari and o-goshi. We were both very proud.“ She was also invited by the Federation President, Mrs. Estela Riley: “she really wants to develop judo and the potential exists. They just need to get a little organized and supported. I have visited the high level center. It was interesting for me to see the training condition, since not everybody has the chance to train in the same facilities as we do in Europe. But still they have young competitors who have a good potential.“

After having visited the training center where judo shares a venue with boxing and wrestling, Miryam Roper went to her friend’s judo club which is located in a disadvantaged area. “Children are not paying to practice judo and Omar’s project has been existing for several years. All the young judoka were really interested in knowing more about me and about top level judo.“

Although the Olympic qualification is in full swing, the German star is already thinking about going back to Panama again to help the development of judo: “I know that they want to organize something bigger the next time I go there. In 2015, I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to travel, since I have to get concentrated on my Olympic qualification. But this trip only focused on Panama City, and it would be interesting to extend that to the whole country.“ While in Panama, because Miryam Roper is a ‘professional’ athlete and because she loves judo, she also took the opportunity to answer media interviews in order to promote the sport around the country.

Düsseldorf Judo Grand Prix 2015 - DAY 3

(Via IJF)

-78kg | +78kg | -90kg | -100kg | +100kg 

The Düsseldorf Grand Prix 2015, produced a stirring conclusion for this first event of the IJF World Judo Tour 2015. Today the heavyweights went toe-to-toe at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle. The public saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals of the event in Germany. Next stop will be next month in Tbilisi, Georgia, from March 20-22.




WOMEN

-78kg: WHO WILL STOP HARRISON ON HER WAY TO RIO?

In the women’s -78kg weight category, if Luise MALZAHN (GER) was the top seeded athlete, former world and reigning Olympic champion, Kayla HARRISON (USA), was definitely the woman to beat today in Düsseldorf, especially after her last victory on the occasion of the Tokyo Grand Slam on 5 December 2014. With no surprise, the American entered the final after her victories against Laia TALARN (ESP), Guusje STEENHUIS (NED) and SATO Ruika (JPN). In the final she faced the second top seeded athlete, Anamari VELENSEK (SLO), who won the Paris Grand Slam in 2014.

After one minute, both athletes were penalized with a shido for passivity. The American took this opportunity to launch her first main attack scoring an opportunist ko-uchi-gari for yuko. HARRISON was then penalized for a wrong grip. A last action from HARRISON, which started before the final gong, but ended after for no score didn’t change the final score and the American added one more line to her impressive prize list.


In the first bronze medal fight, Guusje STEENHUIS (NED) and 2013 Moscow Grand Slam winner, JOO Abigel (HUN) met for a place on the podium. The Hungarian bided her time until the second half of the fight to score a o-soto-gari for waza-ari but it was changed to a yuko.

The second bronze medal fight saw tho non-seeded athletes having the chance to step on the podium: Daria POGORZELEC (POL), who only won a bronze medal on the occasion of a World Judo Tour event and SATO Ruika (JPN), already winner of two Grand Slam titles in her career. The experience of the Japanese was clearly enough to give her the chance to reach the podium as she scored a o-uchi-gari for yuko, which she saved until the final gong.

Final
HARRISON, Kayla (USA) vs. VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO)

Bronze Medal Fights
STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED) vs. JOO, Abigel (HUN)
POGORZELEC, Daria (POL) vs. SATO, Ruika (JPN)


Final Results
1. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
2. VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO)
3. JOO, Abigel (HUN)
3. SATO, Ruika (JPN)
5. POGORZELEC, Daria (POL)
5. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
7. ANTOMARCHI, Kaliema (CUB)
7. SOARES, Samanta (BRA)


+78kg: YAMABE KEEPS GOING WITH THE JAPANESE HARVEST

In the women’s +78kg weight category, the surprise came from the fact that the two top seeded athletes, Franziska KONITZ (GER) and YU Song (CHN) were not able to enter the final, the Chinese being defeated during the preliminary rounds. It was the third and fourth seeded competitors who finally fought for gold, YAMABE Kanae (JPN) and Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN).

In the final, CHEIKH ROUHOU was rapidly penalized with a first shido, and again before the halfway point of the fight. Both fighters looked set to trade penalties, until YAMABE Kanae applied a sweeping movement with perfect timing for ippon.


Among the four athletes qualified in the bronze medal fights, only one was not seeded, Carolin WEISS (GER), the three others being the two Ukrainian Iryna KINDZERSKA (UKR) and Svitlana IAROMKA and the top seeded and third in the world ranking list, Franziska KONITZ (GER), who had an occasion, together with her teammate WEISS, to add one more medal to the German prize list. Thus the first bronze medal fight took place between Iryna KINDZERSKA and Carolin WEISS (GER) and after a long gripping battle, WEISS won the bout by two penalties against one.

Svitlana IAROMKA (UKR) and Franziska KONITZ (GER) faced for the second bronze medal on the podium and this match had exactly the same outcome as the previous one, as KONITZ won for Germany with two penalties against one.

Final
YAMABE, Kanae (JPN) vs. CHEIKH ROUHOU, Nihel (TUN)

Bronze Medal Fights
KINDZERSKA, Iryna (UKR) vs. WEISS, Carolin (GER)
IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR) vs. KONITZ, Franziska (GER)


Final Results
1. YAMABE, Kanae (JPN)
2. CHEIKH ROUHOU, Nihel (TUN)
3. KONITZ, Franziska (GER)
3. WEISS, Carolin (GER)
5. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)
5. KINDZERSKA, Iryna (UKR)
7. KOCATURK, Gulsah (TUR)
7. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)


MEN

-90kg: LIPARTELIANI CONFIRMS HIS SUPREMACY

In the men’s -90kg weight category, Varlam LIPARTELIANI (GEO) confirmed his first place in the world ranking list by entering the final, hoping that he would not imitate his teammate Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI who lost in yesterday’s final of the -81kg category. The big surprise came from the presence of the Russian, Kazbek ZANKISHIEV, to face the Georgian for the Grand Prix title. Only ranked 120 in the world, ZANKISHIEV only had a silver medal at the Tallin European Cup, obtained in September 2014, so far. But throughout the preliminaries, he showed great skills and consistency, successively defeating Mihail MARCHITAN (UAE), Guillaume ELMONT (NED), Mewene FEKIR (ALG), Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP) and NISHIYAMA Daiki (JPN) in the semi-final.


After 25 seconds, LIPARTELIANI launched a first homemade uchi-mata, but ZANKISHIEV easily escaped for no score. But being less active than the Georgian, the Russian was penalized with a first shido, followed a few seconds later by a second one. Just after the first three minutes, and a long ground work session, world number one, LIPARTELIANI, immobilized his opponent in an uncomfortable position, but could keep the hold until the end for ippon.



The winner of the Tokyo Grand Slam, GWAK Dong Han (KOR) and the two-time world silver medallist, NISHIYAMA Daiki (JPN), were opposed in the first bronze medal fight of the day. After three minutes NISHIYAMA scored a superb sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for ippon. But the score was changed to waza-ari after the action was replayed by the refereeing commission. The Japanese who already celebrated his victory, had to refocus and was finally able to win the bronze medal.

The second bronze medal fight opposed the number 23 on the world ranking list Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB) and the world number 9, Beka GVINIASHVILI (GEO), who finished first in Ulaanbaatar last year. The Georgian secured the bronze medal with a single yuko obtained with an opportunist counterattack.

