Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Update on Hiraoka E-Book (Vol 2: Cross Grip Seoi-Nage)

Today I managed to finish the second volume, which looks at Hiraoka's cross grip seoi-nage, which he does to the left and to the right. A cross-grip seoi does not afford the same amount of control as a morote-seoi-nage so usually uke can avoid a large score like waza-ari or ippon and instead fall to the side for yuko. However, Hiraoka has some interesting finishings to ensure a bigger score is obtained. Here are thumbnails for today's work. (Next up, I'm going to look at Hiraoka's ippon-seoi-nage).

Monday, April 11, 2016

Update on Hiraoka E-Book (Vol 1: Morote-Seoi-Nage)

I've managed to compile the first volume of this multi-volume study of the judo of Hiraoka. The first one is about his morote-seoi-nage. Here visuals of the mock-ups for this volume.

Next up will be the volume on his cross-grip seoi-nage. Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Working on Hiraoka e-book

Hiroaki Hiraoka

The first e-book I'm working on is the judo of Hiraoka, whom I often refer to as the best Japanese player never to have won a world or Olympic title (although he came close to doing so several times with two World silver medals and an Olympic silver medal).

His technical wizardry is dazzling. In this e-book, I plan to analyze the various techniques he employs in competition. Techniques that will be featured are

 i) Morote-Seoi-Nage
ii) Cross Grip Seoi-Nage
iii) Ippon-Seoi-Nage
iv) Reverse Seoi-Nage
v) Sode-Tsuri-Komi-Goshi
vi) Kouchi-Makikomi
vii) Tomoe-Nage

In addition, I will be looking at the various innovative combination techniques that he uses to catch his opponents off guard. I might include some miscellaneous bonus materials in the form of one-off techniques that he doesn't use often.

I've looked at different e-book platforms and probably Amazon's Kindle is the best option. Still experimenting on how best to do this.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Samsun Grand Prix 2016 - Turkey DAY THREE


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

After the first two days of competition, which saw the French delegation take the lead of the nation ranking and the Turkish delegation climb to the second place at home, while, especially on the second day, the younger generation of champions pointed its nose, the public of the Yasar Dogu Sports Arena in Samsun was awaiting the heavier categories. Thus the last five weight categories which competed today were: Women’s -78kg and +78kg and Men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg.   

In the morning, the IJF President, Mr. Marius VIZER, visited the TOHM (Turkish Olympic Preparation Centre) training centre located in the centre of Samsun. Accompanied by the President of the Turkish Judo Federation, Mr. Fatih UYSAL, and Mr. Omer Altunsoy, Vice President of the Turkish General Directorate of Sports and Youth, as well as many officials, he discovered the excellent facilities offered to young competitors who are predestined to an international career.

The Samsun TOHM is part of a network of centres spread across the country. Three of them (Samsun, Kocaeli and Trabzon) provide full accommodation to young competitors aged 16 to 20, while the last two (Ankara and Konya) welcome athletes during the days for the training sessions.

“The project started two years ago“, explained Mr. Fatih UYSAL, before adding, “We have a strong partnership with the Minister of Youth and Sports. The athletes that are present here in Samsun for instance, receive full accommodation and their school fees are also covered as well as the medical care. They can train six days a week, two times a day.“ The objective of those centres is to prepare the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. “We prepare our future top level athletes“, said Mr. UYSAL, “and we also prepare their future career by giving them the possibility to follow their studying.“

From left to right: Mr. Fatih UYSAL, TJF President, Mr. Metin OZKAN, Samsun GP General Manager, Mr. Omer Altunsoy, Vice President of the Turkish General Directorate of Sports and Youth and Mr. Marius Vizer, IJF President

Four coaches, medical and school staff are at the disposal of the judoka. If the centres prepare the Turkish athletes, they also welcome foreign delegations that can come in Turkey during their preparation for the big events: “For instance, Georgia and Azerbaijan are regular users of our facilities and we will increase the capacity in the future to welcome more and more people,“ added the TJF President. So far the focus was put on the cadets and juniors categories, but the idea is to unite all the age categories to create a powerful group of athletes. “The visit of the IJF President is very important for us. It offers us visibility and credibility. The young athletes were really happy to see that the President of the International Federation came to visit them“, concluded Mr. Fatih UYSAL.

At the end of the visit, Mr. Vizer commented: “There are only a few countries in the world that can offer such kind of opportunities and facilities to their athletes. Congratulations to the tremendous work done by the federation and the Turkish authorities, particularly the Minister of Youth and Sports. You are on a good path. The necessity to have strong partnerships with the different Ministries (sports, youth, education) is crucial. With a good strategy, you can really achieve great results. You can be proud of the Turkish judo community, you have a beautiful judo family with a lot of good and competent people.“

From left to right: Mr. Fatih UYSAL, Mr. Natik Canca, Mr. Marius Vizer and Mr. Ibrahim Oztek

To illustrate this, during the visit of the dojo and of the accommodation facilities, Mr. Vizer had a fruitful discussion with Mr. Omer Altunsoy, Vice President of the Turkish General Directorate of Sports and Youth, and could exchange his views with three Turkish Judo Federation presidents (Mr. Fatih UYSAL, current President, and Mr. Ibrahim Oztek and Mr. Natik Canca, former TJF presidents).


-78kg: MALONGA Overcomes the Power of TCHEUMEO             

For the third day in a row, team France put its two athletes in the final as Audrey TCHEUMEO and Madeleine MALONGA both qualified to fight for the gold medal. Tcheumeo had two pretty easy first rounds as she successively defeated Park Yujin (KOR) and Marta TORT MERINO (ESP) in less than thirty seconds. In the semi-final she was opposed to the Cameroon Hortense Vanessa MBALLA ATANGANA and she actually had to wait until the end to win by a single yuko and two penalties. MALONGA’s way to the final was a little tougher but the young athlete perfectly controlled all her opponents to face a famous elder at the end of the day.

As usual Audrey TCHEUMEO started by putting a lot of pressure on her opponent who had to concede a first waza-ari with a well-executed sumi-gaeshi. But within a few seconds Tcheumeo was penalised three times for the wrong grip and for stepping outside of the fighting area. When the former world champion got penalised a fourth time for escaping from MALONGA’s grip, her waza-ari advantage just vanished giving the victory to her young teammate.

