Saturday, April 29, 2017

Budapest will be Riner's toughest World Championships

Teddy Riner has been unbeatable since 2010 when he lost to Daiki Kamikawa (JPN) by decision in the Open category of the 2010 Tokyo World Championships. Since then, nobody has come close to defeating him.

Japan's Ryu Shichinohe nearly scored against Riner with ouchi-gari in the final of the 2014 Chelyabinsk World Championships but for most of the match he was unable to cope with Riner's high right hand grip. This was also the case in the 2015 Rabat World Masters and 2015 Astana World Championships.

Two players gave Riner a pretty good fight in the 2016 Rio Olympics: Israel's Or Sasson and Japan's Hisayoshi Harasawa. Sasson, who has good drop techniques managed to get underneath Riner with a drop sode and actually launched Riner but did not have enough control to rotate him. Harasawa had some difficulty with Riner's high right arm and got an early penalty for that. But he quickly overcame the fear of the right arm and fought Riner well for the rest of the match, although he was unable to score.

Both Harasawa and Sasson do not seem to fear Riner, which stands them apart from the rest of the players in the heavyweight category. Brazil's Rafael Silva, for example, always fights Riner with a scared look on his face. Perhaps justifiably so but that's why he'll never beat Riner. Shichinohe also has that fear which is why Harasawa has a better chance against Riner.

Harasawa doesn't seem to fear Riner.
Harasawa's challenge is that he is an uchimata man and that technique is unlikely to work against Riner who is bigger and taller than Harasawa. If these two meet again, the match is likely to be determined by shido -- either hansoku-make after three shidos or a shido win in Golden Score.

Sasson doesn't fear Riner and can drop underneath him.
Sasson, in contrast, might actually have a chance to throw Riner if he is able to maintain a strong grip on Riner while dropping. Easier said than done of course. But if there's any throw that's gonna take Riner over, it will probably be a drop technique.

Georgia's Levan Matiashvili created a bit of a splash last year when he gave Riner a tough time in three international competitions. He lost each time but he fought the good fight and showed no fear of Riner's high right arm. His good performance against Riner got everyone guessing whether 2017 might be his breakthrough year but he has since been eclipsed by Guram Tushishvili who just won the 2017 Warsaw European Championships, defeating the much larger Adam Okruashvili in the final.

Tushishvili has drop techniques but has yet to fight Riner.
Like Israel's Sasson, Tushishvili is a drop seoi-nage man. He is relatively small for a heavyweight (having just moved up from -100kg and -90kg before that) but his athleticism might make up for his lack of weight and size. He has never fought Riner though and will probably have some difficulty with Riner's right arm the first time they fight. For him to have a chance of beating Riner in Budapest, he will need to get in at least one fighting experience with Riner. Although Riner doesn't compete much, he is bound to compete in one or two of the IJF World Tour events leading up to Budapest. So, that will be Tushishvili's chance.

Very athletic but doesn't have drop techniques.
Another very athletic heavyweight is Lukas Krpalek, who has just moved up from -100kg. Krpalek has long been touted as a potential challenger to Riner precisely because of his athleticism. But Krpalek's shortcoming when it comes to Riner is that he doesn't really do drop techniques. Leg techniques are unlikely to have much impact on Riner although one could imagine Krpalek catching Riner on the ground. Krpalek is extremely good at newaza and would not hesitate to take the fight to Riner on the ground. But odds are Riner will throw him before that happens.

Strong fighter but techniques unlikely to work on Riner.
Japan is sending Takeshi Ojitani for the heavyweight division in Budapest as well (the other being Harasawa), so Riner may end up fighting him too. Like Tushishvili, Ojitani has never fought Riner before and that will be a disadvantage. Ojitani is also a leg technique man and not particularly adept at drop techniques. His osoto-gari, as powerful as it is, is unlikely to pose much of a threat to Riner. (It's worth noting that both Riner and Ojitani are schedule to compete at the 2017 Ekaterinburg Grand Slam. Matiashvili will be competing there as well.)

In summary, the ones that I think will give Riner a really hard time are Harasawa and Sasson, who do not fear him; and Tushishvili, who might be able to drop underneath him. The ones who are unlikely to prevail are Krpalek and Ojitani although they won't be pushovers for Riner. Still, it's clear that Budapest will be Riner's toughest World Championships to date, with some players actually having the potential to give him a run for his money.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Can this man beat Riner?

Reporting by Tsotne Mrevlishvili
Analysis by Oon Yeoh
Video clips courtesy of www.ijf.org & www.eju.net




Georgia’s rising star, heavyweight Guram Tushishvili, has now won two top-level tournaments this year.

At the Baku Grand Slam in March, he shocked everyone by beating top fighters Rafael Silva (BRA) and Bor Bana (HUN). At the recently concluded Warsaw European Championships, he impressively defeated the likes of Lukas Krpalek (CZE), Roy Meyer (NED) and his compatriot, Adam Okruashvili (GEO) for the gold. 

He also did a great job in the European Teams’ event, where Team Georgia found itself tied at 2-2 in its semi-final against Ukraine and it was up to Tushishvili to keep Georgia’s hope for gold alive. He defeated Iakiv Khammo by a waza-ari to secure his team a spot in the final against Russia. There, the closely-fought competition ended up with another 2-2 situation and again, it was up to Tushishvili to deliver the final win. And that he did, throwing his very large opponent, Renat Saidov, for ippon with his killer drop morote-seoi-nage.

The big question on everyone’s mind is can Georgia’s new golden boy beat Teddy Riner?

For a while, it was speculated that his teammate Levan Matiashvili might be able to knock Riner off his perch. Matiashvili had given Riner a tough time in the 2016 Samsun Grand Prix and the 2016 European Championships. But this year has been rough on Matiashvili, who lost in the first rounds of the 2017 Paris Grand Slam and the 2017 Dusseldorf Grand Prix and barely salvaged a bronze in the 2017 Tblisi Grand Prix.

It’s long been speculated that the player who can defeat Riner would be someone who is athletic as opposed to being big and fat (that usually means someone who has moved up from -100kg) and someone who can do drop seoi-nage.

The Japanese have several good heavyweights like Ryu Shichinohe, Hisayoshi Harasawa and Takeshi Ojitani but all these are big ashiwaza men with techniques like uchimata and osoto-gari – techniques that would fell other men but not Riner, who is even bigger than them. The player who wants to beat Riner needs to drop underneath him to have a chance of throwing him.

Olympic Champion Krpalek, who recently moved up a weight, is very athletic but he is not a drop seoi-nage player. Tushishvili is another matter. Like Israel’s Or Sasson, he is a former -100kg player who has a killer drop seoi-nage. However, unlike Sasson, this Georgian has never fought Riner before. In all likelihood, he would have to battle the French giant at least once before he can get a good sense of how to beat him. 

