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

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