The first bronze medal fight saw the winner of the last Casablanca African Open, Marta TORT MERINO (ESP) and Yahima RAMIREZ (POR), who finished at the bottom of the podium on the occasion of the last World Championships in Chelyabinsk, facing for a place on the podium. RAMIREZ was the first to be penalised for a wrong grip with a shido. Then both athletes were penalised for passivity. Less than a minute to go and both competitors again were penalised with a shido: 2 for TORT MERINO, 3 for RAMIREZ and 18 seconds before the final gong, as the two protagonists were penalised again, the Portuguese was disqualified (4 shido) offering her first Grand Prix medal to Marta TORT MERINO.

The 2013 world champion, SOL Kyong (PRK), was present today in Samsun, seeking for more points for her Olympic qualification, but she was defeated by RAMIREZ in quarterfinal. She finally entered the final block to be opposed to Hortence Vanessa MBALLA ATANGANA (CMR) in the bronze medal fight. MBALLA ATANGANA started the fight by immediately imposing a high rhythm, but the experienced SOL tool advantage of the situation to score a first waza-ari before both athlete got penalised with a shido, one for passivity, the other for incorrect attack. The second strong attack of the former world champion gave her the opportunity to score a second waza-ari for a third Grand Prix medal here in Samsun.

TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA) vs. MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)

Bronze Medal Fights
TORT MERINO, Marta (ESP) vs. RAMIREZ, Yahima (POR)
SOL, Kyong (PRK) vs. MBALLA ATANGANA, Hortence Vanessa (CMR)

Final Results
1. MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)
2. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
3. SOL, Kyong (PRK)
5. MBALLA ATANGANA, Hortence Vanessa (CMR)
5. RAMIREZ, Yahima (POR)
7. DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS)

+78kg: KIM Tops the Medal Podium in Samsun

Top seeded and world number 8, Svitlana IAROMKA (UKR) had a perfect start until she was defeated by the Korean KIM Jiyoun in the semi-final. The last win for KIM on the occasion of a Grand Prix was in 2014 (Jeju). In the final she was opposed to the surprise of the day, Melissa MOJICA (PUR), who was coached by Jessica GARCIA, who we interviewed yesterday as she just finished the first level of the IJF Academy. Fight after fight, during the preliminary rounds, Melissa MOJICA proved that today was a good day for her. In the semi-final she was opposed to the second top seeded athlete, Jasmin KUELBS (GER), silver medallist of the last European Games. Dominated, and ahead by a shido, she did not abandon her task though and kept moving forward until she changed direction to score a beautiful waza-ari, that surprised everyone, including her.

A first shido was given to MOJICA after a little more than a minute of fight in the final. One minute later, the Puerto Rico athlete was penalised again for passivity as KIM was clearly more active and just before entering the last minute, both athletes received a shido for passivity, giving a clear option to the Korean for the final victory. In the last attack MOJICA was not strong enough to score and it is finally KIM who stepped on the top of the podium in Turkey.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Marine ERB (FRA), who is still hoping for an Olympic qualification in a category that in France is dominated by Emilie ANDEOL, and Jasmin KUELBS (GER). ERB was penalised after less than a minute for false attack and again a little later. Those two shido against her were enough to give the victory to KUELBS.

The two Ukrainian Iryna KINDZERSKA, bronze medallist in Tokyo last December, and Svitlana IAROMKA, winner of the Baku Grand Slam last year, met for the second bronze medal. After an observation round between the two Ukrainian, IAROMKA engaged a soto-makikomi technique for a yuko that she immediately followed on the floor for an immobilisation for ippon.

KIM, Jiyoun (KOR) vs. MOJICA, Melissa (PUR)

Bronze Medal Fights
ERB, Marine (FRA) vs. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)
KINDZERSKA, Iryna (UKR) vs. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)

Final Results
1. KIM, Jiyoun (KOR)
2. MOJICA, Melissa (PUR)
3. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)
3. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)
5. ERB, Marine (FRA)
7. CERIC, Larisa (BIH)
7. WEISS, Carolin (GER)


-90kg: Tactical KHALMURZAEV Wins Gold in Samsun

The only top seeded athletes (6th) of the category to enter the final was Mammadali MEHDIYEV (AZE), who had a difficult semi-final against the veteran of the day, Tiago CAMILO (BRA). 16 years ago, a record, the Brazilian was already present in Sydney, but it was in the -73kg weight category, where he obtained a silver medal losing to the Italian Giuseppe Maddaloni. 8 years later he won the bronze in Beijing in -81kg and in London finished 5th. Still at the top level, Camilo was close to enter the final when MEHDIYEV scored the yuko that opened the doors to a possible place on the top of the podium to the Azeri. In the final he was opposed to Khusen KHALMURZAEV, who was not among the favourites of the day.

After 45 seconds both athletes were penalised with a shido for blocking their opponent. One minute later, it was MEHDIYEV’s turn to be penalised again for avoiding the fight. The next penalty given to both athletes, put the Azeri in danger, only one penalty away from the disqualification. Concluding a very tactical match, KHALMURZAEV could keep the penalty difference in his benefit for a first Grand Prix victory for the Russian.

The first bronze medal fight saw Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP) and Tiago CAMILO (BRA) facing to step on the podium. After three minutes, SHERAZADISHVILI was the first to score a waza-ari with an opportunistic counterattack. But what a fighter! Two seconds before the final gong, CAMILO once again dropped on his knees for a superb drop-seoi-nage that was counted as a waza-ari, opening the doors of the golden score. A few seconds later, the Brazilian hooked the foot of SHERAZADISHVILI with a ko-uchi-gari for a second waza-ari, offering him the bronze medal.

In the second bronze medal fight it was Patryk CIECHOMSKI (POL) who was opposed to Dilshod CHORIEV (UZB). CHORIEV scored the first waza-ari with a left handed hane-goshi technique, close to a uchi-mata. CIECHOMSKI had to take some risks. The Uzbek took the opportunity to counterattack the weak uchi-mata of the Polish to score a second waza-ari to conclude the fight. This is the sixth Grand Prix medal for CHORIEV.