Whatever the case, the +100kg division looks set to be an exciting one this year with athletic heavyweights like Krpalek, Sasson and Tushishivili taking on the big boys. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Team AZE's surprise disqualification



Many judo watchers were shocked during the bronze medal match of the recent European teams' competition when Azerbaijan -- then leading 3 to 0 -- was abruptly disqualified.

After securing a 3 to 0 lead against Ukraine, AZE's fourth fighter, Mehdiyev, decided to forfeit his fight against Synyavsky by refusing to engage and signalling to the referee that he did not want to fight.

The referee seemed to accept that decision and promptly gave the match to Synyavsky. But the referees commission decided to recall both players and gave Mehdiyev a hansoku-make. Apparently, that disqualification did not just apply to Mehdiyev but to the whole AZE team.

The next referee called both teams onto the mat and awarded the overall win to UKR, despite the scoreboard showing 3 to 2 in favor of AZE. I guess when you're disqualified, it doesn't matter what the team score is.

The reason for the hansoku-make is obvious. It's deemed to be "against the spirit of judo" to refuse to fight. That seems fair enough although some might find it a bit harsh to give such a penalty without warning. Perhaps the referee should have warned Mehdiyev that if he doesn't fight, the whole team would be disqualified. Then, I'm pretty sure he would have fought.

This notion of not wanting to fight once the outcome of the competition has already been determined (when one side had already secured enough points to win) is not uncommon. I recall a few years ago, a one team competition involving France and Georgia where Teddy Riner did not want to fight the last match because one of the teams had already won. He was told in no uncertain terms that forfeiting was not allowed. So he fought, and won -- not that it made any difference to the outcome of the competition. But at least he fought.

Some might argue that Mehdiyev should have been given a stern warning first. But the difference it seems is that unlike Riner, who had expressed his desire to forfeit before the match, Mehdiyev had actually stepped onto the mat, bowed and then refused to engage his opponent.

I don't know whose brilliant idea it was for Mehdiyev to do this, whether it was his coach of whether it was Mehdiyev himself, but whoever it was, they should have consulted the referees first and ask if forfeiting was allowed. Instead, they just went ahead and did this, thinking it was fine to do so.

Perhaps this was the refs' commission's way of sending a clear message to all that refusing to fight is against the spirit of judo. It was a harsh penalty to take away AZE's bronze but one thing is for sure, you won't see any more teams trying this stunt in the future. In judo, you can't refuse to fight.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS CHANGED FROM NORTH KOREA TO ZAGREB, CROATIA


2015 edition of the Junior World Championships (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

The International Judo Federation intended to organize the Judo World Championships Juniors 2017 in DPR Korea.


After several meetings and visits that took place, the International Judo Federation signaled to the local organizer, comprising both representatives of the Sports Ministry and the DPR Korea Judo Association, during several discussions and exchanges, that there are some outstanding issues like air accessibility of Pyongyang, safety and security of participants and their belongings, communications with the outside world, possibility of live streaming etc. Several international flights with the best access to Pyongyang were cancelled, which creates a big logistical issue to approach locations.

These are issues that continue to be uncertain today as well. In addition, one of the conditions that was always reminded during the preparation phase, was a stable international situation of the country. At present, this situation is alarming, and the outcomes are difficult to predict.

A number of countries – national federations and individuals concerned, communicated with the IJF, via formal or informal channels, that they are worried about this event. Some of them declined participation, others expressed concern regarding the participation of their children at this event.

In light of all the above and with the uncertainty surrounding the international relations of DPR Korea in the coming months, the Executive Committee of the International Judo Federation decided to postpone this event hopefully to the near future, but only when the political situation is stable at an international level and the outstanding conditions are entirely fulfilled.

The Judo World Championships Juniors 2017 have been relocated to Zagreb, Croatia.

We remain committed to promote peace and unity between nations through our sport, and ensuring the best conditions for all participants in all IJF Events.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It's tough being a Japanese judoka

Japan has such depth in judo that in some categories you have multiple players who are absolutely world-class.

Take the -73kg weight class for example. Right now the top two hottest players in that category are Olympic and double World Champion Shohei Ono and Tokyo/Paris Grand Slam Champion Soichi Hashimoto but just a year or two ago, you also had double World Champion Riki Nakaya and World Champion Hiroyuki Akimoto in the running as well.

The -66kg weight class is also full of top contenders. For many years the pole position was held by triple World Champion Masashi Ebinuma but hot on his heels was Kengo Takaichi and Tomofumi Takajo. Now Tokyo/Paris Grand Slam Champion Hifumi Abe is the top dog. Lost in this conversation is Sho Tateyama.

Tate-who? you might ask. No one can blame you if you haven't heard of him but he did show a lot of potential as a youth. It so happens this World Junior Champion was born in Japan and with so many top players in his category (-66kg) he just couldn't break through to the top Senior ranks.

If you look at his results, especially in his early years, you can see what potential Tateyama had. Says Judofan:
His fighting spirit and attack-to-the-very-end style he possesses were not only crowd pleasers, but made him popular amongst the Japanese coaches as well. His consistency landed him on the podium in nearly every tournament he entered from 2011-2014.
Had he been born in another country, his story might have been very different. The Japanese judo landscape is littered with stories like Tateyama's.

Hirofumi Yamamoto (-60kg) is another one who comes to mind. Like Tateyama, he was a Junior World Champion. He possessed a devastating uchimata that sent many of his opponents airborne. He also competed in an era when the superb stylist Olympic/World Silver Medallist Hiroaki Hiraoka reigned supreme in Japan. And after Hiraoka came the brilliantly unorthodox Wold Champion Naoshisa Takato (who is now being challenged by Ryuju Nagayama).

Yamamoto's last international fight was in December 2015 and he is now 27 years old. It looks like his international competition career is over. Imagine the career he could have had if he were representing another country.

These days at the World Championships level it's possible for a country to send more than two players in a category (a maximum total of nine for each gender). So, if you are No. 2 in your country, you still have a chance. For example, for the 2017 Budapest World Championships, both Takato and Nagayma will be sent for the -60kg weight class.

It didn't use to be that way, to the detriment of talent development in some weight classes in Japan. Imagine if you were a middle-weight player in the era of Toshihiko Koga, who reigned supreme from 1987 to 1996. For nearly a decade no other player in his weight class had a chance to represent Japan in top international competitions.

Worse still if you were a -48kg player in the era of Ryoko Tani, née Tamura. From 1991 to 2008, no other Japanese female player in that weight class had a ghost of a chance to compete internationally. That's 17 years where no other Japanese lightweight females could blossom.

In the judo world, we have seen several cases where players resorted to fighting for other countries. The most extreme case was the -70kg weight class in the Netherlands which was dominated by Kim Polling. Not one but two Dutch players went on to fight for other countries, Esther Stam for Georgia and Linda Bolder for Israel.

