Friday, June 30, 2017

New definition of waza-ari coming soon

"At the moment, up until the world championships, on the side towards to front is still going to be counted as a score but after the world championships, on the side towards the back will be the start of the waza-ari." ~ Neil Adams, IJF TV commentator.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cancun Grand Prix 2017 - Mexico DAY THREE

Five-star Brazil finish out of sight in Cancun with 71 days to go until the Worlds  

The maiden Cancun Grand Prix saw the emergence of Pan American judoka once again on Sunday while Olympic and world medallists experienced mixed fortunes in a dramatic day of IJF World Judo Tour action as the heavyweights closed out the competition at the PoliForum Benito Juarez.     

Mexico’s first Grand Prix concluded with five categories on the final day as the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories were joined in action by the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories.

Brazil finished top of the medal table with five gold medals, two silver and one bronze ahead of Spain and Israel who won three gold medals and two gold medals respectively. Despite the majority of Brazil’s first choice judoka just completing a training camp in Tokyo, their 17-strong team in Cancun was loaded with Olympic and world medallists as the last Olympic Games hosts possess one of the strongest and deepest talent pools in the sport. 


Before the medal contests took centre stage on Sunday, the judo family recognised Mexico’s veteran heavyweight and distinguished judoka Vanessa ZAMBOTTI (MEX) who officially retired from competition.

The three-time Olympian, who won the Pan American Games in 2007, became her country’s first Grand Prix medallist when she won bronze at the Havana Grand Prix last year and for years was the standard bearer for Mexican judo.

Mr. Jose HUMBERTO RODRIGUEZ, Pan American Judo Confederation Director of Administration and IJF Development Director, presented a special IJF Recognition Award to Vanessa on behalf of the International Judo Federation and IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER.

ZAMBOTTI, who will now become the Pan American Judo Confederation Media Director, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mexican Judo Federation.


IJF Ambassador Mr. Antonio Castro SOTO DEL VALLE with Dr. TOTH László, Hungarian Judo Association President 

Dr. TOTH László, Hungarian Judo Association President, was present in Cancun all weekend and had key meetings regarding the upcoming 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

“I am very pleased with where we are at the moment in terms of our organisation and preparation for the World Championships,” said TOTH.

“We are working tirelessly as an Association every single day to ensure we do our maximum to host the best event we possibly can. I am particularly pleased by the fact that we as able to attain a sponsor in Suzuki which is a first for a sports event in Hungary of this magnitude.

“Tickets are selling very fast and we already have large groups of fans from countries such as Russia, Austria, France, Germany and Japan buying tickets in great quantities. We are even looking to open extra seating so that as many people as possible can enjoy this judo spectacle.

“I have had productive meetings here in Cancun with the IJF team, as we discuss areas such as the first organisation of the mixed team judo event on the last day, and everything has been positive.

“I believe France held the best edition of the World Championships in 2011 in Paris. After 3 September I wish for people to think that Budapest hosted the biggest and best World Championships in our sport of all time. We look forward to welcoming everyone in Hungary.”

The IJF’s final stop on the road to Budapest is in China as the first edition of the Hohhot Grand Prix in Inner Mongolia (30 June - 2 July) will be the most crucial event of the season so far as judoka chase selection, a seeded position and good form for the World Championships.

Double Olympic champion Teddy RINER (FRA), who will be aiming for a ninth world title in August, makes his return to competition in China having not competed since Rio 2016. Heavyweight king RINER is looking for a run-out before the Worlds but can expect more than a workout as he puts his seven-year unbeaten record on the line with -100kg Olympic champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) waiting in the wings to face the French great in Hohhot.

Japan’s number one heavyweight OJITANI Takeshi (JPN) has been on a tear as of late having won the Tokyo Grand Slam and Paris Grand Slam in succession while eclipsing his national rivals with wins at the Kodokan Cup, All Japan Championships and All Japan Openweight Championships.

Stay tuned to the IJF website to follow the build-up to #JudoHohhot2017 and the World Championships. 

-100kg semi-final: Peter PALTCHIK (ISR) throws Luciano CORREA (BRA) for a ippon with a sode-tsurikomi-goshi 


-78kg: Winning return for double Olympic bronze medallist AGUIAR of Brazil   

Double Olympic bronze medallist Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) made a winning return to action as she defeated double European bronze medallist Natalie POWELL (GBR) to win -78kg gold. Former world champion AGUIAR was making her first appearance on the IJF World Judo Tour since her home Olympics but it did not show as she caught Welsh judoka POWELL with a textbook sasae-tsurikomi-ashi for ippon. AGUIAR will be delighted to get a win under her belt before the Worlds and could well renew acquaintances with POWELL, whose silver moved her to 15 Grand Prix medals, in the latter stages in Budapest as both judoka could make a medal tilt on the grandest stage of all on the IJF circuit.  


In the first semi-final POWELL bested 19-year-old IJF World Judo Tour debutant Karen LEON (IJF) by ippon after holding the Pan American judoka for 20 seconds with a kesa-gatame for a routine win.

In the second semi-final AGUIAR narrowly defeated Pan American Championships silver medallist Kaliema ANTOMARCHI (CUB) by a waza-ari.