KHALMURZAEV, Khusen (RUS) vs. MEHDIYEV, Mammadali (AZE)

Bronze Medal Fights
CIECHOMSKI, Patryk (POL) vs. CHORIEV, Dilshod (UZB)

Final Results
2. MEHDIYEV, Mammadali (AZE)
3. CAMILO, Tiago (BRA)
3. CHORIEV, Dilshod (UZB)
7. NHABALI, Quedjau (UKR)
7. YESSEN, Samat (KAZ)

-100kg: The Youth and Determination of GVINIASHVILI Rewarded

The -100kg was announced as being a very interesting category and it was indeed. The world number one was defeated by Beka GVINIASHVILI (GEO), who is about to succeed in his bet to get qualified to the Games in the -100kg. The 20 year old judoka was Junior World Champion last year in -90kg, but in Georgia this weight class is in the hands of Varlam LIPARTELIANI. Thus GVINIASHVILI decided to try in the -100kg and apparently, at least today, that worked very well. In the final he faced Rafael BUZACARINI, world number 29. Among the other top seeded athletes of the day who were eliminated, were Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL), Maxim RAKOV (KAZ), Henk GROL or Elkhan MAMMADOV, the 2013 World Champion, the only big names of the category.

The first strong attack came from the Georgian side as GVINIASHVILI launched in two phases a powerful koshi-waza for a first yuko. In the meanwhile, BUZACARINI was penalised two times for passivity. One minute prior to the end, the Georgian was penalised with a first shido for passivity as the content pressure of the Brazilian started to weaken GVINIASHVILI’s defence. But the young athlete is a rock and despite a long competition day, he secured an important victory here in Samsun that might offer him the ticket to Rio de Janeiro next summer.

The first bronze medal fight saw CIRJENICS Miklos (HUN) facing Jorge FONSECA (POR), already bronze medallist last week in Georgia. Due to an injury FONSECA could not compete, and CIRJENICS won the bronze medal.

In the second bronze medal fight KHUTAG Tsogtgerel (MGL) was opposed to Ivan REMARENCO (UAE) but due to an injury REMARENCO could not compete and the bronze medal went to KHUTAG Tsogtgerel.


Bronze Medal Fights
CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN) vs. FONSECA, Jorge (POR)
KHUTAG, Tsogtgerel (MGL) vs. REMARENCO, Ivan (UAE)

Final Results
3. CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN)
3. KHUTAG, Tsogtgerel (MGL)
5. FONSECA, Jorge (POR)
7. FLETCHER, Benjamin (GBR)
7. RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)

+100kg: 18 Gold Medal in a Row for the King Riner    

The attraction of the day, once again, was the presence of Teddy RINER (FRA). Invincible since 2010, the French came to Samsun to fight, to test himself, after he had to withdraw from the Paris Grand Slam, last February, due to an injury. Having the passive silhouette of the French giant moving around the tatami always attracts more attention. Calm, sober in his judo, solid on his positions, dynamic on his leg, nothing seemed to bother him during the first rounds. He successively defeated Juhan METTIS (EST), Daniel ALLERSTORFER (AUT) and David MOURA in the semi-final, all by ippon. But RINER was here to experiment and not to rush through all the matches within a few seconds. Thus, comparing to other events, he spent quite a lot of time on the tatami. The ultimate favourite of the Rio Olympics, will definitely be hard to beat. Since Teddy Riner lost in the final of the Open World Championships in Tokyo in 2010 against KAMIKAWA Daiki (JPN), the French won more than 80 fights and more than 70% of them by ippon.

It is a courageous MATIASHVILI who stepped on the tatami, jauntily trying his luck. But after a couple of strong attacks, the RINER’s pressure slowly increased and the Georgian was penalised with a shido. The end of the fight was approaching and there were still only two shido in the advantage of the French. It is only on the last second that RINER was able to launch his uchi-mata for a yuko just on the edge of the fighting area. With this victory, RINER adds an 18th victory in a row to his incredible prize list and despite the courage of MATIASHVILI, he remains the king.

After the final, Teddy Riner declared: “Every competition is important. It was not my best tournament today, but I’m happy and I know what I have to improve until the Olympic Games. Honestly I didn’t expect that in the final. MATIASHVILI was really fighting and I love that, I need that. He took risks. Congratulations to him. I have put the injuries aside now. The next step for me is the European Championship and after I don’t know yet. I might take part in an other competition prior to the Games but it’s not decided yet. What is sure is that I’ll keep working hard, because I have a dream and that dream in 2016 is to become Olympic Champion again.“

The first bronze medal fight opposed the European Games champion, Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO) and Iurii KRAKOVETSKII (KGZ). After one minute and thirty seconds of observation without strong attacks, both competitors were penalised with a shido, and a few seconds later, it was OKRUASHVILI only who was penalised. But the small shido advantage of KRAKOVETSKII was not valid for very long and within a few second the Kirghiz was penalised two times, reaching three penalties. Forty seconds before the final gong, after a vacillating situation, OKRUASHVILI was finally able to overthrow KRAKOVETSKII for a waza-ari that was concluded on the floor for ippon and the ninth Grand Prix medal for the Georgian.

The second bronze medal fight saw Rafael SILVA (BRA) and David MOURA (BRA) facing off for a place on the podium. But more than that, for a place for the Olympics as well probably. At least today’s result will count. If Brazil is automatically qualified for the Games, which one of the heavy weight will represent the host country in Rio is not decided yet. After 50 seconds, SILVA was penalised a first time for passivity. A moment later, it was MOURA’s turn to collect a shido for passivity. Neither of the athletes being actually able to put the other one in danger, they had to enter into the golden score. 51 seconds were finally necessary for Silva to score a yuko with a small ko-uchi-gari.

RINER, Teddy (FRA) vs. MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)

Bronze Medal Fights
SILVA, Rafael (BRA) vs. MOURA, David (BRA)

Final Results
1. RINER, Teddy (FRA)
3. SILVA, Rafael (BRA)
5. MOURA, David (BRA)
7. BOR, Barna (HUN)

Judo E-Books

Some judo e-books coming your way. 

Watch this space!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Samsun Grand Prix 2016 - Turkey DAY TWO


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

After a particularly successful first day yesterday, the Samsun Grand Prix continued today with four more categories: Women’s -63kg and -70kg and Men’s -73kg and -81kg. One of the noticeable aspect of today’s competition is the fact that many young athletes were able to enter the final block of the event, some of them disputing the first Grand Prix final of their young career. This was the case for instance in the -73kg were both, the former double U23 European Champion, Damian Szwarnowiecki of Poland and the North Korean KIM Chol-Gwang, were newcomers at this level. Other experienced competitors had more difficulties to go through the preliminary rounds and being among the top seeded athletes was not a guarantee to win a medal in Samsun.