Actually, plenty of example abound. Alice Schlesinger of Israel now fights for Great Britain (because of World Champion Yarden Gerbi) and Otgonsetseg Galbadrakh of Mongolia now fights for Kazakhstan (because of World Champion Urantsetseg Munkhbat). But until recently, we seldom hear of cases involving Japanese.

There were some reports that Japanese Olympic Champion-turned-MMA-contender Satoshi Ishii had wanted to compete for the USA but nothing came of that.

What has happened recently though is that two female Japanese players have opted to fight for other countries, with -57kg Christa Deguchi opting for Canada and -48kg Steffanie Arissa Koyama representing Brazil.

One swallow does not a summer make (and neither would two). I don't think this will necessarily be a trend going forward. But you never know. Deguchi and Koyama have broken the mold.

Perhaps other Japanese players might consider this route to the Olympics if their paths are blocked by compatriots who are too dominant. Unlike for the World Championships, countries can send only one player per category for the Olympics. And the next one will be held in Tokyo!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Antalya Grand Prix 2017, Turkey - DAY 3





The third and final day of the Antalya Grand Prix ended in a firework display for the host country, as Turkey added two more medals to its collection, including one in gold with the title of Kayra SAYIT. Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), who today was unbeatable, is about to succeed in becoming one of the top athletes in his new heavyweight category. After having won the World Championship and the Olympic Games in -100kg, he is now running after more glory in +100kg. It should not be forgotten that today Russia won again two titles, one for the men (Adlan BISULTANOV -100kg) and one for the women (Anastasiya DMITRIEVA -78kg), while Mongolia also climbed to the top of the podium in -90kg (Altanbagana GANTULGA).


The fifth event of the year in Antalya ends with the same observation that was made a week ago in Tbilisi: one can discover the advent of a new generation of judokas. While 2017 is a necessary year of transition between the last Olympic cycle that ended in Rio and the new one that has Tokyo 2020 as its finish line, new faces are emerging. Juniors, whom the connoisseurs have been following for some time, now come to rub shoulders with the senior elite. In four years, many of them will probably have to be counted on as major factors in Tokyo.


In this landscape composed of new faces, one can still meet some big names of the last few years, who are far from having renounced to shine at the highest level. The old versus new mix offered a magnificent judo show during the three days of the Antalya Grand Prix, and Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), who after his world and Olympic titles in -100kg, is starting a new career in the heavyweight division. The Czech's +100kg exploits are to be continued.

During the weekend, it must be underlined that the groundwork continued the breakthrough seen during the last major international tournaments. Athletes have more time to build a winning strategy on the floor and they are exploiting it more and more.

This Grand Prix also allowed the new Turkish governing team to familiarise themselves with the organisation of a Grand Prix. Again, the transition between the former and new team went wonderfully and the Antalya Grand Prix achieved its goals.

In a few weeks, the world circuit will head towards Russia and Ekaterinburg. A new city for an event already well-established, it will allow the continued testing of the new refereeing rules, which have been implemented since January.

Commenting on the changes in the rules since the beginning of the year, Jan Snijders, IJF Head Refereeing Director, explained: "We have a good team of referees. If we see new faces within the athletes, it is the same in the refereeing body. It is a very good thing. We work in the long-term. Everyone needs experience and as such the last two events of Tbilisi and Antalya were very interesting. I think we're on the right track. We still have a few months to test everything, but we can already say that judo is easier to understand at all levels."

JUDO FOR PEACE IN KILIS

For more than two years, the International Judo Federation and the Turkish Judo Federation have embarked on a large-scale program to help the Syrian refugees who have arrived in Turkey, in the Kilis region on the Syrian border.

In 2014, on the initiative of the TJF, judo activities began in the Oncupinar refugee camp, more commonly called 'container city'. A few dozens of children could try judo for the first time. A few months later, it was about fifty children who regularly were practicing judo in a set of containers which was turned into a makeshift dojo.

Thanks to the IJF’s first judogi donation and the visit of the Judo for Peace Commission in 2015, the program gained momentum and a year later the IJF and its President, Marius Vizer, in Dubai, were awarded the prize of the best international federation in the field of development (Creative Sport Award from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation).

Boys and girls are participating in the activities in Container city


This award allowed the IJF to provide 500 refugee children with sports clothing. The equipment was handed over last year in Kilis, while the sound of the bombs were echoing across the border and while during the IJF’s stay, rockets were falling almost daily over the region.

During this visit, the IJF also produced a film showing the journey of these young children who have lost everything but who can smile again and how they rediscover human values through the practice of judo.

Mr. Vizer (second from the left) meets with the representatives of the Turkish Judo Federation and of Kilis

In recent months, the security situation has considerably improved, even though the number of refugees fleeing the conflict in their country is steadily increasing.

On the second day of the Antalya Grand Prix, President Vizer was able to meet the representatives of Kilis who came to attend the event. In a very fruitful conversation, Mr. Remzi Arkalti, Kilis Youth and Sports Director, and Mr. Okkes Buldum, coach of the Kilis refugee camp, explained how things have been greatly improving, since the IJF and the TJF have been involved.

“The security situation is more stable now, it is more safe, and the refugee camp programme is perfectly running. We built a new dojo inside the camp so we can accommodate more children. But the demand is massive and we need to have more coaches and more facilities“, said Mr. Remzi Arkalti.

More than 500 children are participating in the judo activities on a daily basis.

“A few years ago, we started only with the boys, who could practice judo, but in 2016, the girls also started to practice the sport. This is an amazing achievement. If we are working in one camp for the moment, it is because we need more infrastructures and more humain resources, otherwise, we would be able to spread judo and its values even further“, explained the coach.

During the meeting, the IJF, the TJF and the Kilis representatives pledged to strengthen their cooperation in order to welcome more refugee children under the best possible conditions.

NEXT STOP EKATERINBURG

While five IJF World Judo Tour events have already organised since the beginning of the year (Paris GS, Düsseldorf GP, Baku GS, Tbilisi GP and Antalya GP), the next stage will take place on May 20-21, 2017, in Russia. The event will be organised in a new city since the Grand Slam of Russia will now settle in Ekaterinburg.

Ekaterinburg is a Russian city located on the Asian side of the Urals. Watered by the Isset, a tributary of the Tobol, it is the administrative capital of the Sverdlovsk region. With a population of 1,444,439 in 2016, it is the fourth largest city in Russia. It is an important railway crossroads with connections with all parts of the Urals and the rest of Russia, on the famous Trans-Siberian railway line. Ekaterinburg is 1,417 km east of Moscow.

Mr. Vasily ANISIMOV, President of the Russian Judo Federation said: “Ekaterinburg is the largest administrative, cultural, scientific and educational centre of the Ural region, the fourth largest city of Russia. A lot of people in Russia are fond of judo and understand it well, and Ekaterinburg is rightly considered to be the one of the most sporting cities.