The first bronze medal was won by ANTOMARCHI as Pan American Championships bronze medallist Liliana CARDENAS (MEX) was ruled out of the contest through injury. ANTOMARCHI joined an IJF World Judo Tour medal podium for the first time and will hope that his this result is the start of a new chapter in her career having placed fifth at the Worlds and Grand Slams in previous Olympic cycles.                

The second bronze medal contest was won by LEON who held down Chile Pan American Open silver medallist Jacqueline USNAYO (CHI) with a kesa-gatame for ippon. Teenager LEON completed a successful debut with a powerful display and will be a judoka to watch in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle. The youngster escaped a tate-shiho-gatame to turn her Chilean rival into a pin of her own in an excellent ne-waza exchange. 

AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA) vs POWELL, Natalie (GBR)                                                    
Bronze Medal Fights
ANTOMARCHI, Kaliema (CUB) vs CARDENAS, Liliana (MEX)               
LEON, Karen (IJF) vs USNAYO, Jacqueline (CHI)                     

Final Results 
1. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)                                                    
2. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)                                                    
3. ANTOMARCHI, Kaliema (CUB)      
3. LEON, Karen (IJF)   
5. CARDENAS, Liliana (MEX)                                
5. USNAYO, Jacqueline (CHI)                                       

+78kg: Croatia’s SUTALO pitches a perfect record to deny a home victory  

Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Ivana SUTALO (CRO) topped an IJF medal podium for the first time with a win over Pan American Championships silver medallist Melanie BOLANOS (MEX). SUTALO, 22, produced three ippons in as many contests to take the -78kg title as BOLANOS had to settle for silver after being thrown for a waza-ari and held down for 20 seconds.

In the first semi-final Pan American Championships bronze medallist Nina CUTRO-KELLY (USA) fell to SUTALO via a tate-shiho-gatame as the American had no answer to the power of her European opponent. In the second semi-final BOLANOS held down Lima Pan American Open winner Rochele NUNES (BRA) and the latter tapped out to the satisfaction of the home crowd.

The first bronze medal was won by former Moscow Grand Slam bronze medallist Sarah ADLINGTON (GBR) as NUNES could not compete due to an injury. It was not the fashion ADLINGTON desired but the result is a great lift for the Scottish judoka who has resurfaced after a year away from the IJF circuit. NUNES pulled out having broken a bone in her hand.

The second bronze medal was won by Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) who bounced back from her semi-final slip to tap out CUTRO-KELLY. VELENSEK’s heavyweight debut yielded a IJF medal podium at the first time of asking having started over with no World Ranking List points and will be a dangerous judoka in Hungary from an unseeded position. 
BOLANOS, Melanie (MEX) vs SUTALO, Ivana (CRO)        

Bronze Medal Fights
NUNES, Rochele (BRA) vs ADLINGTON, Sarah (GBR)  
VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO) vs CUTRO-KELLY, Nina (USA)                               

Final Results
1. SUTALO, Ivana (CRO)                                                            
2. BOLANOS, Melanie (MEX)                                               
3. ADLINGTON, Sarah (GBR)                                                       
3. VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO)
5. NUNES, Rochele (BRA)          
5. CUTRO-KELLY, Nina (USA)                                 
7. WILLIAMS, Mackenzie (USA)                         


-90kg: First Grand Prix crown for Spain’s top seed SHERAZADISHVILI 

Former Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP) recorded the best result of his young career as he defeated Bucharest European Open winner Tural SAFGULIYEV (AZE) in the -90kg final to claim his first Grand Prix gold medal. Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist SAFGULIYEV, 26, led by a waza-ari before Tbilisi-born SHERAZADISHVILI pulled level with a waza-ari score of his own on the edge of the area and pinned down the Azeri with a modified yoko-shiho-gatame for ippon.

In the first semi-final SHERAZADISHVILI defeated Pan American Championships winner Ivan Felipe SILVA MORALES (CUB) by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final Miami Grand Prix bronze medallist Colton BROWN (USA) lost out to SAFGULIYEV by a waza-ari score after a nervy four minutes as both men tentatively tried to plot a way into the final.

The first bronze medal was awarded to Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Nemanja MAJDOV (SRB) who beat BROWN by two waza-ari scores. The 20-year-old Serbian judoka won his first Grand Prix medal by opening the scoring with a waza-ari from a uchi-mata-sukashi and added a second from a modified kata-guruma as BROWN failed to find a way back into the contest.

The second bronze medal went to SILVA MORALES after Rome European Open bronze medallist Zachary BURT (CAN) was disqualified after a minute of golden score following his third shido. SILVA MORALES was not at his best today but earned his first IJF medal at this weight which he moved to after the Olympics and is capable of anything at the Worlds in August. 
SAFGULIYEV, Tural (AZE) vs SHERAZADISHVILI, Nikoloz (ESP)                                                     
Bronze Medal Fights
BROWN, Colton (USA) vs MAJDOV, Nemanja (SRB)                  
BURT, Zachary (CAN) vs SILVA MORALES, Ivan Felipe (CUB)  

Final Results
1. SHERAZADISHVILI, Nikoloz (ESP)                                                                                                     
2. SAFGULIYEV, Tural (AZE)                                                         
3. MAJDOV, Nemanja (SRB)                                                     
3. SILVA MORALES, Ivan Felipe (CUB)
5. BROWN, Colton (USA)                                                     
5. BURT, Zachary (CAN)     
7. MENDONCA, Bruno (BRA)  
7. STOICA, Mark (ROU)    

-100kg: Pole position for Israel’s persevering PALTCHIK             

Bucharest European Open bronze medallist Peter PALTCHIK (ISR) won -100kg gold for Israel as a new Grand Prix winner was crowned on Sunday. World number 27 PALTCHIK evaded a trademark uchi-mata from world number 28 FLETCHER before throwing with a drop seoi-nage with 14 seconds left on the clock. Both judoka gave a great account of themselves all day long as they made a mockery of their rankings to impress and should both be called upon for the World Championships in August.