The Most Progress

The IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer, was present today in Samsun for this second day of competition. Just prior to the final block he was warmly welcomed by a delegation of the Turkish Judo Federation led by President Fatih Uysal, in the presence of several Turkish Authorities. Mr. Vizer also had the chance to meet one of the former presidents of the Turkish Judo Federation, Mr. Ibrahim Oztek, and exchanged presents with him. At the end of the day, Mr. Vizer declared: “I was really happy to be here. The organizing committee did a great job in staging this event, and the Turkish Judo Federation is probably one of the federations which made the most progress in organizing such an event. Efforts still need to be done to attract more people to the judo, to have a public totally in accordance with the high standard of the Grand Prix.“

The IJF President (fifth from the right) together with the Turkish delegation

A Raising Interest

After two days of competition, Mr. Vladimir Barta, the IJF Head Sport Director, explained why the Samsun Grand Prix is so interesting at this period of the Olympic qualification: “First of all, we are all happy about the good atmosphere that we had during those first two days. Of course this is due to the very good performance of the Turkish athletes, but generally speaking all athletes produced a good performance. It’s also very interesting to follow as we are step by step reaching the end of the Olympic qualification period. Many very good athletes are here to gain some precious points and are still struggling to get their ticket to go to Rio. But still, not all of them will be able to go to Brazil. So every fight is interesting and the tension is palpable, which definitely raises the interest of the Grand Prix. For some athletes, who performed here in Turkey, still everything can change in the next event. At the same time, we have top level competitors, whose qualification is almost guaranteed, and who participate in those events to secure their seeding in the Olympic draw. For all those reasons, the Samsun Grand Prix and the upcoming events are very interesting and that's also the reason why they attracts so many athletes and delegations.“

From Puerto Rico to Samsun, a True Success for the Academy

Jessica Garcia is a 35 years old dynamic young lady, who comes from Puerto Rico (PUR) and who obviously showed a big smile here in Samsun. In fact, last week she successfully finished the first level of the IJF Academy course that was held for the very first time in Mexico (read more). This weekend she is in Samsun to coach Melissa MOJICA in the women’s +78kg.

Jessica Garcia at the Samsun Grand Prix 2016

Jessica is a judo lover, a passionate of our sport. Former top level athlete, she participated in 2004 in the Athens Olympic Games. She put an end to her career in 2012 and she’s been practicing judo for 20 years already. Today she has become a coach and continues to invest her time and energy in the development of judo in Puerto Rico.

Concerning her experience at the IJD Academy, she explaines: “It was a big opportunity for me and for all the participants to take part in the IJF Academy. Thanks to our professors, we really learned a lot on how to teach judo, mainly from the grassroots level, but also at all levels. Especially in my country, we need to develop judo for all age groups.“

Then she added: “In Puerto Rico, It’s been five years that I’ve been dealing with young children in a sports school and now I’m really focussing on developing the basics of judo. That was the main subject of the level 1 of the IJF Academy. But I also work with the cadets, the juniors and the seniors and that’s why I’m here in Turkey this weekend and that’s also why being part of the Academy was so useful for me.“

Being asked if she will keep developing her skills, Jessika answers: “For sure I will keep learning and I want to pass the level 2 and 3 in the future. Generally speaking so far the girls have had better results than the men in judo in my country. Thanks to the IJF Academy and what I’ve learned, I feel that I am now ready to help the development of judo in any corner.“

Daniel Lascau, IJF Sports director and in charge of the technical part of the IJF Academy said: “Jessica successfully completed the course being a true example for her colleagues. The IJF Academy really offers the opportunity to spread quality judo throughout the world, on all five continents. Last week was the first time that the IJF Academy was held on the Pan American continent. We are very proud that it was launched together with the visit of President Marius Vizer, who came to open the IJF training center and visited Guadalajara where the upcoming World Masters will take place at the end of May and will conclude the Olympic qualification process.“

Judo fans can watch the final day of the Samsun Grand Prix 2016 live and free at www.ippon.tv

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-63kg: PINOT Adds One More Gold for France

None of the athletes in the eight seeded slots were able to enter into the final of the -63kg weight category. Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT), winner of the last Tbilisi Grand Prix last week and world number four, was thus defeated by the Brazilian Mariana SILVA, 28th in the world ranking, in the quarter-finals, while SILVA on her momentum eliminated the second Austrian of the category, Hilde DREXLER in the semi-finals. In the absence of the leader of the division, Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) and especially in the absence of her famous teammate, Clarisse AGBEGNENOU, Margot PINOT (FRA) had a perfect competition to join SILVA in the final. If it will be difficult or impossible for her to take the place of AGBEGNENOU to go to the Olympics, PINOT is positioned as a new safe bet in the category.

It took a little more than one minute and a half for PINOT to execute a superb yoko-tomoe-nage, that initiated applause in the stands, but for no score as SILVA landed on her stomach. But that definitely looked like a serious warning for the Brazilian. Thirty seconds from the end, it was SILVA’s turn to put PINOT in danger with a huge uchi-mata, but again for no score. It was time for the golden score. After two minutes of golden score, the final concluded as it started with a strong yoko-tomoe-nage for no score but enough to give a penalty for passivity to Silva and the victory to Margot PINOT.

Not present in the final, some of the top athletes of the day nevertheless were still running for a medal as Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT) was opposed to the Havana Grand Prix 2016 bronze medallist, Mia HERMANSSON (SWE), in the first bronze medal fight. After a few seconds, UNTERWURZACHER scored a yuko that she was able to save until the final gong for the tenth Grand Prix medal for the Austrian.

The second bronze medal contest also saw two seeded athletes meeting for a spot on the podium: the winner of the 2015 Qingdao Grand Prix, YANG Junxia (CHN), and the silver medallist of last year’s edition of the Samsun Grand Prix, Hilde DREXLER (AUT). Despite a strong battle in standing position, none of the competitors were able to score. But the fight was really interesting on the floor with long sequences of ground work from both sides, YANG taking the advantage by immobilising here opponent on the edge but for no score as DREXLER escaped. Then the Austrian was penalised two times for passivity, before YANG was actually able to conclude with an immobilisation for ippon 13 seconds before the end of the match. This was the third medal for the Chinese at that level of competition.