“We are glad that the Russian stage of the prestigious Judo Grand Slam of the post-Olympic year with the participation of the elite of world judo is held precisely here.

“I am sure that this tournament in Ekaterinburg will be an excellent motivation for the new generation of Russian people. I hope that the
participants and guests of the tournament will be satisfied with the quality and organisation of the competitions in Russia and will have wonderful impressions about this hospitable city.“

DID YOU KNOW?

JUDO DICTIONARY

Yesterday we explained the scores in judo with the IPPON and WAZA-ARI as well as the OSAE-KOMI. Today, we offer you an explanation of the penalty system.

The prohibited acts are divided into ‘slight’ infringements (Shido) and ‘grave’ infringements (Hansoku-make).

SHIDO: The referee decides to penalise the contestant(s). The referee indicates the appropriate gesture for transgression and announces the penalty while pointing to the contestant(s) who committed the prohibited act.

During the contest there are 2 Shido, and the 3rd will be Hansoku-make (2 warnings and then disqualification). Shido do not give points to the other contestant, only technical scores can give points on the scoreboard.


At the end of the contest, if both players have no score or scoring is equal on the scoreboard the contest continues to GOLDEN SCORE. The first judoka to receive a shido loses, or the first technical score wins. The contest is won when any technical score is given. If a player receives a Shido he/she loses the contest ONLY if he/she then has more Shidos than the opponent.

HANSOKU-MAKE: There are several possibilities for disqualification. When an athlete receives a Hansoku-make he/she may or may not be allowed to continue in the competition. In the case of Hansoku-make resulting from progressive penalties (3 shidos), the contestant penalised is allowed to remain in the competition.

In the case of direct Hansoku-make for protection of the judoka (diving head first onto the mat), the judoka is allowed to continue competition (repechages if applicable).

In the case of direct Hansoku-make for acts against the spirit of judo, the judoka cannot continue in the competition.



TV news and info will be available at http://news.ijf.org





 

Use #JudoAntalya2017 to join in with the social media discussion 




WOMEN

-78kg: NO DISCUSSION FOR DMITRIEVA’s VICTORY

The first women’s final of the day opposed Yarden MAYERSOHN (ISR), who so far had no record on World Judo Tour events, and Anastasiya DMITRIEVA (RUS), who before the final had an impressive record of eight medals in Grand Prix and Grand Slams.


After 47 seconds, MAYERSOHN and DMITRIEVA were both penalised a first time for passivity. The first powerful attack came from the Russian after two minutes when she launched a o-uchi-gari transformed into a uchi-mata but for no score. Feeling the pressure, MAYERSOHN had to attack, but the lack of control, offered a perfect situation for a counter attack, which DMITRIEVA perfectly used for a ura-nage for waza-ari. Perfectly positioned, the Russian, again took the lead and produced an effort to engage a o-uchi-gari for a second waza-ari, immediately followed with an immobilisation for ippon. DMITRIEVA’s victory could not be disputed.

The first bronze medal contest opposed the Zarina RAIFOVA (KAZ) and Kumush YULDASHOVA (UZB). After 15 seconds, RAIFOVA scored a first waza-ari to take the lead, just before YULDASHOVA was penalised for cross-gripping without attacking. With 38 seconds until the final gong, RAIFOVA received a shido for blocking her opponent’s sleeve, but that did not change the final result as RAIFOVA won here second medal at a Grand Prix.

In the second bronze medal contest, Yahima RAMIREZ (POR) faced Albina AMANGELDIYEVA. After fifty seconds, both athletes were penalised for passivity. 10 seconds before the end and the golden score, RAMIREZ received a second shido. Both athletes started the extra time without being more active and after a little while the referee announced MATTE and gave one shido to each of them, the difference of shido offering the victory to AMANGELDIYEVA.

Happy DMITRIEVA on the medal podium

Final
MAYERSOHN, Yarden (ISR) vs. DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS)

Bronze medal contests
RAIFOVA, Zarina (KAZ) vs. YULDASHOVA, Kumush (UZB)
RAMIREZ, Yahima (POR) vs. AMANGELDIYEVA, Albina (KAZ)


Final Results
1. DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS)
2. MAYERSOHN, Yarden (ISR)
3. AMANGELDIYEVA, Albina (KAZ)
3. RAIFOVA, Zarina (KAZ)
5. RAMIREZ, Yahima (POR)
5. YULDASHOVA, Kumush (UZB)
7. GUZELSOY, Cagri (TUR)
7. WANG, Szu-Chu (TPE)



+78kg: SAYIT OFFERS GOLD TO TURKEY

Turkish crowd was definitely waiting for the last final of the women’s category, as they knew that they had their best change of medal with the female’s heavyweight. Kayra SAYIT (TUR), who started her judo career in France, has been competing for Turkey for several years, collecting five medals on the world circuit (1 grand slam, 4 grand prix). Altogether, she spent no more than 2 minutes and 41 seconds on the tatami during the preliminary rounds as she defeated by ippon Ivana MARANIC (CRO) and BATTULGA Munkhtuya (MGL). In the final she faced Larisa CERIC (BIH), a bronze medallist at the 2016 World Masters in Guadalajara.


As the public had been chanting since the athletes entered the arena, after one minute and a half, SAYIT scored a first waza-ari with a sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi and then controlled the end of the final despite the fact that she received penalities. But at the end the public could explode with joy as Tukey won its first gold medal of the tournament. 

Kayra SAYIT celebrates with the Turkish young supporters


The first bronze medal contest opposed an other Turkish athlete, Kubra KARA (TUR) and Santa PAKENYTE (LTU). Kubra KARA received a first shido for false attack in the first minute but then scored a waza-ari with a counter attack that totally surprised PAKENYTE. With one minute left on the clock, the atmosphere in the arena started to warm up a bit, announcing what it would look like in the final. Much smaller than her opponent but fantastically supported by her public, KARA could keep her calm and tactically keep her advantage to win a fourth beautiful medal for the host country.

The second bronze medal contest saw the third local competitor, Sebile AKBULUT (TUR) facing BATTULGA Munkhtuya (MGL). With a superb action-reaction, concluded with a ko-uchi-gari, BATTULGA scored a first waza-ari. Despite all the support she got from the public AKBULUT could not score and the Mongol won the bronze medal.