Final
LIPARTELIANI, Varlam (GEO) vs. ZANKISHIEV, Kazbek (RUS)

Bronze Medal Fights
GWAK, Dong Han (KOR) vs. NISHIYAMA, Daiki (JPN)
KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB) vs. GVINIASHVILI, Beka (GEO)


Final Results
1. LIPARTELIANI, Varlam (GEO)
2. ZANKISHIEV, Kazbek (RUS)
3. GVINIASHVILI, Beka (GEO)
3. NISHIYAMA, Daiki (JPN)
5. GWAK, Dong Han (KOR)
5. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)
7. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)
7. SHERAZADISHVILI, Nikoloz (ESP)
                            


-100kg: AFTER BRONZE AND SILVER, HAGA GETS GOLD IN DÜSSELDORF

The only favorite present in the final was the number 8 seeded, Ramadan DARWISH (EGY), who during the preliminaries defeated Jorge FONSECA (POR) and Lyes BOUYACOUB (ALG), before taking advantage over the world number 2 and top seeded athlete, Cyrille MARET (FRA) and NAIDAN Tuvshinbayar (MGL), the 2008 Olympic champion in the semi-final. The last stage of his already successful competition was against the 23-year-old athlete, HAGA Ryunosuke (JPN), who recently won the European Open in Rome.

After a very good competition day, Ramadan DARWISH probably expected more than what he was able to demonstrate in the final. While struggling for the gripping, he could not avoid the quick o-uchi-gari of HAGA for yuko, the Japanese immediately following to the ground with a simple but efficient turn-over and an immobilisation for ippon. This victory gives the chance to HAGA to add a gold medal won on the occasion of a Grand Prix, after he already collected bronze and silver in the past years.


Cyrille MARET (FRA) who definitely came for the title, could only enter the final block for a bronze medal against CHO Guham (KOR) and he looked exhausted at the end of the day. But the waza-ari that the French scored with a counter-attack for waza-ari was enough to secure a place on the podium.

In the second bronze medal fight, two great names of the category Henk GROL (NED) and NAIDAN Tuvshinbayar (MGL), had to face off to decide who would step on the podium. Less active than his opponent the Dutch athlete was penalized with a shido for passivity, and looked unlikely to throw his opponent. But luckily for him, NAIDAN made a mistake by attacking without enough control, GROL did not miss the occasion to throw him with a counterattack for waza-ari. Once again the Dutch champion steps on an international podium.

It must be noted that several other favorites had difficult competition days as Karl-Richard FREY (GER), bronze medallist in Chelyabinsk last summer, Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE), 2013 world champion, Maxim RAKOV (KAZ), 2009 world champion and Dimitri PETERS (GER), Olympic bronze medallist, did not enter the final block of the competition.

Final
DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY) vs. HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
MARET, Cyrille (FRA) vs. CHO, Guham (KOR)
GROL, Henk (NED) vs. NAIDAN, Tuvshinbayar (MGL)


Final Results
1. HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN)
2. DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)
3. GROL, Henk (NED)
3. MARET, Cyrille (FRA)
5. CHO, Guham (KOR)
5. NAIDAN, Tuvshinbayar (MGL)
7. CORREA, Luciano (BRA)
7. RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)



+100kg: DID RINER FIND HIS MAIN CONTENDER WITH SHICHINOHE

In the last category of the day, SHICHINOHE Ryu (JPN), who is currently the main contender to threaten Teddy Riner, was expected to enter the final, which he easily did after his victories against Jean-Sebastien BONVOISIN (FRA), Feyyaz YAZICI (TUR), Or SASSON (ISR) and Sven HEINLE (GER). In the final he faced his teammate, OJITANI Takeshi, who cleaned out the second half of the draw as world bronze medallist Faicel JABALLAH (TUN), KIM Sung-Min (KOR) suffered early defeats.

The final took place between two athletes who perfectly know each other and therefore cancelled each other out. The difference was only made by the penalties and it is not the last attempt of OJITANI to throw SHICHINOHE, who changed the score. The world silver medallist will definitely be one of the rivals of Riner in the upcoming months and years.


The German team had two extra chances to add bronze medals to the host country delegation prize list, as Andre BREITBARTH (GER) and Sven HEINLE (GER) were in contention for a place on the podium. In the upper part of the draw, BREITBARTH faced Or SASSON (ISR), but after less than a minute he was already one waza-ari behind as SASSON produced his effort to send the German to the floor with a left handed morote-seoi-nage.

The second bronze medal fight opposed HEINLE to Oleksandr GORDIIENKO (UKR). After leading by a yuko after more than three minutes of fight, the German combined a ippon-seoi-nage with a ko-uchi-gari technique to score waza-ari and to take the lead, to give a last bronze medal to Germany for a total of six bronzes and one silver for the host nation.

Final
SHICHINOHE, Ryu (JPN) vs. OJITANI, Takeshi (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
SASSON, Or (ISR) vs. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)
GORDIIENKO, Oleksandr (UKR) vs. HEINLE, Sven (GER)


Final Results
1. SHICHINOHE, Ryu (JPN)
2. OJITANI, Takeshi (JPN)
3. HEINLE, Sven (GER)
3. SASSON, Or (ISR)
5. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)
5. GORDIIENKO, Oleksandr (UKR)
7. MEYER, Roy (NED)
7. OKRUASHVILI, Adam (GEO)

Dusseldorf Day 3 - Surprises & Upsets

-90kg
No real big surprises or upsets here. Varlam Liparteliani (GEO), who was expected to win, did.

-100kg
Ramadan Darwish (EGY) defeating Cyrille Maret (FRA) was a bit of a surprise. So was his victory over Tuvshinbayar Naidan (MGL). Although he lost in the final to Ryunosuke Haga (JPN), Darwish had done very well in this competition.


+100kgTwo Germans, Sven Heinle and Andre Breitbarth had done extremely well to make it to the semi-finals, and Heinle even won the bronze. 

-78kg
Kayla Harrison won. No surprise.



+78kg
No real surprise here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Judo Innovation in Dusseldorf

(Via IJF)

During the first two days of competition, the IJF once again demonstrated its dynamism and willingness to look to the future while remaining loyal to its core values. For the first time, the Düsseldorf Grand Prix served as a test to measure live a number of parameters during the fights. The test was conducted by the PIQ company whose founder, Mr. Ongan Mordeniz, and Fiel Manager, Mr. Thierry Daudier, were present in Düsseldorf. A dozen athletes, including Luxembourg judoka Marie Muller and world champion, Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO), were used to trial the technology and authorized the experts to install an electronic chip on their belt.


The PIQ chip and its accessory

"With this system we can measure in real time the acceleration and rotation of the athletes. This information seems to be crucial in judo, a sport whose whole secret lies in the movement", explained Mr. Ongan Mordeniz.

After contacts were made at the last edition of Sportel in Monaco, between the PIQ and the IJF, the project is now in its experimental phase. "We have yet to identify the data that will be really useful and how we will then be able to use them" explained Thierry Daudier, before adding, "but the first tests were really encouraging. We discovered that a judo competition such as a Grand Prix was totally adapted to such an experimentation. We have a clearer idea now on how to attach the chip on the belt, to a place that is neither dangerous nor inconvenient for the athletes."


The PIQ representatives explain how the chip is working to the IJF delegates

Ultimately, the idea is to provide real-time data used during TV broadcast to supplement the technical information already presented to the viewers. The spectator will then be able to purchase the same equipment and wear the same type of sensor to be able to compare themselves to their favourite champions. The chip is actually a multisport device that adapts to each discipline with dedicated accessory. Data is collected in real time on a smartphone with a dedicated application.