SILVA, Mariana (BRA) vs. PINOT, Margaux (FRA)

Bronze Medal Fights
YANG, Junxia (CHN) vs. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)

Final Results
1. PINOT, Margaux (FRA)
2. SILVA, Mariana (BRA)
3. YANG, Junxia (CHN)
5. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)


-70kg: GAHIE Upsets the Hierarchy

After the 100% French final of yesterday in -57kg, the French delegation once again placed both its athletes in the final of the -70kg weight category, since Marie-Eve GAHIE and Fanny Estelle POSVITE met to compete for the gold. The choice is announced Cornelian for France when it will come to determine the list of names that will go to the Games. The category is actually dominated by the current world champion, GĂ©vrise EMANE, but the younger generation is pushing very hard behind the experienced EMANE. Already silver medallist last week in Tbilisi, just behind the world number one Kim POLLING (NED), POSVITE who earned her first world medal last year in Astana in the shadow of her elder, is as serious contender for future selections. Marie-Eve GAHIE was more like a surprise but she showed really powerful judo throughout the preliminary rounds of the competition.

A little less active than her teammate, POSVITE was penalised with a first shido for passivity. Just 25 seconds before the end, it was GAHIE’s turn to be penalised with a shido, putting the two athletes in the position to enter the golden score. After 25 seconds in the extra time, GAHIE put POSVITE dangerously out of balance, enough to make POSVITE penalised with a shido, which in golden score was synonymous of victory for the young Marie-Eve GAHIE.

The two athletes, Gulnoza MATNIYAZOVA (UZB) and Maria PEREZ (PUR), who competed in the first bronze medal fight were not among the favourites of the category in the morning of the tournament. There are moments in the life of a judoka, when everything looks easy. That’s probably what Maria PEREZ felt today when she launched an unstoppable harai-makikomi technique for ippon and a bronze medal. Her coach, on the side of the tatami, who also participated in the IJF Academy (see before) could celebrate this great achievement.

Among the other favourites who lost during the preliminary rounds, only ZHOU Chao (CHN) was able to reach the final block to face Elvismar RODRIGUEZ (VEN) in the second bronze medal contest. Zhou was quickly penalised with a shido for passivity. Just half way to the end, RODRIGUEZ scored a waza-ari with a right handed uchi-mata, which she followed on the floor with an immobilization for ippon and a first Grand Prix medal for the Venezuelan.

Elvismar RODRIGUEZ (VEN) is currently training at the IJF training center in Hungary and was among the athletes helped to come to Samsun to participate in the Grand Prix.

GAHIE, Marie Eve (FRA) vs. POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)

Bronze Medal Fights
MATNIYAZOVA, Gulnoza (UZB) vs. PEREZ, Maria (PUR)
ZHOU, Chao (CHN) vs. RODRIGUEZ, Elvismar (VEN)

Final Results
1. GAHIE, Marie Eve (FRA)
2. POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)
3. PEREZ, Maria (PUR)
3. RODRIGUEZ, Elvismar (VEN)
5. ZHOU, Chao (CHN)
7. MANSOUR, Lola (BEL)
7. TAEYMANS, Roxane (BEL)


-73kg: First Golden Appearance of SZWARNOWIECKI

Having won only a single medal in a Grand Prix so far (bronze medallist Qingdao in 2015), the North Korean, KIM Gwang Chol was the surprise guest of the final of the -73kg. He took all his preliminary fights with great seriousness and especially a flawless technique which allowed him to eliminate Guillaume CHAIN in the semi-final on a clear score, ippon after less than two minutes. It was a complete shock among the favourites in this category, since none of the eight seeded competitors was able to enter the final, most of them also disappearing from the final ranking of the day, like SAINJARGAL Nyam-Ochir (MGL), Dex ELMONT (NED), Alex William POMBO SILVA (BRA) or Nicholas DELPOPOLO (USA). The host country believed that Hasan VANLIOGLU (TUR) could also join his three comrades who yesterday were present in the final of the 2016 Samsun Grand Prix. But the entrance to the final was finally blocked by a combative Damian SZWARNOWIECKI (POL).

The final immediately started on a high rhythm, as both competitors were attacking in all directions. The strongest attack was executed by KIM but it didn’t score this time, while SZWARNOWIECKI was penalised with a shido for passivity. Just after three minutes, the Polish athlete dropped under the centre of gravity of his opponent to hook his leg (ko-uchi-gari) for waza-ari. Suddenly KIM seemed incapable of finding any solution against SZWARNOWIECKI, who, despite some penalties for passivity maintained the score to win a well deserved gold medal.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Georgios AZOIDIS (GRE) and the silver medallist of last year’s edition of the Grand Prix, Hasan VANLIOGLU (TUR). The first strong attack came from VANLIOGLU, who threw AZOIDIS with a sumi-gaeshi for no score. But the Greek being less active than his opponent was quickly penalised with a shido for passivity. Attacking in all directions, VANLIOGLU was also taking the risk to make false attacks, and he was penalised two times. But that’s the moment, he launched a desperate ko-uchi-gari that was counted as a waza-ari. One minute before the end, the Turkish athlete was penalised a third time putting him in danger despite his waza-ari. The atmosphere was starting to get electric as the last seconds were counted but finally VANLIOGLU could keep his advantage to win a third Grand Prix medal and the fourth medal of the Turkish delegation on the occasion of the 2016 edition of the Grand Prix.

The second survivor of the seeded athletes still present in the final block was Guillaume CHAINE (FRA) who faced Nuno SARAIVA (POR) for the last spot in the podium. The first shido was given to the Portuguese for passivity, when a few seconds later, CHAINE scored a beautiful waza-ari with o-uchi-gari. The French seemed to perfectly control the fight, maybe too much, when SARAIVA suddenly dropped on his knees for a superb drop-sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for a clear ippon.

KIM, Chol Gwang (PRK) vs. SZWARNOWIECKI, Damian (POL)

Bronze Medal Fights
AZOIDIS, Georgios (GRE) vs. VANLIOGLU, Hasan (TUR)
SARAIVA, Nuno (POR) vs. CHAINE, Guillaume (FRA)

Final Results
2. KIM, Chol Gwang (PRK)
3. SARAIVA, Nuno (POR)
5. AZOIDIS, Georgios (GRE)
5. CHAINE, Guillaume (FRA)
7. ESPOSITO, Antonio (ITA)
7. SAINJARGAL, Nyam-Ochir (MGL)

-81kg: IVANOV Climbs More Steps in Samsun

There was truly extraordinary fights in this last male category of the day, such as this WANG Ki-Chun vs. KIM Jae-Bum in the semi-final, which was a bit overshadowed by the fight of the -73kg category on the other tatami in which the Turkish VANLIOGLU was trying to qualify for the final. It must be said that KIM is the defending Olympic champion of the category. But the qualification for Rio is also disputed by WANG who was long the world number one in -73kg before he decided to try his luck in the upper category. Both competitors fought like crazy, putting all their energy into the match, knowing without doubt that the outcome of this could be a ticket to the game for one of them, but not for the other. At this game, it is WANG who won with a waza-ari to KIM. After the battle, the first came to respectfully greet his teammate. This match should stay in the archives. In the final WANG was opposed to the young Ivaylo IVANOV (BUL), who competition after competition shows that he might be among the favourites of the Rio Games.