Final
SAYIT, Kayra (TUR) vs. CERIC, Larisa (BIH)

Bronze medal contests
KARA, Kubra (TUR) vs. PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)
AKBULUT, Sebile (TUR) vs. BATTULGA, Munkhtuya (MGL)


Final Results
1. SAYIT, Kayra (TUR)
2. CERIC, Larisa (BIH)
3. BATTULGA, Munkhtuya (MGL)
3. KARA, Kubra (TUR)
5. AKBULUT, Sebile (TUR)
5. PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)
7. MARANIC, Ivana (CRO)
7. SUN, Pei Yu (TPE)



MEN

-90kg:  2 SECONDS OF HAPPINESS FOR GANTULGA

The first male category final of the day opposed GANTULGA Altanbagana (MGL), who finished only seventh last week in Tbilisi and Komronshokh USTOPIRIYON (TJK), who also obtained seventh places in 2017 so far (Paris Grand Slam and Düsseldorf Grand Prix).

The four minutes of the final went very fast as both athletes were very active even if they were not able to score. As a illustration of that, no penalty was awarded during 3 minutes and 58 seconds. Golden score was getting very close, but with only 2 seconds left on the clock, GANTULGA suddenly dropped under the centre of gravity of USTOPIRIYON, with a kata-guruma for a waza-ari. Two seconds synonymous of happiness for the Mongol champion.


In the first bronze medal contest Shakhzodbek SABIROV (UZB) was opposed to Magomed MAGOMEDOV (RUS). The Russian was the first in action as he scored a waza-ari in less than a minute with a te-waza technique. He added a second waza-ari thirty seconds later with a ko-soto-gari, as in the meantime, both athletes also received penalties (one for MAGOMEDOV, two for SABIROV). SABIROV started to believe he could win, when he also scored a waza-ari. With eleven seconds left, MAGOMEDOV was awarded with a second penalty but his two positive scores were enough to give him his first bronze medal on a Grand Prix.

The second bronze medal contest saw JUNG Hae Joo (KOR) and Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB) disputing a spot on the podium. After a bit more than one minute, KUKOLJ received a first penalty for a pistol grip. After the next hajime, he launched an aerial uchi-mata for waza-ari, immediately followed on the floor with an immobilisation for ippon.

Final
GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL) vs. Komronshokh USTOPIRIYON (TJK)

Bronze medal contests
SABIROV, Shakhzodbek (UZB) vs. MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)
JUNG, Hae Joo (KOR) vs. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)


Final Results
1. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)
2. USTOPIRIYON, Komronshokh (TJK)
3. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)
3. MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)
5. JUNG, Hae Joo (KOR)
5. SABIROV, Shakhzodbek (UZB)
7. BOZBAYEV, Islam (KAZ)
7. SAFGULIYEV, Tural (AZE)



-100kg: BISULTANOV ADDS ONE MORE GOLD FOR RUSSIA

Being 31 years old, Maxim RAKOV (KAZ) is already a veteran of the World Judo Tour. The Kazakh was World Champion, but it was already eight years ago (Rotterdam 2009). World silver medalist in Paris in 2011, he also won the 2012 edition of the World Masters. With a record of 13 medals he also won on the occasion of international events, he is one of the most decorated athlete in his category. And still, he is looking for some more victories. In the final he was opposed to Adlan BISULTANOV (RUS), who is a little bit younger than RAKOV and also counts 11 medals on the circuit.


In the final RAKOV being less active than BISULTANOV was penalised with a shido for passivity after the first minute. Halfway to the end with a superb tai-otoshi, BISULTANOV scored a first waza-ari. Both athletes entered the last minute with one more shido as they were escaping from gripping one another. A few seconds before the end, BISULTANOV received a second penalty but he just had to control until the final gong to enjoy his victory.

BISULTANOV celebrates his victory

The first bronze medal contest opposed another former World Champion, Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE) (Rio 2013) and the world bronze medallist (Chelyabinsk 2014), Ivan REMARENCO (UAE). The first ko-soto-gake attack of MAMMADOV scored a waza-ari after a few seconds on the edge of the competition area, but then he was penalised for a defensive attitude with a shido. Despite that penalty, the match continued on a high rhythm giving the feeling that it will not reach the four minutes. When REMARENCO launched his next attack, he did not really put his opponent out of balance and the sanction was immediate as MAMMADOV bent his knees and engaged a low counter attack, but as the impact was clearly on the back with force, speed and control, the referee announced IPPON. Bronze for MAMMADOV.

The second bronze medal contest saw Soyib KURBONOV (UZB) and Niyaz ILYASOV (RUS) go face to face for a spot on the podium. In less than a minute, ILYASOV countered the first main attack of KURBONOV for a waza-ari, which he immediately followed on the floor with an immobilisation for ippon after he could free his leg, and a first medal on a Grand Prix for the Russian.

Final
RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ) vs. BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS)

Bronze medal contests
MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE) vs. REMARENCO, Ivan (UAE)
KURBONOV, Soyib (UZB) vs. ILYASOV, Niyaz (RUS)


Final Results
1. BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS)
2. RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)
3. ILYASOV, Niyaz (RUS)
3. MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)
5. KURBONOV, Soyib (UZB)
5. REMARENCO, Ivan (UAE)
7. HWANG, Min-Ho (KOR)
7. PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR)



+100kg: KRPALEK TAKES A GIANT STRIDE TOWARDS TILT AT RINER

The last and most awaited final of the day was the one between the current -100kg Olympic Champion, Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) and Iurii KRAKOVETSKII (KGZ). World Champion and Olympic champion in the lower category, KRPALEK decided that he had already proved everything in -100KG and decided to move up to meet the ‘big boys’. After a fifth place in Düsseldorf for his first appearance in his new weight division, KRPALEK this time did not have much difficulties to reach the final. With his long arms and speed inherited from his years in -100, he could without any major difficulties overcome CHEN Sheng Min (TPE) in the first round before defeating Musa TUMENOV (RUS) and then Zarko CULUM (SRB). In the final, he was opposed to Iurii KRAKOVETSKII (KGZ). After this second good tournament for the Olympic Champion, it must be said that everyone is impatiently waiting for the day when KRPALEK will be opposed to the great Riner, who was not defeated since 2010.


In the first half of the final, KRPALEK tried to impose his rhythm, while KRAKOVETSKII was counting on his rapid accelerations with sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi. But the strongest attack came from KRAKOVETSKII, who lifted up KRPALEK with a superb uchi-mata, the Olympic champion miraculously escaping. The bout looked pretty well balanced when KRPALEK cleverly utilised a small mistake from KRAKOVETSKII to throw him with a o-uchi-gari for waza-ari that he followed with an immobilisation for ippon. KRPALEK is back on top of a podium but this time in the heavyweight category.


The first bronze medal contest opposed Musa TUMENOV (RUS) and Ushangi KOKAURI (AZE). After one minute and forty seconds, TUMENOV received a first shido for passivity followed by the second one a few seconds later. It was then KOKAURI’s turn to receive a penalty. A few seconds before the end, TUMENOV made his main and strongest attack of the bout, but it was enough as he could roll his opponent with a sumi-gaeshi technique for a waza-ari. There was one second left before the golden score.