In the first semi-final FLETCHER submitted former world silver medallist Jose ARMENTEROS (CUB) having thrown the Cuban judoka with a ura-nage for a waza-ari. In the second semi-final PALTCHIK catapulted Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Luciano CORREA (BRA) through the air with a majestic sode-tsurikomi-goshi which ended the opening session on Sunday in style.

The first bronze medal was won by Pan American Championships silver medallist Andy GRANDA (CUB) with a neat foot sweep which brought down CORREA for ippon. CORREA is a good scalp and name on the resume of the Cuban judoka who won his first Grand Prix hardware.               
The second bronze medal was won by Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Philip AWITI-ALCARAZ (GBR) as ARMENTEROS could not take part due to an arm injury sustained in his semi-final loss at the hands of FLETCHER. AWITI-ALCARAZ, who started judo with his siblings at Enfield Judo Club, has made great strides in the post-Olympic phase and could be in contention for Worlds selection after another performance that showed off his vast potential.                                          

PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR) vs FLETCHER, Benjamin (GBR)                                                       
Bronze Medal Fights
CORREA, Luciano (BRA) vs GRANDA, Andy (CUB)                                     
AWITI-ALCARAZ, Philip (GBR) vs ARMENTEROS, Jose (CUB)                        

Final Result
1. PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR)
2. FLETCHER, Benjamin (GBR)                                                                                                          
3. GRANDA, Andy (CUB)                                              
3. AWITI-ALCARAZ, Philip (GBR)       
5. CORREA, Luciano (BRA)
5. ARMENTEROS, Jose (CUB)                                                                          
7. DESCHENES, Marc (CAN)   
7. BRICENO, Thomas (CHI)                                        

+100kg:  Brazil’s man-mountain MOURA becomes the new world number one       

Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner David MOURA (BRA) captured the world number one position for the first time in his career by triumphing in Mexico in the very last contest of the Cancun Grand Prix 2017. MOURA now has back-to-back IJF World Judo Tour victories for the first time in his career and will take some stopping at the World Championships. The 29-year-old, who for much of his career had played second fiddle to double Olympic bronze medallist Rafael SILVA (BRA), has seven consecutive contest wins from his last two events. The Brazilian outworked the laboured Pan American Championships winner Alex GARCIA MENDOZA (CUB) who received his third penalty for undoing his judogi with 14 seconds left in men’s heavyweight final.


In the first semi-final MOURA defeated world number 127 Arash SOOFIANI (USA) by ippon after 18 seconds. The Brazilian threw with a yoko-tomoe-nage, a rare sight in the heavyweight men’s judo, and then applied the juji-gatame in a professional performance. In the second semi-final GARCIA MENDOZA powered past 18-year-old Lima Pan American Open bronze medallist Francisco SOLIS (CHI) by holding down the young Chilean judoka with a kuzure-kesa-gatame after controlling the scoreboard with two waza-ari scores.

The one and only bronze medal +100kg contest was won by teenager SOLIS as SOOFIANI received his third shido for going out in a tentative affair between two newcomers to the IJF stage. 
GARCIA MENDOZA, Alex (CUB) vs MOURA, David (BRA)                                                           
Bronze Medal Fight
SOLIS, Francisco (CHI) vs SOOFIANI, Arash (USA)

Final Result
1. MOURA, David (BRA)                                                                                                                      
3. SOLIS, Francisco (CHI)      
5. SOOFIANI, Arash (USA)                                                    

Cancun Grand Prix 2017 - Mexico DAY TWO

Brazil at the double on day two of #JudoCancun2017

The International Judo Federation’s first visit to Cancun served up a dynamic second day of World Judo Tour competition as it was the turn of the middleweights to compete for Grand Prix honours.  

Mexico’s first Grand Prix started with a day that will live long in the memory for the home team and day two had ippon judo in abundance as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories were contested at the PoliForum Benito Juarez with 69 judoka (40 men and 29 women) going for gold.

The hosts’ phenomenal opening day was always going to be a hard act to follow but still they were much more than just being competitive as the results from day one still reverberated around the country on mainstream channels.

The opening ceremony was held before the final block on day two as Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, made the opening speech on the stage.

“Dear organisers, dear guests, dear judoka, I am very proud that judo mixed team event will be in the next Olympics at Tokyo 2020. Thank you to all of you for your contributions towards this achievement on behalf of the judo family.

“I want to wish all participants a successful event, I want to thank all delegations, all nation federations, coaches, athletes and referees for the their participation in this Grand Prix, I want to thank the Government of Mexico, the local government, the Ministry of Tourism, the city of Cancun, the Mexican Judo Federation and all of judo family for contribution to this Grand Prix. Thank you very much, I wish you a successful Grand Prix and to enjoy Cancun.”