After this first test went perfectly in Düsseldorf, the analysis and optimization will continue to offer as soon as possible an operational system.


Marie Müller (LUX) is the first one to try the new device.

Düsseldorf Judo Grand Prix 2015 - DAY 2

(Via IJF)

-63kg | -70kg | -73kg | -81kg

The Düsseldorf Judo Grand Prix 2015 in Germany continued with the focus on the middleweights on Saturday at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle on day two. The public and officials saw four weight categories take to the tatami in search of Grand Prix honours as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s -73kg and -81kg categories were contested.


WOMEN

-63kg: GREAT START FOR SCHLESSINGER

Of the eight top seeded athletes in the -63kg category, only two athletes were still present in the final block, since Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO), Edwige GWEND (ITA), Anne-Laure BELLARD (FRA), JOUNG Da-Woon ( KOR), Junxia YANG (CHN) and Hannah MARTIN (USA) were prematurely eliminated from the competition. The two finalists were not unknown as TSEDEVSUREN Munkhzaya (MGL) had already stepped on the podium of a World Judo Tour event three times and Alice SCHLESINGER (GBR) was bronze medalist at the 2009 World Championships in Rotterdam but that was for Israel.

It took a little bit more than one minute for Alice SCHLESINGER to write the first line of her new career with Great Britain by scoring a clear ippon with an unstoppable uchi-mata on the edge of the fighting area. The silver medal of TSEDEVSUREN is the fourth one of the tournament for Mongolia.


The first bronze medal was disputed between Mariana SILVA (BRA), winner of the 2014 Panamerican Open in Buenos Aires, and TASHIRO Miku (JPN), bronze medalist at the last world championships in Russia. SILVA rapidly scored a yuko, but TASHIRO took again the lead with a waza-ari. Silva again scored a second yuko with a counter attack, but this was not enough to jump in front again. With one waza-ari against two yuko, TASHIRO Miku won the first bronze medal of the day.

The second third place was entirely European, since the Austrian Magdalena KRSSAKOVA opposed the German Martyna TRAJDOS who had failed in the semi-finals against Schlesinger. If most of the fight was led by the German with only one shido, she suddenly found a small opportunity to throw her opponent with ko-uchi-gari for waza-ari. Just before the end of the match, she added one yuko to the scoreboard to secure her third place.

Final
SCHLESINGER, Alice (GBR) vs. TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL)

Bronze Medal Fights
SILVA, Mariana (BRA) vs. TASHIRO, Miku (JPN)
KRSSAKOVA, Magdalena (AUT) vs. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)


Final Results
1. SCHLESINGER, Alice (GBR)
2. TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL)
3. TASHIRO, Miku (JPN)
3. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)
5. KRSSAKOVA, Magdalena (AUT)
5. SILVA, Mariana (BRA)
7. BAZYNSKI, Nadja (GER)
7. HERRMANN, Vivian (GER)


-70kg: ARAI ADDS ONE MORE GOLD FOR JAPAN
It was necessary to search for the thirteenth position in the world ranking list to find the first finalist of the day in the -70kg category. To reach the final ARAI Chizuru (JPN) eliminated Lea PUESCHEL (GER), Anzhela MAROZAVA (BLR) Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN) and Iljana MARZOK (GER). For the title of champion of the Grand Prix, she was opposed to the first German representative reaching a final in Düsseldorf, Szaundra DIEDRICH (GER), who was third in the Grand Prix of Astana last year.

After a minute of observation, the first strong attack came from Szaundra DIEDRICH but for no score. Then Arai was penalized for stepping outside of the fighting area. At the half of the final, the German launched what looked like a perfect uchi-mata, but lacking of arm control, she could not conclude her movement. It was the time for Arai to take the lead with a small yuko with a ko-uchi-barai, a yuko which was enough to win the fourth gold medal for Japan on the occasion of this 2015 edition of the Düsseldorf Grand Prix.


The young Sanne VAN DIJKE (NED), having only a fifth place in the 2014 World Junior Championships to her credit, and Iljana MARZOK (GER), winner of the Qingdao Grand Prix in 2014, were opposed in the first match for a bronze medal. A little more than one minute was necessary for VAN DIJKE to score ippon with a superb counter attack.

In the second match for the bronze medal, Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN) met Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER). Although the German was the top seeded athlete of the tournament, she was defeated in the semi-final by teammate Szaundra DIEDRICH, who created the surprise of the day in the weigh category. Due to an injury, Laura VARGAS KOCH could not compete and Kelita ZUPANICIC was awarded with the third place.

Final
DIEDRICH, Szaundra (GER) vs. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
VAN DIJKE, Sanne (NED) vs. MARZOK, Iljana (GER)
ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN) vs. VARGAS KOCH, Laura (GER)


Final Results
1. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)
2. DIEDRICH, Szaundra (GER)
3. VAN DIJKE, Sanne (NED)
3. ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN)
5. MARZOK, Iljana (GER)
5. VARGAS KOCH, Laura (GER)
7. BAKACAK, Sukran (TUR)
7. POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)


MEN

-73kg: FAVORITE OUTSIDER ONO WINS GOLD

If ONO was not among the favorites of the competition, it is because he was not part of the top 8 seeded athletes of the category. Nevertheless, it was obvious that the 2013 world champion in Rio, had a great chance to reach the final in Düsseldorf, and that's what he did without having to put in too much energy, except against the young Korean AN Changrin in the semi-final, where he eventually won by waza-ari. In the final he was opposed to the world number 12, Georgian Nugzari TATALASHVILI, who made a flawless competition until then.

ONO was penalized with a first shido for stepping out of the fighting area after a few seconds, but he immediately took the control over the final by scoring waza-ari with an uchi-mata. After a little more than two minutes, TATALASHVILI trying to find some opportunities to come back, was surprised by the counter attack of the Japanese fighter who literally incrusted the Georgian into the tatami.


The number one seeded, MUKI Sagi (ISR), could only claim up to a bronze medal, as he was eliminated by AN, junior world champion in 2014 during the preliminary rounds. But for this he had to first face Marcelo CONTINI (BRA). After two minutes, MUKI was already leading with a waza-ari and a yuko. The Israeli concluded the fight with a sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for a second waza-ari.

The second third place was disputed between Victor SCVORTOV (UAE), bronze medalist of the last World Championships in Chelyabinsk and AN Changrim (KOR). After less than a minute, AN scored the first with a left handed eri-seoi-nage for waza-ari. Always first on Kumikata, quicker and more precise than his opponent, AN showed that at his young age he is already a well accomplished judoka.

Final
ONO, Shohei (JPN) vs. TATALASHVILI, Nugzari (GEO)

Bronze Medal Fights
MUKI, Sagi (ISR) vs. CONTINI, Marcelo (BRA)
SCVORTOV, Victor (UAE) vs. AN, Changrim (KOR)


Final Results
1. ONO, Shohei (JPN)
2. TATALASHVILI, Nugzari (GEO)
3. AN, Changrim (KOR)
3. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)
5. CONTINI, Marcelo (BRA)
5. SCVORTOV, Victor (UAE)
7. CHAINE, Guillaume (FRA)
7. GANBAATAR, Odbayar (MGL)
                         


-81kg: BOTTIEAU DETHRONED THE WORLD CHAMPION

Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO), who was designated as the top ranked male athlete of 2014 (in all categories) confirmed his supremacy over the -81kg by entering the final against Joachim BOTTIEAU (BEL), who surprised everybody by defeating the 2013 world champion Loïc Pietri from France.

