Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dusseldorf Grand Prix 2016 - Germany DAY 2

(Via IJF)

German fightback on day two as gold medals widely distributed 

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

The Dusseldorf Grand Prix 2016 showcased 191 judoka over four weight categories as Olympic and world champions were among the competitors striving for gold on the road to Rio 2016 at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle on Saturday.  

On day two of the seventh edition of the Dusseldorf Grand Prix medallists were crowned in the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s -73kg and -81kg categories.  

Before the final block, Mr. Vladimir BARTA, IJF Head Sports Director, took the occasion of the second day in Dusseldorf to reflect on the Grand Prix thus far which has been widely-regarded as one of the strongest in this Olympic cycle.

MR. BARTA said: “This Dusseldorf Grand Prix has undoubtedly been one of our strongest events and that is shown by not just the number of judoka and nations but the quality of athletes who are here in Germany.

“The Grand Prix has been held here in Dusseldorf since 2010 and you can see that the German Judo Federation has a great deal of professionalism and has all the experience and qualities required to successfully stage such an important competition which carries qualification points for Rio 2016.

“I would like to highlight the crowd who have shown a tremendous amount of respect and fair play to all of the competitors and it’s pleasing to see how much they are enjoying themselves. There are many club’s and young families in attendance and together they have generated a fine atmosphere.”

2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold medallist Ole BISCHOF (GER) and Mr, Marius VIZER, IJF President, speaking during the final block 

Olympic champion Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) was in -73kg action on Saturday alongside world champions ONO Shohei (JPN) and Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO).

On Sunday, the third IJF event of the season will conclude with the remaining five categories which will feature the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories and the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories.

London 2012 Olympic gold medallists Tagir KHAIBULAEV (RUS) and Idalys ORTIZ (CUB) will campaign in the -100kg category and +78kg category respectively while world champion GWAK Dong Han (KOR) is the leading man in the -90kg category and world champion YU Song (CHN) is the leading woman in the +78kg category.

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-63kg: TRSTENJAK lives up to red backpatch  

World champion Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) returned to form in Dusseldorf as she claimed gold in the -63kg category. Two weeks ago the Slovenian missed out on a medal in Paris as she finished fifth and was determined to bounce back at the first opportunity. TRSTENJAK, who was wearing a red backpatch on her judogi to indicate her status as a reigning world champion, defeated Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Alice SCHLESINGER (GBR) in the final. SCHLESINGER was penalised twice in quick succession for being passive and lost her way on the ground as TRSTENJAK held down her opponent for 20 seconds and the gold medal.  

In the first semi-final TRSTENJAK squeezed past world bronze medallist TSEDEVSUREN Munkhzaya (MGL). The -63kg judoka shared a podium at the World Championships in Astana last year and the Slovenian put herself on course for gold today by edging her Mongolian foe on shidos 0:2 after a scoreless four minutes. In the second semi-final SCHLESINGER bested former world champion Yarden GERBI (ISR) who was penalised for passivity at the start of their contest and from there the Briton maintained control. SCHLESINGER collapsed an uchi-mata attempt from GERBI before scoring a yuko from a drop seoi-nage. SCHLESINGER was penalised for a false attack as she looked to wind down the clock but with 28 seconds left was able to submit her former teammate for ippon.  

The first bronze medal was won by Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Ekaterina VALKOVA (RUS) who surprised GERBI by throwing the Israeli with a tomoe-nage for waza-ari and followed up with a kami-shiho-gatame hold for 15 seconds and her second consecutive Grand Prix bronze medal in 2016. The second bronze medal was claimed by TSEDEVSUREN who defeated Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Anna BERNHOLM (SWE). World number 27 BERNHOLM was penalised twice for passivity while her Mongolian opponent was only penalised once and that settled the contest after four minutes where neither judoka could trouble the scoreboard.              