Mr. Manuel LARRANAGA, Pan American Confederation and Mexican Judo Federation President, said: “On behalf of the Mexican Judo Federation and the Pan American Confederation, I would like to thank everyone for being here, thank you to the Government of Quintana Roo for letting us host this event, thank you all.”

Mr. Valentin YANES GONZALEZ, Deputy Director of Quality For Sport of Mexico's National Commission for Physical Culture and Sport (CONADE), said: “Good evening everyone, I would like to say thank you on behalf of Ministry of Sport of Mexico for letting us be the host of this event, this fantastic IJF World Judo Tour event in Cancun. We would like to say thank you to the IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER and to all of the judo family. Thank you also to Mr. Manuel LARRANAGA, Pan American Confederation and Mexican Judo Federation President.

“We feel so happy to be hosting this event with 36 nations represented at this first edition of the Cancun Grand Prix. It gives us great pleasure to have such a high level of competitors who I thank for making this event so special. Congratulations to everyone and welcome to Cancun, welcome to Mexico.”

Ms. Marisol VANEGAS PEREZ, Secretary of Tourism of Quintana Roo, said: “Competitors, coaches, media, all officials, welcome to Cancun for this Grand Prix event. It is an honour for us to host this Grand Prix here in Cancun which has brought competitors to Mexico from all around the world.

“Cancun is one of the most important tourist destinations and is a place where all your dreams can come true. Quintana Roo offers a tremendous location to all visitors and we are happy to see the judo family here enjoying Cancun. Congratulations everyone and I wish you a wonderful tournament.”

The maiden Cancun Grand Prix will welcome the heavyweights to the tatami on Sunday for the final day of competition with double Olympic -78kg bronze medallist Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) and world heavyweight number two David MOURA (BRA) among those to look out for along with Cuba’s Pan American Championships winner Ivan Felipe SILVA MORALES (CUB) at -90kg and his teammate and former world silver medallist Jose ARMENTEROS (CUB) at -100kg. 

St Helens’ Owen LIVESEY (GBR) and sister Amy LIVESEY (GBR) compete side-by-side in Cancun 


Use #JudoCancun2017 to join in with the social media discussion 


-63kg: Brazil’s QUADROS starts her fourth Olympic cycle with Grand Prix gold     

Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Ketleyn QUADROS (BRA) won her third Grand Prix gold medal at the expense of Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Amy LIVESEY (GBR). QUADROS, 29, who won both of her Grand Prix gold medals in 2013, has a wealth of experience at the highest level while world number 14 LIVESEY, who won bronze on the Grand Prix stage in Budapest last year, has made a confident start to her senior career over the last year. QUADROS seized the initiative and threw her British opponent with a drop seoi-nage after two minutes for ippon to prolong her international career for Brazil with future call-ups now a certainty.


In the first semi-final Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Andreja LESKI (SLO) fell to QUADROS and a waza-ari score from a de-ashi-barai as the Brazilian guaranteed her seventh Grand Prix career medal. In the second semi-final LIVESEY submitted former Junior World Championships bronze medallist Vivian HERRMANN (GER) with a koshi-jime strangle having led by a waza-ari from an ouchi-gari.

The first bronze medal was won by Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Lubjana PIOVESANA (GBR) who submitted 23-year-old German judoka HERRMANN with a koshi-jime strangle after 42 seconds. PIOVESANA, 20, showed poise and precision to sink in the strange with razor sharp ne-waza to open the final block.

The second bronze medal was won by Pan American Championships bronze medallist Anriquelis BARRIOS (IJF) against LESKI. BARRIOS, who was bidding to win her first Grand Prix medal, had the height advantage while LESKI was more familiar with the rigours of the IJF World Judo Tour which made for a interesting contest. The 23-year-old Pan American judoka defeated the top seed for improve on her seventh-place from the Almaty Grand Prix last year with bronze from a waza-ari score in the closing seconds. 
 LIVESEY, Amy (GBR) vs QUADROS, Ketleyn (BRA)                                               
Bronze Medal Fights     
HERRMANN, Vivian (GER) vs PIOVESANA, Lubjana (GBR)            
BARRIOS, Anriquelis (IJF) vs LESKI, Andreja (SLO)  

Final Results
1. QUADROS, Ketleyn (BRA)                                                
3. PIOVESANA, Lubjana (GBR)                                                   
3. BARRIOS, Anriquelis (IJF)                                                 
5. HERRMANN, Vivian (GER)                              
5. LESKI, Andreja (SLO)                                               
7. CABANA PEREZ, Cristina (ESP)    
7. LOPEZ AGUILERA, Angeles (ESP)                          

-70kg: World silver medallist BERNABEU conquers familiar foe for Spanish gold 

World silver medallist Maria BERNABEU (ESP) denied Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Sally CONWAY (GBR) a perfect return to IJF duty as the Spanish star took the -70kg final and her country’s second gold medal in Cancun. CONWAY, 30, who took silver on her post-Olympic return to competition at the Bucharest European Open a fortnight ago, led their head-to-head series 4-2 coming into Mexico with all four of the Briton’s wins coming in their last four meetings. Former Budapest Grand Prix winner BERNABEU, who finished fifth at the Rio 2016 Olympics, led with a waza-ari from an ashi-waza attack but the final was decided when CONWAY received her third penalty for going out of the area. Both judoka will be in the medal hunt come Budapest in August with Scotland’s CONWAY targeting her first world medal.  