Two minutes and 15 seconds were necessary to see the first penalty on the scoreboard, when both athletes were penalized for passivity. Moments later, TCHRIKISHVILI received a second penalty but still remained in the balance for the world champion. Almost out of breath, Joachim BOTTIEAU produced a fantastic effort to avoid all the Georgian’s attacks and slowly but surely kept that one penalty advantage until the final gong, to write his name on the top of today’s results.


In the first bronze medal fight Loïc Pietri, who looked a little tired today, was opposed to Laszlo CSOKNYAI (HUN), who obtained a silver medal in Tunisia earlier this year on the occasion of the African Open. It took almost three minutes for Pietri to score a first yuko with a counter attack. Lacking of speed and accuracy the Frenchman showed a more defensive dimension today in Düsseldorf, but it was enough to finally secure the bronze and 120 world ranking points.

The second bronze medal fight saw again the Canadian Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER, who is accustomed to international podiums (bronze medallist in London 2012 and world silver medallist in Chelyabinsk) and the local judoka Sven MARESCH fought for a place on the podium. But in front of his public, MARESCH immediately showed that he was the leader on the tatami, and he scored a superb ippon before the halfway point of the fight.

Final
TCHRIKISHVILI, Avtandili (GEO) vs. BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)

Bronze Medal Fights
CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN) vs. PIETRI, Loic (FRA)
VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN) vs. MARESCH, Sven (GER)


Final Results
1. BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)
2. TCHRIKISHVILI, Avtandili (GEO)
3. MARESCH, Sven (GER)
3. PIETRI, Loic (FRA)
5. CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN)
5. VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN)
7. STEVENS, Travis (USA)
7. STSIASHENKA, Aliaksandr (BLR)

Dusseldorf Day 2 - Surprises & Upsets

-73kgNo major upsets or surprises although I expected Sagi Muki (ISR) and Rok Draksic (SLO) to have topped their pools. Ono was back on form.

-81kg
The big surprise is Joachim Bottieau (BEL) who not only defeated Loic Pietri (FRA) in the semi-final but also Advantili Tchrikishvili (GEO) in the final. He had fought Tchrikishvili six times before this and each time, he was defeated. He's done well on the seventh try!

-63kg
Alice Schlesinger (GBR) has done her new country a honor by winning the gold. Not really a big surprise but a bit unexpected.

-70kg
Szaundra Diedrich (GER) making it to the final instead of Laura Vargas Koch (GER) was an upset. Japan's newcomer Arai Chizuru winning this category was a bit of a surprise.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Düsseldorf Judo Grand Prix 2015 - DAY 1

(Via IJF)

-48kg | -52kg | -57kg | -60kg | -66kg 

THE ROAD TO RIO 2016 IS OPEN

Gold for Belgium, China, Brasil and Japan (2)


Today was the first day of competition of the first event of the 2015 edition of the World Judo Tour, which this year starts in Düsseldorf, Germany and will continue over the next two days. Five weight categories were in action in the Mitsubishi Electric Halle: women’s -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and men’s -60kg and -66kg.


Mr. Vladimir Barta, the IJF Head Sports Director, said: "We can feel that everybody is already on their way to Rio 2016. The pressure is getting stronger and the level of every judoka is increasing. The federations are all taking the challenge very seriously. We had several surprises today like the world number one and world champion, GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL), being defeated by a young Spanish athlete, Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP), Junior World Champion though. We can also enjoy a very good German organization."

During the opening ceremony, Mr. Barta declared: "I want to really thank, Mr. Peter Frese, the German Judo Federation President, for the outstanding work that he did with his competent team to organize this very first event of the 2015 season and I declare the Düsseldorf Grand Prix 2015 in Germany, open."

Mr. Vladimir Barta (left) and Mr. Peter Frese (right) during the opening ceremony

Mr. Peter Frese, the DJB President, said: "Almost 600 athletes came to Düsseldorf on their way to Rio 2016. Thanks to the support of our partners and sponsors and to the great cooperation with the IJF team, we are able to deliver a Grand Prix, which is already a success even if we still have two days of competition. I have the hope that in the upcoming years we will continue to welcome you all here, especially when I see so many champions showing their best judo."

Mr. Frese then added: "Everything went very well today. It was an excellent kick-off of the event. My staff and the IJF staff are very professional and we are definitely on the good track to Rio."



WOMEN

-48kg: Van Snick Outclasses her Opponents

One could expect a final between the world champion of Rio de Janeiro in 2013, Munkhbat Urantsetseg (MGL), and the current Olympic champion, Brazilian Sarah Menezes. If the first smoothly reached the final, it was not the same for Menezes, who lost in her first fight against Shira RISHONY (ISR). The 24-year-old and still ranked world number two Brazilian is struggling to get back to her best since her title brilliantly won in London 2012.

In the final, Munkhbat was opposed to Charline Van SNICK (BEL) who made her way to the podium by defeating, in the second round, the reigning world champion, Japan’s Kondo Ami. Both athletes perfectly cancelled each other out for more than three minutes, but Munkhbat was less active than Van SNICK and was penalized with a single shido which offered the victory to the Belgian.


The first bronze medal fight opposed the number 13 and 14 in the World Ranking List, respectively Monica UNGUREANU (ROU), winner of the Qingdao Grand Prix last year, and the bronze medallist of the last 2014 IJF event (Tokyo Grand Slam) JEONG Bo Kyeong (KOR). After the first minute, UNGUREANU was leading by a penalty, but this advantage was then reduced to nothing when she was also penalized. A few seconds later Kyeong scored with a shoulder movement combined with a leg attack for yuko, taking a more significant advantage. The Romanian, who was penalized a third time, was never able to put her opponent in danger and finally the first bronze medal of the competition went to JEONG Bo Kyeong.

Regularly present on the international podiums, Valentina Moscatt (ITA - Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 3. place) was again present in the final block of this first day of competition as she faced the two-time world champion, Asami Haruna (JPN - Tokyo 2010 and Paris 2011). After one minute and a half, Valentina MOSCATT was penalized with a first shido for a negative fighting attitude and again a few seconds later for false attack. The two penalties were enough for ASAMI to step on the podium.

Final
MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)

Bronze Medal Fights
JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR) vs. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)
MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA) vs. ASAMI, Haruna (JPN)


Final Results
1. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
2. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
3. ASAMI, Haruna (JPN)
3. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)
5. MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA)
5. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)
7. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)
7. XIE, Shishi (CHN)



-52kg: A New Star Shines on the Chinese Flag

The top favourites had a little trouble today in the -52kg category, since it was necessary to go back to the 6th and 8th seeded athletes to find the two finalists: MA Yingnan (CHN) and MISATO Nakamura (JPN). Following the retirement of its golden generation from Beijing in 2008, China is seeking new flagship judoka to continue the development of judo in the country. That may be the case with MA Yingnan who ended at the bottom of the podium on the occasion of the last world championships in Chelyabinsk, but won the Ulaanbaatar and Qingdao Grand Prix in 2014. Nakamura reaches again her best level after her title at the 2011 world championships in Paris, where she topped the podium.

MA Yingnan totally controlled the final, blocking all her opponent’s attacks and being active enough to avoid being penalized. NAKAMURA was penalized once during the regular time, but this small penalty was enough for MA to win the first Grand Prix of the season, securing some precious points for the Olympic qualification.