SCHLESINGER, Alice (GBR) vs TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                                                                                                                                        
Bronze Medal Fights
GERBI, Yarden (ISR) vs VALKOVA, Ekaterina (RUS)       
TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL) vs BERNHOLM, Anna (SWE)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Final Results
1. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                       
2. SCHLESINGER, Alice (GBR)                                             
3. VALKOVA, Ekaterina (RUS)                                                 
3. TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL)     
5. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)                        
5. BERNHOLM, Anna (SWE)                                                                              
7. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)                            
7. KRSSAKOVA, Magdalena (AUT)       


-70kg: GRAF grabs gold for Grand Prix hat-trick              

Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner Bernadette GRAF (AUT) marked her return from injury with a scintillating display as she beat Tokyo Grand Slam winner ARAI Chizuru (JPN) in the -70kg final. GRAF was competing for the first time since a career-best fifth-place finish at the 2015 World Championships and looked even better than before as she won all five of her contests by ippon. GRAF required only 65 seconds to dismiss ARAI with a ura-nage as she countered a tame uchi-mata effort from the Japanese fighter for her third Grand Prix gold medal.

In the first semi-final ARAI abruptly ended the gold medal ambitions of top seed Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER) by holding down the German fighter with a tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds in the opening minute. In the second semi-final three-time world champion Yuri ALVEAR (COL) was submitted by GRAF. After 42 seconds ALVEAR paused for a second as she was waiting for the referee to call ‘matte’ and stop the action. However, GRAF was still working and got the shime-waza to capitalise on a rare mistake from the Colombian.

The first bronze medal was claimed by ALVEAR who defeated Havana Grand Prix winner Linda BOLDER (ISR). ALVEAR scored waza-ari with a fine right-sided ouchi-gari which proved to be the only score of the contest and the winner tapped the Colombian flag on her blue judogi in celebration.The second bronze medal contest was won by VARGAS KOCH who was dynamic on the ground as she defeated ne-waza expert Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Sally CONWAY (GBR) at her own game to win her country’s first medal at their home event. VARGAS KOCH was all smiles as she earned an important boost to her world ranking. 
GRAF, Bernadette (AUT) vs ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)                                                                                  
Bronze Medal Fights
ALVEAR, Yuri (COL) vs BOLDER, Linda (ISR)                         
CONWAY, Sally (GBR) vs VARGAS KOCH, Laura (GER)                         

Final Results
1. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)                                                    
2. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)                                                                            
3. ALVEAR, Yuri (COL)                                                       
3. VARGAS KOCH, Laura (GER)                                                                       
5. BOLDER, Linda (ISR)                           
5. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)                                                  
7. BERNABEU, Maria (ESP)                               
7. CORTES ALDAMA, Onix (CUB)                                                                                                                                                                    


-73kg: Fit-again ONO retains Dusseldorf title on return     

World champion ONO Shohei (JPN) returned to action in Dusseldorf and successfully retained his 2015 Dusseldorf title in a showing which sent out a message to his -73kg rivals as he closes in on his first Olympic Games. ONO, who missed the end of the 2015 season with a back injury, competed for the first time since winning his second world title last year and was unrivalled in Germany. ONO opposed world number one Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) in the -73kg final in their first meeting. The Japanese prodigy went ahead with a waza-ari from an uchi-mata which was the only score of the contest as the Japanese fighter showed that he is ready to claim his spot at Rio 2016.   

In the first semi-final ONO defeated world number one AN Changrim (KOR) with an uchi-mata earning a waza-ari score and AN was unable to respond with a score of his own. ONO was more active and was a comfortable winner as he overcame the challenge of one of his greatest rivals going into this Olympic Games and even Tokyo 2020. In the second semi-final ORUJOV surpassed Olympic champion Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO). London 2012’s gold medallist at -66kg struck first with a yuko from a makikomi effort but his Azerbaijan rival fought back and registered a waza-ari which was still the biggest score of the contest after five minutes.    