In the first semi-final Venezuela’s first world number one Elvismar RODRIGUEZ (IJF) lost out to CONWAY who threw her young opponent after 58 seconds of golden score with a sumi-gaeshi for a match-winning waza-ari score. 

In the second semi-final BERNABEU bested Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Gemma HOWELL (GBR) by a waza-ari score as the Spanish team continued to thrive in Mexico.

The first bronze medal was claimed by HOWELL who held down Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Barbara TIMO (BRA) for 20 seconds to win by by ippon. Former junior standout and London 2012 Olympian HOWELL is now enjoying the best run of her career as she has been able to stay injury free and has now won three Grand Prix medals this year.   
The second bronze medal was captured by RODRIGUEZ as former Minsk European Open winner Roxane TAEYMANS (BEL) received her third and final penalty for going out of the area after 90 seconds of golden score. RODRIGUEZ looked more open and adventurous than her earlier contests and that told as TAEYMANS struggled to contain the world leader who picked up valuable World Ranking List points as she all but guaranteed herself the top billing for August’s World Championships. 
BERNABEU, Maria (ESP) vs CONWAY, Sally (GBR)                                                   

Bronze Medal Fights
HOWELL, Gemma (GBR) vs TIMO, Barbara (BRA)                                           
TAEYMANS, Roxane (BEL) vs RODRIGUEZ, Elvismar (IJF)                   

Final Results
1. BERNABEU, Maria (ESP)
2. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)                                                                                                    
3. HOWELL, Gemma (GBR)                                                          
3. RODRIGUEZ, Elvismar (IJF)                    
5. TIMO, Barbara (BRA)                                              
5. TAEYMANS, Roxane (BEL)                         
7. RODRIGUEZ, Sara (ESP)    
7. OLIVEIRA, Amanda (BRA)                                         


-73kg:  Brazil’s CONTINI sees off top seed to make ground on world’s top 10           

Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist Marcelo CONTINI (BRA) won his first Grand Prix medal in dream fashion as he beat the top seed to clinch -73kg gold in Cancun. World number 13 CONTINI, who has gained the upper hand of teammate and Brazil’s Rio 2016 pick Alex William POMBO SILVA (who lost to BUTBUL in the second round in the morning session) avenged his compatriot’s defeat as he submitted BUTBUL – who is being tipped as the hottest commodity in Israeli judo – with a sankaku-jime.


In the first semi-final BUTBUL dismissed Pan American Championships bronze medallist Alexander TURNER (USA) after the American received a third shido in the closing seconds of regulation time for passivity. In the second semi-final CONTINI defeated Bucharest European Open bronze medallist Javier RAMIREZ (ESP) in golden score by a waza-ari.

The first bronze medal contest saw Buenos Aires Pan American Open winner Alonso WONG (PER) defeat RAMIREZ with two waza-ari scores which both came from seoi-nage throws. WONG delivered his country’s second Grand Prix medal in as many days and his first with a strong outing and will now hope to become a permanent fixture on the IJF World Judo Tour.                      
The second bronze medal went to TURNER who defeated Pan American Championships silver medallist Eduardo ARAUJO (MEX) after two minutes of golden score in a hugely exciting contest which had the crowd out of their seats for the duration. The 21-year-old Mexican judoka was fighting for a Grand Prix medal for the first time which could also be said of his American adversary. TURNER launched ARAUJO with a stunning ippon seoi-nage after two minutes of added time for ippon and pointed up to his teammates in the crowd who jumped for joy in celebration of his first Grand Prix medal.  
CONTINI, Marcelo (BRA) vs BUTBUL, Tohar (ISR)                   

Bronze Medal Fights
RAMIREZ, Javier (ESP) vs WONG, Alonso (PER)                                                
ARAUJO, Eduardo (MEX) vs TURNER, Alexander (USA)                                

Final Results
1. CONTINI, Marcelo (BRA)                     
2. BUTBUL, Tohar (ISR)                                                                          
3. WONG, Alonso (PER)                                                 
3. TURNER, Alexander (USA)                                   
5. RAMIREZ, Javier (ESP)     
5. ARAUJO, Eduardo (MEX)
7. DAWSON, Patrick (GBR)                                         

-81kg: Argentina’s leading man LUCENTI wins Grand Prix gold at 17th attempt   

Pan American Championships silver medallist Emmanuel LUCENTI (ARG) won his first Grand Prix gold medal with a win over Russian Grand Slam bronze medallist Etienne BRIAND (CAN) in the -81kg final on Saturday. Two-time Olympian LUCENTI, 32, ended his five-year wait since his last IJF medal (Miami Grand Prix silver) as he always bring his best judo when competing in the Americas. The veteran, who made his Grand Prix debut in 2009, became his country’s first male Grand Prix winner by taking a first time meeting between two of Pan America’s most established -81kg judoka as he threw BRIAND with a drop seoi-nage for a waza-ari which proved decisive after four minutes.   


In the first semi-final BRIAND defeated Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist UNGVARI Attila (HUN) with a beautiful ippon-seoi-nage after 49 seconds of golden score. It was an emphatic ending from BRIAND who guaranteed his best finish at a Grand Prix.

In the second semi-final LUCENTI defeated world bronze medallist Victor PENALBER (BRA) in golden score when the Brazilian received a second shido for passivity after an extra two minutes. PENALBER was the favourite in the contest between the two rival South American nations but did not expect such resistance and commitment from the Argentine who followed wins over European Games winner Sagi MUKI (ISR) and former world runner-up Srdjan MRVALJEVIC (MNE) with a dogged display against his Brazilian opponent.