The top seeded athlete of the competition, Andreea Chitu (ROU), still managed to reach again the final block of a major international competition. For the bronze medal she was opposed to Skrypnik Darya (BLR) who currently only had a 5th place at an IJF event on her record. Just after 1 minute and a half was necessary to Chitu to score a superb hip makikomi technique for a clear ippon.

The second bronze medal was disputed between Mareen KRAEH who had the opportunity to offer a first medal to the host country and the Israeli, Gili Cohen, winner of the first edition of the Tbilisi Grand Pris last year. When the two athletes entered the field of play, the noise level clearly increased in the stadium. After 30 seconds, when KRAEH scored a first yuko with a o-soto-gari, the public exploded for the first time. This explosion was followed by a second one a few seconds later when the German again scored a yuko with a sasae technique. It was not even the halfway point of the match. A few penalties later, KRAEH could finally celebrate her victory and the first medal for Germany.

Final
MA, Yingnan (CHN) vs. NAKAMURA, Misato (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
CHITU, Andreea (ROU) vs. SKRYPNIK, Darya (BLR)
KRAEH, Mareen (GER) vs. COHEN, Gili (ISR)


Final Results
1. MA, Yingnan (CHN)
2. NAKAMURA, Misato (JPN)
3. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
3. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)
5. COHEN, Gili (ISR)
5. SKRYPNIK, Darya (BLR)
7. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)
7. MAROS, Barbara (HUN)


-57kg: A Long Day for Silva but a Golden Day

World medallist and European champion Automne Pavia (FRA), undoubtedly came to Düsseldorf to show her supremacy over the -57kg weight category. But this was without counting on the desire to win of LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE) who blocked her way to the final already in the quarterfinals. In the first half of the draw of the French, it is ultimately the gold medallist of the 2013 Tyumen Masters, DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL), who secured a place on the podium by defeating LIEN. In the second half of the draw, the task was also very complicated for Rafaela Silva (BRA), world champion in 2013 in Rio, who had to fight for nearly four minutes with Laetitia BLOT (FRA) in golden score before she could enjoy seeing the referee announcing ippon after her last effort to throw the French.

It took only a few seconds for Silva to score a first waza-ari against DORJSUREN and almost four more minutes to put an end to her competition day, with a ippon, 14 seconds before the final gong.


Clearly not yet back to her best, Automne Pavia still managed to enter the final block where she was opposed to her compatriot Laetitia Blot for a place on the podium. Clearly bothered by the longer arms of PAVIA and her ample attacks, and despite the high rhythm that she tried to impose, BLOT was incapable of putting PAVIA in danger. The world bronze medallist, controlled the fight and scored a uchi-mata for ippon. But the ippon was changed to waza-ari. Blot then tried to push PAVIA to make mistakes and she almost succeeded as PAVIA was penalized three times for stepping out of the tatami. But this was not enough for BLOT to step on the podium.

In the second bronze final, the bronze medallist at the 2009 World Championships in Rotterdam, KARAKAS Hedvig (HUN) was opposed to LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE), but due to an injury, LIEN could not compete and the medal went to KARAKAS Hedvig.

Final
DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL) vs. SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)

Bronze Medal Fights
PAVIA, Automne (FRA) vs. BLOT, Laetitia (FRA)
KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN) vs. LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE)


Final Results
1. SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)
2. DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)
3. KARAKAS, Hedvig (HUN)
3. PAVIA, Automne (FRA)
5. BLOT, Laetitia (FRA)
5. LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE)
7. EQUISOAIN, Jaione (ESP)
7. KIM, Jan-Di (KOR)
                   


MEN

-60kg: Lightweight Category Goes to… Japan

The -60kg weight category was also difficult for the favourites as word number 1, GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL), world number 2, Amiran PAPINASHVIL (GEO), world number 4 Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) and world number 5 TAKATO Naohisa (JPN) were eliminated and therefore not present on the podium at the end of the day.

World number 7 and winner of the 2014 Tokyp Grand Slam, KIM Won Jin (KOR), was the first to enter the final against the other Japanese athlete of the category, SHISHIME Toru, who was not among the top eight favourites of the competition. After three minutes, only penalties were visible on the scoreboard, with two for each fighter. The third penalty given to Kim, secured the victory for SHISHIME.


The first bronze medal fight opposed IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ) and PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO). It took less than a minute for IBRAYEV to launch a one arm sumi-gaeshi for a perfect ippon, leaving world number 2 and Moscow Grand Slam winner, PAPINASHVILI, at the bottom of the podium.

Junior world champion Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) entered his first world judo tour final block for a place on the podium against Phelipe PELIM (BRA). Even if GARRIGOS looked more active and seemed to run nonstop throughout the fight, the first to score was the Brazilian, with a arai-makikomi for yuko. This small advantage was enough to secure the victory, but Francisco GARRIGOS definitely showed that he will be a very strong competitor in the future.

Final
KIM, Won Jin (KOR) vs. SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ) vs. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
PELIM, Phelipe (BRA) vs. GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)


Final Results
1. SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)
2. KIM, Won Jin (KOR)
3. IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ)
3. PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)
5. GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)
5. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
7. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)
7. REBAHI, Mohamed (ALG)



-66kg: Japan Secures the Men’s Light Weight Categories

The top seeded athlete and 2014 Asian Games winner, DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg, entered the final, where he was opposed to TAKAICHI Kengo (JPN), ranked 15 in the world and winner of the first edition of the Budapest Grand Prix, last year. In the semi-final, DAVAADORJ defeated the two-time-winner of the Paris Grand Slam, David Larose, who is coming back after a long period away from the tatami due to an injury.

After half of the final, TAKAICHI was leading by a penalty difference, as DAVAADORJ had received two shido penalties. One penalty later, but this time to the Japanese, was not enough for the Mongolian to get the ultimate award and he had to remain on the second step of the podium.


Beside the two finalists and David LAROSE who were among the favourites of the competition, none of the other top seeded athletes were able to enter the final block. The first bronze medal fight opposed Yakub SHAMILOV (RUS) and Vazha MARGVELASHVILI (GEO). In the opening seconds SHAMILOV produced a first effort with a powerful tomoe-nage for waza-ari. But after 2 minutes and 5 seconds, MARGVELASHVILI, executed a ko-soto-gari, with a perfect timing for ippon.

The second bronze medal fight saw An Baul (KOR) entering the tatami against David Larose (FRA). The Korean was also the first to score with a shoulder movement for yuko, while the French, slower and less precise than his opponent, was penalized for passivity. This first yuko was enough for AN to step on the second World Judo Tour podium of his career, after the silver medal gained last year in Jeju.

Final
DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL) vs. TAKAICHI, Kengo (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
SHAMILOV, Yakub (RUS) vs. MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO)
AN, Baul (KOR) vs. LAROSE, David (FRA)


Final Results
1. TAKAICHI, Kengo (JPN)
2. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)
3. AN, Baul (KOR)
3. MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO)
5. LAROSE, David (FRA)
5. SHAMILOV, Yakub (RUS)
7. GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO)
7. KHALFAOUI, Houcem (TUN)

Dusseldorf Day 1 - Surprises & Upsets

-60kg
Spain's Francisco Garrigos defeated Mongolia's Ganbat Boldbaatar while Kazakhstan's Rustam Ibrayev defeated Japan's Naohisa Takato. These were the two big shockers in this category.