The first bronze medal was claimed by SHAVDATUASHVILI who defeated former European champion Rok DRAKSIC (SLO). While there was one Olympic champion on the mat, there was also an Olympic in the coaching chair as -63kg hero Urska ZOLNIR gave instructions to DRAKSIC. SHAVDATUASHVILI led by a yuko and sealed his fate by throwing with a stop-start uchi-mata as his Slovenian opponent could not get off the technique.
The second bronze medal was won by AN who inflated his team’s already impressive medal haul as he bested world number 151 NARANKHUU Khadbaatar (MGL). AN bided his time and produced a magical moment at the halfway point as he countered a failed drop seoi-nage as NARANKHUU left his neck exposed and AN seized the shime-waza opportunity and the Mongolian tapped out immediately. 

ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE) vs ONO, Shohei (JPN)                             
Bronze Medal Fights
SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) vs DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)                           
NARANKHUU, Khadbaatar (MGL) vs AN, Changrim (KOR)                                               

Final Results
1. ONO, Shohei (JPN)                               
2. ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)  
3. SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO)                                                          
3. AN, Changrim (KOR)             
5. DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)                                                                                  
5. NARANKHUU, Khadbaatar (MGL)  
7. SAINJARGAL, Nyam-Ochir (MGL)                             
7. ESPOSITO, Antonio (ITA)                                                                                                                       

-81kg: Dusseldorf specialist BOTTIEAU denies MARESCH            

World number 24 Joachim BOTTIEAU (BEL) won in Dusseldorf for the second year in a row as he denied Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Sven MARESCH (GER) in the -81kg final. BOTTIEAU saves his best judo for Dusseldorf and while he looks into the reasons for that pattern the German crowd and MARESCH had to settle for silver in the last contest of day two. MARESCH has never won his home Grand Prix and was left frustrated at the final hurdle as he was in 2014. BOTTIEAU scored a waza-ari with a reaching osoto-otoshi with 57 seconds remaining and MARESCH kept fighting for a route back but a tired tai-otoshi effort was shut down and the Belgian was again triumphant in Germany.   

In the first semi-final BOTTIEAU defeated Sofia European Open winner Giorgi PAPUNASHVILI (GEO) by a yuko score to secure his second successive Dusseldorf Grand Prix final while in the second semi-final Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Ivaylo IVANOV (BUL) was beaten by Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Sven MARESCH (GER) with a last-gasp drop seoi-nage.

The first bronze medal was won by IVANOV who continues to excel on the IJF World Judo Tour. The Bulgarian burst onto the IJF stage by winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in October and followed up with bronze at the Qingdao Grand Prix before starting 2016 with silver at the Paris Grand Slam. World number 10 IVANOV defeated fellow Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist OTGONBAATAR Uuganbaatar (MGL) on shido penalties 0:2 and is on the verge of breaking into the top eight in the world. The second bronze medal was won by home judoka Dominic RESSEL (GER) who defeated PAPUNASHVILI in a reverse of January’s Sofia European Open final. RESSEL claimed his first Grand Prix medal by fighting back from being a waza-ari down to levelling the scoreboard and then holding down the Georgian for 13 seconds for a yuko to take the lead. The German did not stop there as he countered PAPUNASHVILI with a ura-nage for a match-winning waza-ari with 63 seconds left.                                
MARESCH, Sven (GER) vs BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)         
Bronze Medal Fights
IVANOV, Ivaylo (BUL) vs OTGONBAATAR, Uuganbaatar (MGL)                   
PAPUNASHVILI, Giorgi (GEO) vs RESSEL, Dominic (GER)                                                 

Final Result
1. BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)                                                         
2. MARESCH, Sven (GER)                                  
3. IVANOV, Ivaylo (BUL)       
3. RESSEL, Dominic (GER)                                                      
5. OTGONBAATAR, Uuganbaatar (MGL)                                       
5. PAPUNASHVILI, Giorgi (GEO)   
7. MOUSTOPOULOS, Roman (GRE)           
7. DE WIT, Frank (NED)                                                                                                                                                             

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