The second bronze medal contest saw the last chance of the host country, Semih ADIYAMAN (TUR), stepping on the tatami for a medal. He was opposed to Zarko CULUM (SRB). Half way to the end, both competitors were penalised with two shidos each. Flirting with the third penalty is always dangerous and that is what ADIYAMAN and CULUM had to do for two more minutes. The Turkish after an epic resistance couldn’t avoid to step out of the tatami and received the third penalty, while CULUM could enjoy to become a bronze medallist of the 2017 edition of the Antalya Grand Prix.

KRAKOVETSKII congratulates KRPALEK at the end of the final

Final
KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE) vs. KRAKOVETSKII, Iurii (KGZ)

Bronze medal contests
TUMENOV, Musa (RUS) vs. KOKAURI, Ushangi (AZE)
ADIYAMAN, Semih (TUR) vs. CULUM, Zarko (SRB)


Final Results
1. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
2. KRAKOVETSKII, Iurii (KGZ)
3. CULUM, Zarko (SRB)
3. TUMENOV, Musa (RUS)
5. ADIYAMAN, Semih (TUR)
5. KOKAURI, Ushangi (AZE)
7. OLTIBOEV, Bekmurod (UZB)
7. TURGYNALIYEV, Zhambyl (KAZ)

Antalya Grand Prix 2017, Turkey - DAY 2



The second day of the Antalya Grand Prix 2017 ended with the award of four titles to four different countries as Uzbekistan, Russia, Austria and Slovenia climbed on top of the medal podium in the four categories of the day. One will remember the performance of Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER, who confirmed her position as the top seed of the category, the one of Anka POGACNIK, who defeated Elvismar RODRIGUEZ, in the final, the great result of Mirzokhid FARMONOV who ruins the golden hopes of a whole people despite the exceptional performance of Hasan VANLIOGLU in front of his public and finally the title of Stanislav SEMENOV for Russia, which continues to produce champions at every competition of the World Judo Tour.


RED CARPET IN TURKEY

The second day of the Antalya Grand Prix saw the opening ceremony which followed the rhythm of the troop 'Fire of Anatolia’ (Anadolu Atesi). The Fire of Anatolia is a Turkish dance group consisting of 120 dancers. The group has performed in more than 85 countries around the world, including the United States, China or Japan, and in front of more than 20 million spectators. The troop holds two Guinness World Records, one for fastest dance performance and another for largest audience, with 400,000 people in Eregli, in the Black Sea Region of Turkey.


During the opening speeches, Mr. Sezer Huysuz, President of the Turkish Judo Federation said: “Distinguished Mr. Marius Vizer, Distinguished Deputy Governor, Mr. Salih Gürhan, distinguished guest of the Antalya Grand Prix 2017. It is an honour to see you all here in this marvelous city. I would like to welcome all the participating countries and I wish them to represent their country in the best possible way. I would like to thank again the President of the IJF and I wish to see you here again soon. Thank you very much.“

From left to right: Mr. Sezer Huysuz, Mr. Marius Vizer and Salih Gürhan during the opening ceremony

Mr. Salih Gürhan, Deputy Governor of Antalya: “Distinguished IJF President and TJF President, ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you here in Antalya. Distinguished athletes coming from allover the world, I am happy to see all of you in our city. It is a great happiness to host you. Antalya is a city of peace and sport as you could experience over the last two day. It is also the tourist capital of Turkey. That’s why all visitors coming here can find peace. As you all know April 6 was the international day for sport Peace and Development. We hope that all conflicts in the world will soon be replaced by sport, peace and development. I would like to wish all the very best to all of you who are participating in this event.“

The flags of the 34 participating countries were presented during the opening ceremony

Mr. Marius Vizer, IJF President declared: “Dear Deputy Governor, dear President of the TJK, organisers, guests, judoka and spectators. It is a big honour for the judo family to come to Antalya with the World Judo Tour. A great city, in a great country, with great people and wonderful spectators. I want to congratulate the TJK for the spectacular organisation of the event. And I want to congratulate also the former governance of the association for all their successes. I wish the President of the TJK, my friend and colleague, Mr. Sezer Huysuz all the best for the future. I wish all of you a great event in Antalya. I declare the competition in Antalya open. Thank you.“

FROM ONE END OF THE TATAMI TO THE OTHER

Mr. Sezer Huysuz is the new President of the Turkish Judo Federation, elected in October 2016. After two days of competition and already two medals for the host country of this first Grand Prix in Antalya (after four editions in Samsun) he is a happy and excited president: "I have been a member of this beautiful judo family for more than thirty years and today I am filled with emotions.

"I reassure you, I am full of positive emotions. Not so long ago, I was on the other side of the tatami, on the side of the competitors. I am now the President of our national federation. Being on the tatami with my friends, I miss it for sure, but I am so happy to be able to contribute to the development of judo in another way.“

The Turkish Judo Federation now counts more than 21,000 active judoka and extending to all those who have practiced judo and who are still close to the sport, it represents a community of more than 100,000 people in Turkey: “It is very important for us to have this Grand Prix here in Antalya. We are very pleased that the IJF President himself is present as well as many members of the Executive Board of the International Federation," said Sezer Huysuz, before adding:" I am a judoka who comes from the base. I went through all levels. This allows me to really know all the problems that athletes have to face. I know what they want and what they need. There is no doubt that we must do everything for our athletes. They are at the centre of everything."


Returning to the Grand Prix and its organisation, the President said: "Organising a Grand Prix requires a lot of effort. We want everyone to be happy and to leave with wonderful memories. We are ready to host even greater events. I think we have that desire and the capacity. This can only have a positive impact on Turkish judo and judo throughout the region. Of course this will also have an impact on our results. We will be able to attract more media and more sponsors, as well as more spectators."

"The support we receive from IJF President Marius Vizer is crucial. Otherwise we could not carry out all our projects. The fact that he is present and that he permanently accompanies us is an undeniable force. Judo now enjoys great prestige in Turkey. The President of the European Union, Mr. Sergey Soloveychik, will also be here tomorrow. Thank you all."

Mr. Sezer Huysuz finally commented on the project run by the IJF and the TJF in the Syrian refugee camps in the south of the country: "A new dojo was built in Kilis to accommodate more young people. The project is working extremely well. These families lost everything in the war, but we can offer them a smiling future. But judo becomes so popular that we will have to redouble our efforts to welcome even more young people. With the support of the IJF, we will work on this and organise judo events there. It is our social mission. We will, for example, send new coaches to supervise the populations."

WATCH Judo for the World - KILIS REFUGEE CAMP - CLICK HERE

 

KOSOVO’s NATIONAL SPORT

After a great day for Kosovo yesterday, which won two titles (-52kg: Distria KRASNIQI and -57kg: Nora GJAKOVA), the president of the Kosovo Judo Federation, Mr. Agron Kuka, explained how judo became the number one sport in his country: "First of all, I would like to thank President Marius Vizer from the bottom of my heart. Already in 2008 he had the vision that in our country there were talented judoka and that we were working very well. Without him, without his unwavering will, we would not be here today. His decision to support us and accompany us was the trigger for everything.