-66kg
No major surprises or upsets.

-48kg
Japan's Ami Kondo losing to Belgium's Charline Van Snick could be considered an upset. Van Snick winning the gold in a category that not only had Kondo but also her compatriot Haruna Asami, Brazil's Sarah Menezes and Mongolia's Urantsetseg Munkhbat, is a surprise.

-52kg
Romania's Andreea Chitu losing to China's Ma Yingnan is an upset. Ma beating Japan's Misato Nakamura is a surprise.

-57kg
No one would have expected France's Automne Pavia to lose to Taiwan's Lien Chen-Ling. That was a big upset.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Düsseldorf Judo Grand Prix 2015 - PREVIEW

(Via IJF)


DÜSSELDORF GRAND PRIX KICKS OFF THE 2015 WORLD JUDO TOUR 

If Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and is an international business and financial centre renowned for its fashion and trade fairs, this weekend, the city will also become the World Judo Capital as the first event of the 2015 World Judo Tour will be held in the Mitsubishi Elecric Halle from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd. Today, the official draw and press conference took place at the Nikko Hotel in the presence of the 75 heads of delegations, representing the 547 athletes (327 men - 220 women) engaged in the tournament.

Mr. Naser Al-Tamimi, the IJF General Treasurer, welcomed the delegates: “It is an honor for me to welcome you all in Düsseldorf for this first event of the season. We usually start the tour with the Paris Grand Slam*, but this year I am happy to see so many athletes and delegations in Germany. In the name of the IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer, I wish you good luck during the next three days and thanks to the great efforts of the German Judo Federation, I am sure that you will enjoy your stay here.“

Mr. Peter Frese, the German Judo Federation President said: “Dear IJF Executive Committee members, dear heads of delegations and referees, dear officials and dear judo friends, I warmly thank you for coming to Düsseldorf. Having so many athletes is a challenge and we have a lot to do to make sure that this event will be a success. But I am also sure that we will be good hosts. Thanks to the IJF we will deliver an outstanding first event of the season.“

Mr. Vladimir Barta, the IJF Head Sports Director, declared: “As Mr. Peter Frese said, it is a challenge to organize such a big event and the challenge is even bigger when it is the first competition of a full Olympic qualification year. In 2015, every single point will count on the way to Rio 2016.“


PREVIEW - Women

-48kg

MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL - WRL 1): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place
MENEZES Sarah (BRA - WRL 2): Olympic Games London 2012: 1. place, Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 1. place
KONDO Ami (JPN - WRL 3): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2013: 1. place
LIMA Taciana (GBS - WRL 5): African Championships Vacoa Fenix 2014: 1. place, African Championships Maputo 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 3. place
CHERNIAK Maryna (UKR - WRL 9): Grand Prix Jeju 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 2. place
MOSCATT Valentina (ITA - WRL 12): Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 3. place
UNGUREANU Monica (ROU - WRL 13): Grand Prix Qingdao 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Zagreb 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 3. place
JEONG Bo Kyeong (KOR - WRL 14): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2013: 2. place

-52kg

CHITU Andreea (ROU - WRL 2): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 2. place
MIRANDA Erika (BRA - WRL 3): World Championships Rio 2013: 2. place, Panamerican Championships Guayaquil 2014: 1. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place
KRAEH Mareen (GER - WRL 5): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Rijeka 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 3. place
COHEN Gili (ISR - WRL 6): Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2013: 2. place
SUNDBERG Jaana (FIN - WRL 11): Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 2. place
NAKAMURA Misato (JPN - WRL 12): Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 1. place, World Championships Paris 2011: 1. place, Asian Games Incheon 2014: 1. place
RAMOS Joana (POR - WRL 13): Grand Prix Astana 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Zagreb 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 3. place
MA Yingnan (CHN - WRL 14): Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Qingdao 2012: 1. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 5. place

-57kg

PAVIA Automne (FRA - WRL 2): Grand Slam Paris 2013: 1. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 2. place, European Championships Montpellier 2014: 1. place
MALLOY Marti (USA - WRL 5): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 2. place, Panamerican Championships Guayaquil 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 2. place
SILVA Rafaela (BRA - WRL 6): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 1. place, Panamerican Championships San Jose 2013: 1. place, World Championships Paris 2011: 2. place
CAPRIORIU Corina (ROU - WRL 7): Olympic Games London 2012: 2. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Qingdao 2013: 1. place
DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL - WRL 8): Masters Tyumen 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2013: 3. place
UDAKA Nae (JPN - WRL 9): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 2. place
BLOT Laetitia (FRA - WRL 10): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Zagreb 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 1. place
BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD Catherine (CAN - WRL 12): Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Rijeka 2013: 3. place

-63kg

TRSTENJAK Tina (SLO - WRL 3): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place
GWEND Edwige (ITA - WRL 7): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2014: 3. place
BELLARD Anne-Laure (FRA - WRL 8): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 2. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 5. place
TRAJDOS Martyna (GER - WRL 9): Grand Prix Qingdao 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 3. place, Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 3. place
JOUNG Da-Woon (KOR - WRL 10): Asian Games Incheon 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2013: 1. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 3. place
TASHIRO Miku (JPN - WRL 11): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2013: 2. place
YANG Junxia (CHN - WRL 12): Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 1. place, Asian Games Incheon 2014: 2. place, Asian Open Taipei City 2014: 1. place
MARTIN Hannah (USA - WRL 16): Grand Prix Tashkent 2013: 2. place, Panamerican Championships San Jose 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Abu Dhabi 2013: 3. place

-70kg

VARGAS KOCH Laura (GER - WRL 2): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 2. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 1. place
ZUPANCIC Kelita (CAN - WRL 4): Grand Slam Baku 2013: 1. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 2. place, Panamerican Championships San Jose 2013: 1. place
CONWAY Sally (GBR - WRL 6): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2013: 3. place
NIANG Assmaa (MAR - WRL 7): African Championships Maputo 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Dusseldorf 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Qingdao 2014: 2. place
MATIC Barbara (CRO - WRL 9): Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 1. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 5. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 2. place
MARZOK Iljana (GER - WRL 11): Grand Prix Qingdao 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Miami 2013: 1. place
ARAI Chizuru (JPN - WRL 13): Grand Slam Tokyo 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 2. place, Asian Games Incheon 2014: 2. place
MOREIRA Antonia (ANG - WRL 15): African Championships Vacoa Fenix 2014: 1. place, African Championships Maputo 2013: 2. place, African Championships Agadir 2012: 2. place

-78kg

MALZAHN Luise (GER - WRL 3): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Dusseldorf 2014: 1. place
VELENSEK Anamari (SLO - WRL 4): Grand Slam Paris 2014: 1. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Zagreb 2014: 1. place
JOO Abigel (HUN - WRL 6): Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2013: 1. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 2. place
HARRISON Kayla (USA - WRL 7): Olympic Games London 2012: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 1. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place
POWELL Natalie (GBR - WRL 10): Grand Prix Astana 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Abu Dhabi 2013: 2. place
TURKS Victoriia (UKR - WRL 11): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2013: 2. place
GALEONE Assunta (ITA - WRL 12): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 3. place
MALONGA Madeleine (FRA - WRL 15): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 2. place, African Open Tunis: 1. place