The first bronze medal contest saw PENALBER emerge victorious against 21-year-old Buenos Aires Pan American Open winner Jack HATTON (USA). Two waza-ari scores were the difference after four minutes as the Brazilian threw with an osoto-gari and a reverse seoi-nage which both troubled the scoreboard.       

The second bronze medal went to number one seed UNGVARI who forced former world silver medallist Srdjan MRVALJEVIC (MNE) to tap out to a sankaku-jime with 50 seconds left in the contest. UNGVARI, who was urged on from the stands by his older brother UNGVARI Miklos, is in the best form of his career and will fancy his chances of home success in Hungary this summer.  
LUCENTI, Emmanuel (ARG) vs BRIAND, Etienne (CAN)                 

Bronze Medal Fights
PENALBER, Victor (BRA) vs HATTON, Jack (USA)                                              
MRVALJEVIC, Srdjan (MNE) vs UNGVARI, Attila (HUN) 

Final Result
1. LUCENTI, Emmanuel (ARG)                    
2. BRIAND, Etienne (CAN)                  
3. PENALBER, Victor (BRA)       
3. UNGVARI, Attila (HUN)                                               
5. HATTON, Jack (USA)                                                
7. LIVESEY, Owen (GBR)                              
7. TURCIOS, Juan Diego (ESA)          

Cancun Grand Prix 2017 - Mexico DAY ONE

Mexican medal rush on day one as the five gold medals all go to different countries in Cancun     

The inaugural Cancun Grand Prix opened on Friday as the stars of judo from the host continent of Pan America made their presence felt in Mexico with only one more stop on the IJF World Judo Tour before August’s 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships.   

Mexico’s first ever Grand Prix is the penultimate event before the annual showpiece in Budapest, Hungary, as the IJF World Judo Tour moves on from North American to visit the Chinese city of Hohhot in Inner Mongolia next for a Grand Prix from 30 June – 2 July.

Day one of #JudoCancun2017 at the Poliforum Benito Juarez, however, launched with the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and the men’s -60kg and -66kg divisions in action.

Before the first day of Grand Prix action got underway, the IJF President Marius VIZER (below) held his latest Twitter Question and Answer session as judoka, coaches, fans, media and national federation’s were among those who sent in their questions and feedback. 




Hosts Mexico had an unforgettable day as they won their first IJF World Judo Tour gold medal and never looked back as the medals flowed.

Mexico had won only one Grand Prix medal before today, a bronze medal from +78kg judoka Vanessa ZAMBOTTI, at the Havana Grand Prix last year but registered in all three medal columns today to finish the opening day second in medal table with a record-breaking haul of one gold, one silver and one bronze medal which was only second to Brazil.

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, reflected on a fantastic opening day of judo and Mexico’s astounding success.

“This is a very important step for Mexican judo and sport here in Cancun. Mexico is a country with great economic and sporting capabilities and has enormous potential in judo. This success today is a testament to the IJF Training Centre in Mexico City which has been supported by the IJF and the Mexican Government and is led by the Mexican Judo Federation and its President and IJF Vice President Mr. Manuel LARRANAGA. The passion and dedication of Mr. LARRANAGA and his team has made these results possible and I hope this marks a new chapter for the Mexican Judo Federation with a new and exciting generation of judoka.

“The Mexican crowd showed their understanding and passion for judo and produced an excellent atmosphere which I am sure will reach another level on Saturday and Sunday.

“Also, today, the five gold medals went to different countries, which shows the universality of our sport. I commend the efforts of all the teams and judoka today as we all work towards the global growth of our sport.”

On Saturday, the second day of the Cancun Grand Prix, four weight categories will be engaged in action as the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories and the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories will all be contested.  


Use #JudoCancun2017 to join in with the social media discussion 


-48kg: CHIBANA strikes first for Brazil with a narrow win over Mexico’s CARRILLO  

Former Grand Slam silver medallist Gabriela CHIBANA (BRA) narrowly defeated Pan American Championships silver medallist Edna CARRILLO (MEX) in the first final of the Cancun Grand Prix 2017. The 25-year-old Mexican judoka, who was already assured of attaining Mexico’s best result on the IJF circuit, slipped to defeat after 23 seconds of golden score as CHIBANA countered the home judoka for a match-winning waza-ari score. CHIBANA, 23, who won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2012 before the event earned Grand Slam status, marginally outworked her opponent and needed the victory to keep pace with her country’s rich crop of -48kg judoka.

In the first semi-final London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) surprisingly fell to CHIBANA who prevailed in golden score. With one shido against the Hungarian and no scores after four minutes, added time was required and after 30 seconds CSERNOVICZKI was penalised for a false attack to hand the contest to her young Brazilian opponent.

The second semi-final between CARRILLO and 23-year-old Pan American Championships bronze medallist Katelyn BOUYSSOU (USA) was also settled in golden score as both judoka finished regulation time with two penalties apiece and a stalemate on the scoreboard. After a further 25 seconds the home judoka produced a match-winning waza-ari score from an osoto-gari.