From left to right: Mr. Agron Kuka, Nora GJAKOVA and Distria KRASNIQI

"Yesterday was an extraordinary day for us. Without our flag bearer, Majlinda Kelmendi, we were still able to win two titles. This is the first time this has happened. It is important that we can show that beyond the exceptional personality of Majlinda, we have other very good athletes, both for women and for men. Our team and our federation are making progress every day.

"Of course Majlinda remains an exceptional judoka. She was the first Junior World Champion for Kosovo. Then World Champion twice and finally, last summer she became the first Olympic champion for our country. She is an example for all, a true icon.

"In the future, we want to further strengthen our sport. With the support of the government, we are working to integrate judo into the school curriculum so that judo is massively taught in Kosovo. Judo is becoming the national sport."

DID YOU KNOW?

JUDO DICTIONNARY

Regularly you will find here some explanations about judo, its rules and its terminology. The ultimate goal of judo is simple: to score IPPON, either by throwing your opponent on his/her back or by winning on the floor with a ground technique. As judo was born in Japan in 1882, invented by Professor Jigoro Kano, the terminology used in Judo is still today in Japanese.

What are the scores in judo?
IPPON: IPPON: The Referee shall announce Ippon when in his opinion the applied technique corresponds to the following criteria:
a) When a contestant with control throws the other contestant with a real impact on his back with considerable force and speed.
b) When a contestant holds with an immobilisation the other contestant, who is unable to get away for 20 seconds.
c) When a contestant gives up by tapping twice or more with his hand or foot or says Maitta (I give up!) generally as a result of Osaekomi-Waza (immobilisation), Shime-waza (Choking Techniques) or Kansetsu-waza (armlock techniques).

WAZA-ARI: The Referee shall announce Waza-ari when in his opinion the applied technique corresponds to the following criteria:
a) When a contestant with control throws the other contestant, but the technique is partially lacking in one of the other elements necessary for Ippon (impact on the back with considerable force and speed).
b) When a contestant holds with Osaekomi-waza the other contestant who is unable to get away for 10 seconds or more, but less than 20 seconds.

What does the referee?
IPPON: The referee raises one arm with palm of hand facing forward, high above the head.
WAZA-ARI: The referee raises one of his arms with palm of hand facing downwards, sideways, to shoulder height.
OSAEKOMI: The referee points his arm out from his body down towards the contestants while facing the contestants and bending his body towards them.
TOKETA: The referee raises one of his arms to the front and wave it from right to left quickly two or three times while bending his body towards the contestants.

The team of referees in Antalya © Turkish Judo Federation
  
 
Medal Table after DAY 2

TV news and info will be available at http://news.ijf.org




 

Use #JudoAntalya2017 to join in with the social media discussion 



WOMEN

-63kg: UNTERWURZACHER UNDEFEATED IN ANTALYA  

Top seeded athlete, the Austrian Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER, winner of the Tokyo Grand Slam in 2016, and more recently bronze medallist in Tbilisi Grand Prix, qualified for the final after having defeated Valentina KOSTENKO from Russia and Amy LIVESEY from Great Britain, both on a waza-ari score. In the final she was opposed to Marian URDABAYEVA of Kazakhstan who successively defeated during the preliminary rounds Maja BLAGOJEVIC (CRO), Olga KRIUKOVA (RUS) and Katharina HAECKER (AUS).

UNTERWURZACHER and URDABAYEVA delivered a very intense bout. The Kazakh scored the first with a reversed sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for a waza-ari that surprised the favourite UNTERWURZACHER. The Austrian did not make the same mistake twice and when URDABAYEVA again attacked with the same technique, she countered her for a waza-ari as well. The same scenario was repeated for the last attack of URDABAYEVA, and once again UNTERWURZACHER could counter, score and continue with an immobilisation for ippon.


The first bronze medal contest opposed Valentina KOSTENKO (RUS) and Katharina HAECKER (AUS). At the end of the regular time, both athletes had only one shido each and entered the golden score for almost four minutes. Successively attacking but without scoring, neither KOSTENKO nor HAECKER could take the lead and win. It was after 3 minutes and 50 seconds that KOSTENKO was penalised with a shido and that HAECKER could celebrate her bronze medal.

The second bronze medal contest was a 100 British bout as Lubjana PIOVESANA (GBR) faced Amy LIVESEY (GBR). After a little more than one minute, LIVESEY was already penalised with two shido. Despite a few efforts, she was not able to really impose a different rhythm and she was penalised with a third shido (Hansoku-make), PIOVESANA taking the bronze medal.

Final
UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT) vs. URDABAYEVA, Marian (KAZ)

Bronze medal contests
KOSTENKO, Valentina (RUS) vs. HAECKER, Katharina (AUS)
PIOVESANA, Lubjana (GBR) vs. LIVESEY, Amy (GBR)


Final Results
1. UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)
2. URDABAYEVA, Marian (KAZ)
3. HAECKER, Katharina (AUS)
3. PIOVESANA, Lubjana (GBR)
5. KOSTENKO, Valentina (RUS)
5. LIVESEY, Amy (GBR)
7. BALDORJ, Mungunchimeg (MGL)
7. KRIUKOVA, Olga (RUS)



-70kg: THIRD GOLD FOR POGACNIK 

The second women’s final of the day opposed Elvismar RODRIGUEZ (IJF) and Anka POGACNIK (SLO), silver medallist last year in Tashkent on the occasion of the Grand Prix in Uzbekistan. Coming from Venezuela, Elvismar RODRIGUEZ is supported by the International Judo Federation and is currently training out of Hungary at the IJF Training Centre*.

The first penalty was awarded to Elvismar RODRIGUEZ for passivity and actually during the regular time that was the only element that appeared on the scoreboard. Thus both athletes entered the golden score and it did not take long for POGACNIK to launch a ko-soto-gari with an action-reaction to score a waza-ari and win her third gold medal on a Grand Prix.


The first bronze medal contest opposed Dilbar UMIRALIYEVA (KAZ) and the 2014 Junior World Champion, Barbara MATIC (CRO). After one minute, the Croatian did not really pay attention and was close to being caught with an armlock from which she miraculously escaped. UMIRALIYEVA was penalised with a first shido when entering the second half of the bout. As both athletes were approaching the edge of the competition area, MATIC initiated an chi-mata, but as UMIRALIYEVA immediately reacted and prepared her counterattack, MATIC simply hooked her opponent’s inner leg to score ippon with a beautiful o-uchi-gari.