World champion in 2009 in -73kg, WANG proved once again that he is an incredible champion with an incredible longevity. After more than two minutes, he was ahead of IVANOV by two penalties, imposing him a torrid pace. But this is the moment IVANOV chose to score a brilliant waza-ari with ko-uchi-gake on the edge of the fighting area. Perfectly controlling the end of the fight, IVANOV could secure a very precious victory.  After his victory, IVANOV explained how happy he was with this new step towards the Olympics and that the support that he received from the IJF was really helpful. (Ivaylo IVANOV is among the athletes supported by the IJF to participate in the World Judo Tour events).

The first bronze medal fight opposed the 2015 Junior World Champion, Frank DE WIT (NED) and the more experienced Joachim BOTTIEAU (BEL). The fight was very tactical as none of the two judoka could score, but BOTTIEAU more experienced could finally secure the medal with an advantage of one penalty (3-2).

The second bronze medal fight saw the winner of the 2015 Tashkent Grand Prix, Sergiu TOMA (UAE), and the 2012 Olympic champion, KIM Jae-Bum (KOR), fighting for the last spot on the podium. Only a few seconds were necessary to TOMA to score a perfect action-reaction technique for one of the best ippons of the day.

WANG, Ki-Chun (KOR) vs. IVANOV, Ivaylo (BUL)

Bronze Medal Fights
DE WIT, Frank (NED) vs. BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)
TOMA, Sergiu (UAE) vs. KIM, Jae-Bum (KOR)

Final Results
1. IVANOV, Ivaylo (BUL)
2. WANG, Ki-Chun (KOR)
3. BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)
3. TOMA, Sergiu (UAE)
5. DE WIT, Frank (NED)
5. KIM, Jae-Bum (KOR)
7. PACEK, Robin (SWE)


Sunday April 3, 2016

Start: 10:00 on 3 tatami
Final block: 17:00 on 1 tatami

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

Location: Yasar Dogu Sports Arena, Samsun, Turkey

Friday, April 1, 2016

Samsun Grand Prix 2016 - Turkey DAY ONE


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

The first day of the Samsun Grand Prix ended with a festive air for the host country as three Turkish athletes entered the final, while the organisers and the International Judo Federation could be pleased with the quality of the organisation which was flawless throughout the day. Five categories were engaged today: women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57 and men’s -60kg and -66kg.

Just prior to the final block of this first day of competition, Mr. Fatih Uysal, President of the Turkish Judo Federation, during his opening speech, said: “I’m very pleased to welcome all IJF members, judoka, guests, participants and spectators to the Samsun Grand Prix 2016 tournament. On behalf of the Turkish Judo Federation, I firstly would like to thank the Governor of Samsun, Metropolitan municipality, Samsun Judo Province Manager and Turkish Judo federation personnel for their huge support to our judo family. And, I would like to thank all referees, technical teams, coaches and athletes. I wish good luck to the organisers and the competitors and to all officials. I am confident that you will maintain the values and spirit of judo in your actions and wish you a pleasant time here in Samsun and safe and peaceful return back home.“

Opening ceremony of the Samsun Grand Prix

During the opening ceremony the Governor of Samsun province, Mr. Ibrahim SAHIN declared: “Samsun is proud to host again the Grand Prix, which is one of the most popular judo event in the world. Samsun province which successfully hosted several major sporting events, is now the host of a Grand Prix Competition which is held in just 11 countries around the world. This competition attracted about 400 athletes from 67 countries. I believe that such a great and prestigious tournament contributes to develop judo in Turkey and this competition proves the success of Samsun in hosting international sporting events. We are welcoming Olympic medallists and talented athletes from all over the world, trying to get qualify for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. I am glad to welcome all athletes, referees, coach, team members, and participants to Samsun, Turkey. I wish success to all participating athletes.”

During his opening speech Mr. Vladimir Barta, IJF Head Sports Director, said: “Dear Mr. Governor, Dear Mr. President, dear public, athletes and coaches, in the name of the IJF and the IJF President, Mr. Vizer, I am particularly happy to welcome you all in Samsun for the fourth edition of the Grand Prix. The level of participation is very high with 397 athletes from 67 nations and the points attributed today will definitely count for the Olympic qualification. Thank you to all the organisers, who did a great job in organising such a successful event.“

 Then Mr. Barta declared the Samsun Grand Prix 2016 in Turkey, open.

Mr. Fatih Uysal, was a happy President of the Turkish Judo Federation at the end of this first day of competition: “I am simply happy. Our athletes were fantastic today. The level is very high and the concurrence very strong. But despite this, we were able to secure three medals even before the start of the final block. I really would like to thank the IJF and its President, Mr. Marius Vizer, for having put so much trust in us to organise such an important event. This is crucial for the development of judo in Turkey and in our region. Over the years, our ability to hold big competitions has increased and I’m sure that it will also help us to improve our judo level and get medals at all levels. We try our best to develop judo in Turkey, with the strong support of the Minister of Sports and the today’s results show that we are on the good tracks.“ 

Joyful public today at the judo venue

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-48kg: GALBADRAKH Confirms in Samsun

Knowing that she is already sure to participate in the Games next summer, the current Olympic champion, and currently third in the world ranking, Sarah Menezes (BRA), came to Samsun for reassurance and to garner a few more points to obtain a stronger position on the World Ranking List. But everything did not go the way she planned as she was surprisingly eliminated by the French fighter, Laetitia PAYET, winner of the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix last year, in the quarter final, who with that victory thought that she already made a big step forward to the gold today in Samsun. But Otgontsetseg GALBADRAKH, winner of the last Paris Grand Slam, earlier this year, had a different opinion and blocked Payet at the gate of the final with a clear victory (waza-ari and yuko on beautiful and powerful counterattacks). In the final the Kazakh was opposed to Dilara LOKMANHEKIM, who made the Turkish crowd stand up for the first time of the day, when she defeated Shira RISHONY (ISR) in the semi-final, by shido. With this place in the final, LOKMANHEKIM, already gains precious points to outstrip her teammate Ebru SAHIN for a place in the Turkish Olympic team, as before the start of the competition, both athletes were respectively ranked 13 and 14.