+78kg

KONITZ Franziska (GER - WRL 3): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Abu Dhabi 2013: 1. place
YU Song (CHN - WRL 6): Masters Tyumen 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Qingdao 2014: 1. place
CHEIKH ROUHOU Nihel (TUN - WRL 7): African Championships Vacoa Fenix 2014: 1. place, African Championships Maputo 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2014: 2. place
YAMABE Kanae (JPN - WRL 8): Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2013: 2. place
KUELBS Jasmin (GER - WRL 9): Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 3. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 5. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 2. place
IAROMKA Svitlana (UKR - WRL 12): Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Zagreb 2014: 2. place
KOCATURK Gulsah (TUR - WRL 13): Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 2. place
KINDZERSKA Iryna (UKR - WRL 17): Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 2. place, European Championships Budapest 2013: 3. place


From left to right: Mr. Juan Carlos Barcos (IJF Head Refereeing Director), Mr. Naser Al-Tamimi (IJF General Treasurer), Mr. Vladimir Barta (IJF Head Sports Director), Mr. Mohamed Meridja (IJF Education and Coaching Director)


PREVIEW - Men

-60kg

GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL - WRL 1): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 1. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 2. place
PAPINASHVILI Amiran (GEP - WRL 2): Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 1. place, European Championships Budapest 2013: 1. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place
SAFAROV Orkhan (AZE - WRL 4): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place, World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 3. place
TAKATO Naohisa (JPN - WRL 5): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 1. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2013: 1. place
KIM Won Jin (KOR - WRL 7): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 1. place, World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2014: 1. place
SMETOV Yeldos (KAZ - WRL 8): Asian Games Incheon 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Almaty 2013: 1. place
MUSHKIYEV Ilgar (AZE - WRL 10): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 3. place, Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 3. place, Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 3. place
GANBOLD Kherlen (MGL - WRL 11): Grand Prix Miami 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Qingdao 2012: 1. place

-66kg

DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL - WRL 4): Grand Slam Baku 2013: 1. place, Asian Games Incheon 2014: 1. place, Asian Championships Bangkok 2013: 1. place
SHERSHAN Dzmitry (BLR - WRL 7): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Almaty 2013: 2. place
POLLACK Golan (ISR - WRL 10): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 2. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 3. place, Grand Slam Baku 2014: 3. place
SHIKHALIZADA Nijat (AZE - WRL 12): Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2013: 2. place, Grand Prix Abu Dhabi 2012: 1. place
LAROSE David (FRA - WRL 13): Grand Slam Paris 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2012: 1. place
TAKAICHI Kengo (JPN - WRL 15): Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 3. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 5. place
LEFEVERE Jasper (BEL - WRL 22): Grand Prix Zagreb 2014: 1. place, European Open Glasgow 2013: 2. place, Panamerican Open San Salvador 2014: 3. place
KHALFAOUI Houcem (TUN - WRL 26): African Championships Maputo 2013: 1. place, African Championships Vacoa Fenix 2014: 2. place, African Championships Agadir 2012: 2. place

-73kg

MUKI Sagi (ISR - WRL 2): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Havana 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2014: 2. place
SCVORTOV Victor (UAE - WRL 3): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Abu Dhabi 2013: 1. place
DRAKSIC Rok (SLO - WRL 5): European Championships Budapest 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 2. place, Masters Baku 2011: 2. place
VAN TICHELT Dirk (BEL - WRL 6): Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 1. place, World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Miami 2013: 1. place
SAINJARGAL Nyam-Ochir (MGL (WRL 7): Masters Tyumen 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2013: 1. place
ORUJOV Rustam (AZE - WRL 9): Grand Slam Baku 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 3. place, Grand Slam Baku 2014: 3. place
TATALASHVILI Nugzari (GEO - WRL 12): Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 1. place, European Championships Budapest 2013: 2. place
POMBO DA SILVA Alex William (BRA - WRL 18): Panamerican Championships Guayaquil 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Almaty 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 3. place

-81kg

TCHRIKISHVILI Avtandili (GEO - WRL 1): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 1. place, World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 2. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 1. place
VALOIS-FORTIER Antoine (CAN - WRL 2): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 2. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 2. place, Panamerican Championships Guayaquil 2014: 2. place
PIETRI Loic (FRA - WRL 4): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 1. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 2. place
STEVENS Travis (USA - WRL 5): Grand Prix Dusseldorf 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Dusseldorf 2011: 1. place
MARESCH Sven (GER - WRL 8): Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Moscow 2011: 1. place
NAGASE Takanori (JPN - WRL 11): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 3. place
TOMA Sergiu (UAE - WRL 12): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Abu Dhabi 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2013: 1. place
MOUSTOPOULOS Roman (GRE - WRL 13): Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 3. place, European Championships Montpellier 2014: 5. place

-90kg

LIPARTELIANI Varlam (GEO - WRL 1): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 2. place, Grand Slam Paris 2013: 1. place, European Championships Montpellier 2014: 1. place
TOTH Krisztian (HUN - WRL 2): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 2. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Zagreb 2014: 1. place
VAN T END Noel (NED - WRL 5): Grand Prix Qingdao 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 2. place, Grand Slam Baku 2014: 2. place
GWAK Dong Han (KOR - WRL 6): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2013: 1. place
GVINIASHVILI Beka (GEO - WRL 9): Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2014: 3. place
ELMONT Guillaume (NED - WRL 10): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2013: 2. place, Grand Slam Paris 2011: 2. place
IDDIR Alexandre (FRA - WRL 12): Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 1. place, European Championships Montpellier 2014: 3. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 3. place
YOSHIDA Yuya (JPN - WRL 13): Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 1. place, Asian Games Incheon 2014: 1. place, World Cup Tashkent 2012: 1. place

-100kg

MARET Cyrille (FRA - WRL 2): Grand Slam Paris 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 1. place
FREY Karl-Richard (GER - WRL 3): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 3. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 2. place, Grand Prix Qingdao 2013: 1. place
MAMMADOV Elkhan (AZE - WRL 4): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 1. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 1. place, Grand Slam Baku 2013: 1. place
GASIMOV Elmar (AZE - WRL 5): Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 1. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 3. place, European Championships Montpellier 2014: 2. place
RAKOV Maxim (KAZ - WRL 6): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place, Masters Almaty 2012: 1. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 1. place
PETERS Dimitri (GER - WRL 7): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 1. place, World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Abu Dhabi 2013: 1. place
GROL Henk (NED - WRL 8): World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 2. place, Masters Tyumen 2013: 2. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 1. place
DARWISH Ramadan (EGY - WRL 11): African Championships Maputo 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 1. place, African Championships Vacoa Fenix 2014: 2. place

+100kg

OKRUASHVILI Adam (GEO - WRL 3): Masters Tyumen 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Tblisi 2014: 1. place
JABALLAH Faicel (TUN - WRL 5): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place, African Championships Vacoa Fenix 2014: 1. place, African Championships Maputo 2013: 1. place
MEYER Roy (NED - WRL 6): Grand Prix Zagreb 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014: 3. place, World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 5. place
SHICHINOHE Ryu (JPN - WRL 7): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 2. place, Grand Slam Paris 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 1. place
MATIASHVILI Levani (GEO - WRL 9): Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 2. place, Grand Slam Baku 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Ulaanbaatar 2014: 3. place
PASKEVICIUS Marius (LTU - WRL 10): Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Qingdao 2012: 1. place, Grand Prix Budapest 2014: 2. place
OJITANI Takeshi (JPN - WRL 12): Asian Games Incheon 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 2. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 3. place
BOR Barna (HUN - WRL 13): Grand Prix Astana 2014: 1. place, European Championships Budapest 2013: 3. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 3. place



SHEDULE

Friday 20 February

  • Men: -60kg | -66kg
  • Women: -48kg | -52kg | -57kg
  • 9:30 - Preliminaries
  • 16:15 - Opening ceremony
  • 17:00 - Final block

Saturday 21 February

  • Men: -73kg | -81kg
  • Women: -63kg | -70kg
  • 9:30 - Preliminaries
  • 17:00 - Final block

Sunday 22 February

  • Men: -90kg | -100kg | +100kg
  • Women: -78kg | +78kg
  • 9:30 - Preliminaries
  • 17:00 - Final block

2015 Dusseldorf Viewing Guide - Women's Category


And now, onto the women's category. Here are the stars to look out for in Dusseldorf:

-48kg
Pool A: Mongolia's Urantsetseg Munkhbat should win this pool easily.