The second bronze medal contest saw Gemma HOWELL (GBR) and Szabina GERCSAK (HUN) facing for a place on the podium. GERCSAK was penalised the first for a false attack with a shido. Things started to be a little complicated for the Hungarian as she was penalised a second time and during a groundwork session, HOWELL could demonstrate all her skills to catch GERCSAK with a shime-waza (choking technique) for ippon and her fifth medal at a Grand Prix.

* Other athletes supported by the International Judo Federation to participate in the Antalya Grand Prix:
Emilie SOOK (DEN)
Larisa CERIC (BIH)
Aleksandra SAMARDZIC (BIH)
Harun SADIKOVIC (BIH)
Petar ZADRO (BIH)

Final
RODRIGUEZ, Elvismar (IJF) vs. POGACNIK, Anka (SLO)

Bronze medal contests
UMIRALIYEVA, Dilbar (KAZ) vs. MATIC, Barbara (CRO)
HOWELL, Gemma (GBR) vs. GERCSAK, Szabina (HUN)


Final Results
1. POGACNIK, Anka (SLO)
2. RODRIGUEZ, Elvismar (IJF)
3. HOWELL, Gemma (GBR)
3. MATIC, Barbara (CRO)
5. GERCSAK, Szabina (HUN)
5. UMIRALIYEVA, Dilbar (KAZ)
7. ERDOGAN, Semanur (TUR)
7. MATNIYAZOVA, Gulnoza (UZB)
                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
MEN

-73kg: FARMONOV’s GOLDEN DESTINY, VANLIOGLU IN SILVER AT HOME                

After a successful day for Turkey on day one of the Antalya Grand Prix, for the second day in a row, the host country qualified one athlete in the final as Hasan VANLIOGLU, delivered his best judo to overcome all challengers during the preliminary rounds. Born in Erzurum, a major city in eastern Turkey, the star of the day for the local public recently got married, and he has also become a father. Highly-motivated in front of his home crowd he had to produce his best judo to defeat Hidayat HEYDAROV in the semi-final. After an epic match between the two men, VANLIOGLU delivered one last desperate attack during extra time to score a waza-ari. After such a contest, both champions hugged each other with emotion.


In the final VANLIOGLU was opposed to the winner of the 2016 Grand Prix in Tashkent, Mirzokhid FARMONOV (UZB). Suddenly, when both athletes entered the competition area, the stadium awoke from the lethargy he was plunged in. After one minute and a half, FARMONOV had two penalties and VANLIOGLU only one, as the public was chanting ‘TURKIYE, TURKIYE‘ in support. Five seconds before the final gong, VANLIOGLU was close to applying an arm-lock to his opponent, but FARMONOV could escape. Time for another golden score, which perfectly fit to the situation and it took only 21 seconds for FARMONOV to break all Turkish hopes for a gold medal, when the Uzbek launched a low sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi for waza-ari. VANLIOGLU was so close to bringing the first gold to the host country but today it was FARMONOV’s destiny to step on top of the medal podium.


The first bronze medal contest opposed Rok DRAKSIC (SLO) and Tohar BUTBUL (ISR). Halfway to the end, BUTBUL was penalised with a shido but the scoreboard was still free of any positive score. With a little more than one minute to go, the Israeli launched a quick drop-seoi-nage. DRAKSIC turned into the air but landed on his stomach for no score. After four minutes, and one more penalty each, it was time for the golden score, where everything is possible. DRAKSIC who had one less shido than BUTBUL, was penalised a second time as a warning, Next penalty would decide the winner, and once again DRAKSIC got penalised giving the victory and the medal to BUTBUL.

In the second bronze medal contest Hidayat HEYDAROV (AZE) was opposed to Akil GJAKOVA (KOS). GJAKOVA entered the second half of the bout with one shido and received a second penalty for passivity a little later. Twenty seconds to the end, HEYDAROV engaged a superb kata-guruma but like a cat, GJAKOVA could turn and escape from the throw, but to do so he used a bridge position which is forbidden in judo because it can be dangerous. Logically GJAKOVA was disqualified and HEYDAROV could enjoy his first medal on a Grand Prix.

Final
FARMONOV, Mirzokhid (UZB) vs. VANLIOGLU, Hasan (TUR)

Bronze medal contests
DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO) vs. BUTBUL, Tohar (ISR)
HEYDAROV, Hidayat (AZE) vs. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS)


Final Results
1. FARMONOV, Mirzokhid (UZB)
2. VANLIOGLU, Hasan (TUR)
3. BUTBUL, Tohar (ISR)
3. HEYDAROV, Hidayat (AZE)
5. DRAKSIC, Rok (SLO)
5. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS)
7. BOBOEV, Giyosjon (UZB)
7. NARANKHUU, Khadbaatar (MGL)
            


-81kg: SEMENOV ADDS MORE GOLD FOR RUSSIA

The last final of the day saw SONG Minki (KOR) and Stanislav SEMENOV (RUS) facing off for gold. SONG Minki’s best results so far was only a bronze medal at the Asian Open in Taipei in 2016, when SEMENOV had already three bronze Grand Slam medals.


After both athletes were penalised with a shido for blocking their opponent, SEMENOV scored the first waza-ari with a kaeshi-waza technique. One waza-ari was enough to grab one more gold for Russia.

The first bronze medal contest opposed top seed NYAMSUREN Dagvasuren (MGL) - who was defeated in the semifinal by SONG - and Tamazi KIRAKOZASHVILI (GEO). But rapidly the match seemed to go only in one direction, the one of penalties, and before the end NYAMSUREN received two shido while KIRAKOZASHVILI was penalised three times and disqualified. Bronze for NYAMSUREN.

The second and last bronze medal contest of the day opposed the veteran Emmanuel LUCENTI (ARG), 32 years old, and Murat KHABACHIROV (RUS). LUCENTI got the first shido for holding the judogi on the same side without building an attack. Halfway to the end, KHABACHIROV scored a first waza-ari with a o-soto-gari technique and LUCENTI received his second shido for a pistol grip. The third penalty was not long to be given as again LUCENTI gripped his opponent’s judogi on the same side without building any attack. Hansoku-make for the Argentinian, bronze medal for KHABACHIROV.

Final
SONG, Minki (KOR) vs. SEMENOV, Stanislav (RUS)

Bronze medal contests
NYAMSUREN, Dagvasuren (MGL) vs. KIRAKOZASHVILI, Tamazi (GEO)
LUCENTI, Emmanuel (ARG) vs. KHABACHIROV, Murat (RUS)


Final Results
1. SEMENOV, Stanislav (RUS)
2. SONG, Minki (KOR)
3. KHABACHIROV, Murat (RUS)
3. NYAMSUREN, Dagvasuren (MGL)
5. KIRAKOZASHVILI, Tamazi (GEO)
5. LUCENTI, Emmanuel (ARG)
7. CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN)
7. GOTONOAGA, Dorin (MDA)