The first bronze medal contest was won by 2010 Youth Olympic Games winner BOUYSSOU who trapped former Wollongong Oceania Open bronze medallist Kimberley RENICKS (GBR) in osaekomi for 20 seconds. Neither judoka had won a Grand Prix medal before and that changed after three and a half minutes as BOUYSSOU opened the scoring with a ko-uchi-gari and added a waza-ari from osaekomi before the 29-year-old Scot RENICKS slipped out only to fall back into it moments later and this time there was no escape.

The second bronze medal was won by CSERNOVICZKI who did it the hard way as she came from behind to beat IJF World Judo Tour debutant Larissa PIMENTA (BRA). Cadet Pan American Championships winner PIMENTA, 18, dropped down to throw for a waza-ari just 15 seconds before her Hungarian opponent levelled the score with an osoto-otoshi and then claimed her fifth Grand Prix medal by ippon with an irresistible ouchi-gari in the final minute. 
CARRILLO, Edna (MEX) vs CHIBANA, Gabriela (BRA)                        
Bronze Medal Fights
BOUYSSOU, Katelyn (USA) vs RENICKS, Kimberley (GBR)                                                
PIMENTA, Larissa (BRA) vs CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)                       

Final Results
1. CHIBANA, Gabriela (BRA)                                                                          
2. CARRILLO, Edna (MEX)                                               
3. BOUYSSOU, Katelyn (USA)
3. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)                                                                         
5. RENICKS, Kimberley (GBR)                                                                                                  
5. PIMENTA, Larissa (BRA)                                                    
7. CANO, Lesly (PER)    
7. STANGAR, Marusa (SLO)             

-52kg: Mexico celebrates first IJF Grand Prix gold after riveting final  

Pan American Championships silver medallist Luz OLVERA (MEX) was the hero for Mexico as she won her country’s first IJF Grand Prix gold medal. The world number 38 from Mexico defeated the world number 35 from Brazil, Sarah MENEZES, to secure Mexico’s best ever result in judo as the home judoka was lifted by the fervent home support to deliver a thrilling performance which was full of heart. MENEZES, 27, who moved up from -48kg to -52kg in February, has fifth and seventh-place finishes to show from three outings at Grand Slams this year in Paris, Baku and Ekaterinburg, and has gradually made up ground to settle into life in her new category. Chants of ‘Mexico, Mexico’, rang out around the venue as the contest moved into golden score and London 2012 Olympic champion at -48kg MENEZES was penalised for a third time for a false attack to receive hansoku-make and OLVERA lapped up the loudest ovation of the tournament so far as Cancun celebrated a defining moment for Mexican judo.


In the first semi-final Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Angelica DELGADO (USA) was outlasted by OLVERA who threw the American with a determined uchi-mata after two and a half minutes of golden score for a waza-ari. In the second semi-final Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) – who was preparing for the competition on the beaches of Cancun with her uchi-komi bands – lost out to MENEZES by a waza-ari which came from a seoi-nage.

The first bronze medal was clinched by GIUFFRIDA in her first IJF competition since the Olympic Games. The Italian judoka beat Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Anja STANGAR (SLO) as she outmanoeuvred her Slovenian opponent to throw with a ko-soto-gari for ippon with just one second left on the clock. A sixth Grand Prix medal for GIUFFRIDA gives the Rome-based judoka the platform to push on and stake her claim for a first World Championships medal in August.       
The second bronze medal was won by world number 10 DELGADO who recovered from her semi-final defeat to make her top seed status count with a victory over Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Tena SIKIC. DELGADO, whose sole previous appearance on a Grand Prix podium came in her opponent’s homeland last year, won her second Grand Prix bronze medal by a waza-ari score to win USA’s second medal on day one in Mexico.                  
MENEZES, Sarah (BRA) vs OLVERA, Luz (MEX)                                    

Bronze Medal Fights
GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA) vs STANGAR, Anja (SLO)                                            
SIKIC, Tena (CRO) vs DELGADO, Angelica (USA)

Final Results
1. OLVERA, Luz (MEX)                                                                            
2. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)
3. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)                                               
3. DELGADO, Angelica (USA)
5. STANGAR, Anja (SLO)                                                          
5. SIKIC, Tena (CRO)                                               
7. JIMENEZ, Kristine (PAN)                               
7. GAMARRA CARBAJAL, Brillith (PER)                                          

-57kg: MALLOY completes Grand Prix hat-trick ahead of Worlds challenge  

Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Miryam ROPER (PAN) made history last time out when she won Panama’s first ever IJF World Judo Tour medal but had to settle for silver in Cancun after she could not contest the final against long-time rival Marti MALLOY (USA) due to a knee injury sustained during her warm-up. ROPER, 34, lost to MALLOY for bronze at the Pan American Championships this year on her Panama debut and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and former world silver medallist MALLOY also ended up with the win this time around in Pan America. A third Grand Prix gold for MALLOY puts her on the brink of a title tilt at the World Championships while ROPER is equipped to mount the same challenge in Budapest.


In the first semi-final ROPER gave Bucharest European Open bronze medallist Jaione EQUISOAIN (ESP) all sorts of problems with her probing ashi-waza and opened the scoring with a waza-ari from a ko-soto-gake. ROPER then showed off her ne-waza as she pounced on her opponent to tap out the Spaniard on the ground and move into the final. In the second semi-final evergreen veteran Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) went the distance with MALLOY as they could not be separated after a tenacious four minute battle. Only 12 seconds of golden score was required as MALLOY scored a waza-ari with a ko-uchi-gari as her Austrian foe almost countered with a ura-nage but the back of FILZMOSER touched the mat first and the American moved forward into the final.