The temperature of the Yasar Dogu Sports Arena suddenly raised as both athletes entered the competition area, the public warmly encouraging Dilara LOKMANHEKIM and chanting ’TURKIYE, TURKIYE’. But that was not enough to boost the 21 year old Turkish athlete who was quickly thrown two times, the first one with a sumi-gaeshi for waza-ari, followed a few seconds later by a massive ura-nage (counterattack) for a full ippon. With that new victory, GALBADRAKH confirms that she will be among the favourites of the Olympic Games in Rio.

Defeated but still running for a medal, Menezes was opposed to Shira RISHONY (ISR), silver medallist in Cuba last January, in the first bronze medal contest of the day. The first strong action was produced by RISHONY with a drop seoi-nage, perfectly controlled by MENEZES for no score. Then MENEZES took a small advantage (one shido) as the Israeli was pushing her outside of the fighting area. The Olympic champion calmly controlled the end of the match to one more time step on an international podium.

The second bronze medal fight opposed, KIM Sol Mi (PRK) and Laetitia PAYET (FRA), both athletes being respectively ranked 23 and 24 at the World Ranking List, which does not guarantee an Olympic qualification yet. After a few seconds, a first sasae attempt from PAYET put KIM out of balance but the North Korean landed on her stomach for no score. PAYET took the advantage as KIM was penalised with a shido for blocking her opponent, but it was then the turn of the French to be penalised. As the fight was running, KIM was again penalised two times, before PAYET could apply her preferred overturn to immobilize KIM for ippon and to win her eighth Grand Prix medal.

GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (KAZ) vs. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)

Bronze Medal Fights
MENEZES, Sarah (BRA) vs. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)
KIM, Sol Mi (PRK) vs. PAYET, Laetitia (FRA)

Final Results
1. GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (KAZ)
3. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)
3. PAYET, Laetitia (FRA)
5. KIM, Sol Mi (PRK)
5. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)
7. KILIC, Nazlican (TUR)
7. PODRYADOVA, Alexandra (KAZ)

-52kg:  BABAMURATOVA Tops the Medal Podium in Samsun      

Laura GOMEZ (ESP) was not among the top athletes of the category this morning. Nevertheless, she had a really good day and was able to eliminate the top seeded competitor of the day, the French judoka Annabelle EURANIE (winner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in 2015) in the semi-final, as the French was incapable of imposing her cross grip throughout the match, offering the victory to GOMEZ by shido. In the final, the Spanish faced Gulbadam BABAMURATOVA (winner of the 2015 edition of the Tashkent Grand Prix), who confirmed her second position in the draw by successively defeating Irem KORKMAZ (TUR), MUNKHBAATAR Bundmaa (MGL) and Joana RAMOS (POR).

After less than thirty seconds, BABAMURATOVA scored a first yuko with a large left handed ippon-seoi-nage to take the advantage over GOMEZ. Before they entered the last minute, both athletes were penalised two times in a row with a shido for passivity. But the first yuko made the difference and offered a second gold medal on the occasion of a Grand Prix to BABAMURATOVA.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the silver medallist of last week’s Grand Prix in Tbilisi, Gili COHEN (ISR) and Joana RAMOS (POR), winner of a Grand Slam in 2015, that was in Tyumen, Russia. RAMOS was penalised with a shido before the half of the fight as COHEN was much more active than her, but still lacking of precision to be able to score. It is not the penalty that was given to both athlete which changed anything in the final result, Gili COHEN winning her tenth Grand Prix medal.

In the second bronze medal fights, Distria KRASNIQI (KOS), Junior World Champion, was not able to reproduce her performance of last year, when she won here in Samsun and she faced Annabelle EURANIE (FRA) for a spot on the podium. It is a total opposition of style that KRASNIQI and EURANIE demonstrated, as the French was almost a head taller than her opponent. After four minutes, nothing was written on the scoreboard and the two competitors had to enter into the golden score. After 36 seconds, EURANIE was penalised with a shido for blocking her opponent, immediately giving the victory and the medal to KRASNIQI.

GOMEZ, Laura (ESP) vs. BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)

Bronze Medal Fights
COHEN, Gili (ISR) vs. RAMOS, Joana (POR)
KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS) vs. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)

Final Results
2. GOMEZ, Laura (ESP)
3. COHEN, Gili (ISR)
3. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
5. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)
5. RAMOS, Joana (POR)
7. SKRYPNIK, Darya (BLR)

-57kg: RECEVAUX Takes the Lead Over PAVIA

This was a 100% French final to which the public discovered in the -57kg weight category, since the two athletes brought by the French delegation, Helene RECEVEAUX and Automne PAVIA qualified in for the final in a fratricidal struggle for qualification points. Currently ranked 7th on the World Ranking List, Recevaux appears to have the advantage over her elder. But Pavia is ambushed not far behind (13th) and she has not yet given up, knowing that she already has experience of the Olympic Games (3rd in London) and at the top world level (World medallist). The fight between the two athletes promises to be relentless until the last moment of the Olympic qualification period.

The first dangerous attack came from PAVIA, with her ample uchi-mata, which threw RECEVAUX on her stomach for no score, before she was penalised with a first shido for passivity. RECEVAUX was again penalised with a second shido and a third one, while PAVIA was only penalised two times. There were only two seconds left on the scoreboard and PAVIA seemed to have the gold medal firmly in her hands, which would have put her in a very positive position against RECEVAUX for the Olympic qualification. But RECEVAUX launched a very last uchi-mata for waza-ari, which totally changed the final result and maybe the upcoming selection.

The first bronze medal fight opposed the winner of the 2015 Zagreb Grand Prix, Nekoda SMYTHE DAVIS (GBR) and Theresa STOLL (GER), who was defeated by PAVIA in the semi-final by three yuko. STOLL was penalised a first time for stepping outside of the fighting area. It was then STOLL and SMYTHE DAVIS, who were penalised as both athletes entered the second half of the match, when the British athlete launched a o-uchi-gari for waza-ari. Being again penalised SMYTHE DAVIS was one shido from a disqualification and had to be careful. But she scored again a yuko a few seconds before the final gong securing a fifth medal on a Grand Prix and some precious points.