Pool B: Japan's double World Champion Haruna Asami is still in top form and is the one to watch here.

Pool C: Brazil's Olympic champion Sarah Menezes will likely dominate this pool.

Pool D: Japan's young star and world champion Ami Kondo is the overall top favorite in this weight class. She recently beat Asami in the 2014 Tokyo Grand Slam. All eyes will be on her. Belgium's Charline Van Snick is on her comeback trail here but should not be an obstacle to Kondo.

-52kg
Pool A: Without doubt, Romania's Andreea Chitu is the top favorite but Japan's Yuka Nishida is making a comeback here.

Pool B: No real favorites here.

Pool C: Germany's Romy Tarangul is a (male) fan favorite but the likely winner in this pool is Brazil's Erika Miranda.

Pool D: Japan's double World Champion Misato Nakamura is the one to watch.

-57kg
Pool A: France's Automne Pavia is the top dog here. 

Pool B: Romania's Corina Caprioriu will probably top the pool here and is probably the overall top favorite for this category, especially since Japan's Kaori Matsumoto is not competing.

Pool C: No real favorite although the USA's Marti Malloy will likely top the pool.

Pool D: This is probably the toughest pool with Brazil's Rafaela Silva and Japan's world champion Udaka Nae likely to meet in the early rounds. Whoever wins will likely top the pool.

-63kgPool A: Not a very exciting pool although it'll be interesting to see how Alice Schlesinger performs for her new country, Great Britain.

Pool B: Also not very exciting.

Pool C: This is the third not-so exciting pool in this category.

Pool D: Make this the fourth not exciting pool in this weight class.

-70kg
Pool A: Laura Vargas Koch is Germany's best hope for a gold medal in Dusseldorf.

Pool B: Morocco's Assmaa Niang could be a dark horse.

Pool C: Canada's Kelita Zupancic could be another dark horse.

Pool D: No clear favorite here.

-78kg
Pool A: German fans will also be looking towards Louise Malzahn to deliver a gold medal here. If her teammate Vargas Koch can deliver a gold, perhaps she can deliver the second gold?

Pool B: USA's Kayla Harrison will be looking to stamp her authority here.

Pool C: Zzz...

Pool D: Probably Hungary's Abigel Joo will win this pool.

+78kg
Pool A: A potential third German gold medal could come from Franziska Konitz.

Pool B: Not very exciting although Japan's Kanae Yamabe will probably top the pool. Significantly, she recently beat Konitz in the 2014 Tokyo Grand Slam.

Pool C: Quite boring pool.

Pool D: Yawn...

2015 Dusseldorf Viewing Guide - Men's Category


Here are the male stars to look out for in the upcoming 2015 Dusseldorf Grand Prix.

-60kg
Pool A: Mongolia's Ganbat Boldbaatar is the world champion and a top favorite  (if not the top favorite).

Pool B: Japan's Naohisa Takato can be said to be a top favorite too. They didn't get a chance to meet in the 2014 Chelyabinsk World Championships because Takato got defeated by Russia's Besland Mudranov (who is not competing in Dusseldorf). A match up between Takato and Boldbaatar would be an exciting one indeed but the up-and-coming South Korean Kim Won-Jin is in this category too.

Pool C: Georgia Amiran Papinashvili is the clear favorite here.

Pool D: There is no clear favorite in this pool, which has several top players that could emerge victor. They include Azerbaijan's Orkhan Safarov, France's Sofiane Milous, Kazahkstan's Yeldos Smetov and Japan's Shishime Toru.

-66kg
Pool A: Mongolia's Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj will likely top this pool.

Pool B: Azerbaijan's Nijat Shikhalizada and France's David Larose are likely to battle it out here.

Pool C: No clear favorite here.

Pool D: Also no clear favorites, but I'd watch the veteran Elio Verde of Italy and two newcomers, Kengo Takaichi and South Korea's An Baul.

-73kg
Pool A: Israel's big thrower Sagi Muki is the one to watch here.

Pool B: Japan's Shohei Ono, who's had a shaky record since winning the gold at the 2013 Rio World Championships is still the top favorite here. But in this pool are Belgium's Dirk Van Tichelt and Mongolia's Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal both of whom could pull off an upset.

Pool C: No overwhelming favorite although UAE's Victor Scvortov is likely to top the pool.

Pool D: Slovenia's Rok Draksic is the likely victor here.

-81kg
Pool A: No question. Georgia's Avtandili Tchrikishvili is the odds-on favorite for the whole category. But Brazil's Leandro Guilhero is in this category too. It would be an exciting match if these two meet.

Pool B: A match up between USA's Travis Stevens and South Korea's Wang Ki-Chun would be fantastic.

Pool C: Really no top favorite here.

Pool D: France's Loic Pietri is the top man here but Japan's newcomer Takanori Nagase is a giant killer. In the recent 2014 Tokyo Grand Slam, he defeated Tchrikishvili, South Korea's Kim Jae-Bum and Russia's Ivan Nifontov -- all world champions!

-90kg
Pool A: Georgia' Varlam Liparteliani is always very exciting to watch and he is likely to emerge victor here although in his pool is Japan's stylish player Yuya Yoshida who could prove problematic for the Georgian. They have fought once in the IJF World Circuit and Yoshida won, but that was way back in 2010.

Pool B: South Korea's Gwak Dong Han is the rising star but Georgia's Beka Gviniashvili could be a dark horse.

Pool C: Hungary's rising star Krisztian Toth is the man to watch here but in his pool is Japan's Daiki Nishiyama. Toth should prevail though.

Pool D: The two hot players in this pool are from the Netherlands: up-and-coming Noel Van T End and veteran Guillaume Elmont. I give the edge to the younger of the two.

-100kg
Pool A: No real favorite although France's Cyrille Maret should pull through.

Pool B: A match up between Kazakhstan's Maxim Rakov and Mongolia's Tuvshinbayar Naidan should be very exciting. In their two most recent matches at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and 2014 Chelyabinsk World Championship, Naidan won. But Rakov beaten Naidan twice before. So it would be a great battle to watch.

Pool C: Without doubt, Henk Grol of the Netherlands although he is pushing 30.

Pool D: I'd say Elkhan Mammadov of Azerbaijan. Another oldie (at 32) but goodie.

+100kg
Pool A: Not very exciting pool. Likely winner is Georgia's Adam Okruashvili.

Pool B: Japan's Ryu Schichinohe, the man who came closest to throwing Teddy Riner at the 2014 Chelyabinsk World Championships, is the top favorite here.

Pool C: Also not very exciting. The likely winner is South Korea's Kim Sung-Min, who does quite well when Riner is not around.

Pool D: Again, not very exciting. The Netherland's Roy Meyer will probably pull through.