The second bronze medal contest saw the bronze medallist of the last World Championships, Sanne VERHAGEN (NED), facing Miryam ROPER (GER) who obtained a beautiful bronze medal last weekend in Tbilisi by defeating Automne PAVIA to step on the podium. ROPER scored a first waza-ari with a powerful te-waza technique, which gave no change of escape to VERHAGEN. It was just missing a bit of speed to transform it into a ippon. Then Miryam ROPER had simply to control and wait for the end of the fight to win her tenth medal on the occasion of a Grand Prix, one week after her last medal, in Tbilisi.

RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA) vs. PAVIA, Automne (FRA)

Bronze Medal Fights
SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR) vs. STOLL, Theresa (GER)
VERHAGEN, Sanne (NED) vs. ROPER, Miryam (GER)

Final Results
1. RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA)
2. PAVIA, Automne (FRA)
3. ROPER, Miryam (GER)
5. STOLL, Theresa (GER)
5. VERHAGEN, Sanne (NED)
7. EQUISOAIN, Jaione (ESP)
7. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)


-60kg: OZLU Delights the Turkish Public

The public of the Yasar Dogu Sports Arena in Samsun, had good reason to be satisfied and happy with the course of their fighters, since the final opposed Ahmet Sahin KABA (TUR) and Bekir OZLU (TUR) who both had a flawless competition since the morning in a very tough weight category. KABA eliminated the top seeded competitor, Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE), early during the preliminary rounds, before defeating the world number 16 and likely French representative in Rio next summer, Vincent LIMARE, in the semi-final. Bekir OZLU (TUR) was also coming from far as he was not seeded and successively eliminated Aaron KUNIHIRO (USA), Sergio PESSOA (CAN), Diyorbek UROZBOEV (UZB) and Ilgar MUSHKIYEV (AZE).

What is sure is that both athletes perfectly know each other. KABA launched a first super strong ko-uchi-gari, from which OZLU miraculously escaped for no score, just before KABA was penalised with a shido for a wrong grip. But it was OZLU’s turn to show all his skills to produce aerial uchi-mata, which saw his teammate penalised again for passivity as he was just escaping from the danger. It was finally with a low version of his uchi-mata, that OZLU scored the first positive score (waza-ari), giving him a strong lead. But it was with a last penalty given to KABA for stepping outside of the fighting area, that OZLU won the first gold of the Turkish delegation.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Yanislav GERCHEV (BUL) and Ilgar MUSHKIYEV (AZE), silver medallist this year in Paris. After a little more than a minute, MUSHKIYEV scored a first yuko, already taking a strong advantage over GERCHEV, who was then penalised with a shido. The Azeri increased the score with a o-uchi-gari for waza-ari this time. The least that can be said, is that
GERCHEV tried to score and until the last seconds he was pushing to put more and more pressure on MUSHKIYEV’s shoulders, but the Azeri perfectly controlled his opponent to keep the score and win the bronze.

For the second bronze medal, Diyorbek UROZBOEV (UZB) saw Vincent LIMARE (FRA) stepping on the mat to dispute him for the precious points of the Olympic qualification. After one minute and a half, the scoreboard was still empty but LIMARE was penalized with a first shido for passivity. Just before the last minute, it was the turn of UROZBOEV to be penalised as the French was more active than him. But as LIMARE was launching a last not enough prepared left handed seoi-nage, the Uzbek scored a yuko with a counterattack, enough to offer him a fifth bronze medal on the occasion of a Grand Prix.

KABA, Ahmet Sahin (TUR) vs. OZLU, Bekir (TUR)

Bronze Medal Fights
GERCHEV, Yanislav (BUL) vs. MUSHKIYEV, Ilgar (AZE)
UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB) vs. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)

Final Results
1. OZLU, Bekir (TUR)
2. KABA, Ahmet Sahin (TUR)
3. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
5. GERCHEV, Yanislav (BUL)
5. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)
7. BAGIROV, Arif (BLR)
7. TELMANOV, Askhat (KAZ)

-66kg: KIM Limhwan Wins Gold for the First Time in Samsun

The last male category of the day was dominated by Asia as the 2015 Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist, DOVDON Altansukh (MGL) and KIM Limhwan (KOR), who finished at the bottom of the podium in Paris last February, qualified for the final.

Both athletes spent almost the first minute of the final on the ground, as DOVDON tried to immobilise KIM, but the Korean could finally escape from the trap set up by DOVDON, but not without some judogi marks on his face after an impressive defence. The next four minutes were equally dominated by KIM and DOVDON, who couldn’t score and the two competitors entered the golden score still with an empty scoreboard. The first ko-uchi-gari for KIM was very close to scoring as well as another confused action one minute later, but still nobody could say who the winner would be. After more than two minutes in the golden score, it is finally a shido given to DOVDON that gave the victory to KIM and the first gold medal on the occasion of a Grand Prix for 23 year old athlete.

The first bronze medal contest opposed, Gevorg KHACHATRIAN (UKR) and Azamat MUKANOV (KAZ), neither of them being among the favourites of the category. After a first unfruitful attack with a seoi-nage on one hand, KHACHATRIAN scored a first yuko again with a seoi nage technique. Despite the shidos that were distributed on both sides until the end of the contest, it is an exhausted KHACHATRIAN who finally won his first Grand Prix medal.

The same scenario happened in the second bronze medal fights, as Ferdinand KARAPETIAN (ARM) and Yakub SHAMILOV (RUS), were not among the top seeded competitors today in Samsun. Thus it was a difficult day for those who came here to gain the important points that were needed to secure a place on the top of the category. The beginning of the fight looked quite balanced when SHAMILOV caught KARAPETIAN’s leg, which is forbidden and immediately got disqualified. Ferdinand KARAPETIAN won his first Grand Prix medal, his best result so far was a seventh place at the 2015 Tashkent Grand Prix.

DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL) vs. KIM, Limhwan (KOR)

Bronze Medal Fights
KARAPETIAN, Ferdinand (ARM) vs. SHAMILOV, Yakub (RUS)

Final Results
1. KIM, Limhwan (KOR)
2. DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)
3. KARAPETIAN, Ferdinand (ARM)
5. MUKANOV, Azamat (KAZ)
5. SHAMILOV, Yakub (RUS)
7. ARDANOV, Anzaur (RUS)
7. MINKOU, Dzmitry (BLR)


Saturday April 2, 2016

Start: 10:00 on 3 tatami
Final block: 17:00 on 1 tatami

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

Sunday April 3, 2016

Start: 10:00 on 3 tatami
Final block: 17:00 on 1 tatami

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

Location: Yasar Dogu Sports Arena, Samsun, Turkey