The first bronze medal was won by FILZMOSER who held down five-time Grand Prix medallist Viola WAECHTER (GER) for 20 seconds with a ushiro-kesa-gatame for ippon. The wily Austrian, 37, subdued her 30-year-old German opponent on the ground in trademark fashion and now looks set for one more appearance at the World Championships.

The second bronze medal was won by former Pan American Championships bronze medallist Anailys DORVIGNY (CUB) after four minutes of golden score against former Almaty Grand Prix silver medallist EQUISOAIN. The Spanish judoka led with a waza-ari from a ushiro-kesa-gatame hold but DORVIGNY fought back in the closing seconds to force golden score. EQUISOAIN was penalised for a false attack in the fifth minute of added time to hand the bronze medal to the Cuban judoka. 

MALLOY, Marti (USA) vs ROPER, Miryam (PAN)                    

Bronze Medal Fights
FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT) vs WAECHTER, Viola (GER)          
DORVIGNY, Anailys (CUB) vs EQUISOAIN, Jaione (ESP)

Final Results 
1. MALLOY, Marti (USA)
2. ROPER, Miryam (PAN)                                                                 
3. FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT)                            
3. DORVIGNY, Anailys (CUB)
5. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)                                                                  
5. EQUISOAIN, Jaione (ESP)  
7. FULGENTES, Amelia (USA)   
7. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)                         


-60kg: Flying Spaniard GARRIGOS grabs first Grand Prix gold   

European Championships bronze medallist Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) won his first Grand Prix gold medal on day one in Mexico with a speedy win over three-time Grand Prix bronze medallist Phelipe PELIM (BRA). The 22-year-old has now topped the IJF medal podium at Grand Slam and Grand Prix events and is poised for a serious medal challenge at the World Championships this year. GARRIGOS shocked PELIM as he worked with great energy on the ground in the opening ne-waza exchange and forced the world number 23 from Brazil to submit to a hadaka-jime strangle after only 33 seconds.


In the first semi-final GARRIGOS pinned down Bucharest European Open winner Daniel BEN DAVID (ISR) with a tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds to earn ippon. In the second semi-final PELIM squared off against former European Championships bronze medallist Ashley MCKENZIE (GBR) and saw off the Londoner with a single waza-ari score in a close contest.

The first bronze medal was won by MCKENZIE in a thoroughly entertaining contest against 21-year-old Buenos Aires Pan American Open winner Adonis DIAZ (USA). Double Olympian MCKENZIE went ahead after 26 seconds with a waza-ari from a seoi-nage before DIAZ restored parity with a ouchi-gari effort. After a string of speculative efforts from the young American - who was fighting for a Grand Prix medal for the first time - including a yoko-tomoe-nage attempt, MCKENZIE added a second waza-ari and wrapped up a commanding performance with a morote-seoi-nage for ippon.

The second bronze medal was won by 19-year-old IJF World Judo Tour rookie Jorre VERSTRAETEN (BEL) who graced a medal podium at this level for the first time after rallying in golden score against 21-year-old BEN DAVID. VERSTRAETEN struck Grand Prix silverware for the first time with a wonderful combination as a right-sided ashi-waza attack was immediately followed by a left-sided sutemi-waza movement that sent BEN DAVID over for ippon. 


PELIM, Phelipe (BRA) vs GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)                      

Bronze Medal Fights
MCKENZIE, Ashley (GBR) vs DIAZ, Adonis (USA)                                               
VERSTRAETEN, Jorre (BEL) vs BEN DAVID, Daniel (ISR)                   

Final Results 
1. GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)                                                                
2. PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)                                        
3. MCKENZIE, Ashley (GBR)  
3. VERSTRAETEN, Jorre (BEL)                       
5. DIAZ, Adonis (USA)                                                   
5. BEN DAVID, Daniel (ISR)                                     
7. CALLE, Dilmer (PER)   
7. PATINO VILLAGRA, Michael (PER)   

-66kg: World number four FLICKER ends Grand Prix title wait with the Worlds to comeBaku Grand Slam winner Tal FLICKER (ISR) topped the -66kg category on Friday with a convincing win against Bucharest European Open silver medallist Alberto GAITERO MARTIN (ESP) in the final. The world number four, who won his first Grand Slam in March in Baku, finally clinched Grand Prix gold with a resounding win by ippon as he held down his Spanish opponent for 20 seconds having already produced two waza-ari scores. FLICKER is one of Israel’s leading medal hopes for the Worlds this year and based on this evidence has all the tools to trouble anyone at this weight and will likely start in Budapest from a seeded position.


In the first semi-final FLICKER defeated Pan American Championships bronze medallist Juan POSTIGOS (PER) by a waza-ari while in the second semi-final Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Baruch SHMAILOV (ISR) was denied by a golden score waza-ari from GAITERO MARTIN.

The first bronze medal was won by former Pan American Championships winner Nabor CASTILLO (MEX) in the contest immediately following the gold medal win of OLVERA. CASTILLO defeated SHMAILOV who was disqualified for attempting a bridge to try to avoid giving away a score. The London 2012 Olympian became Mexico’s first male judoka to win Grand Prix honours with a career-best performance as the volume continued to rise inside the Poliforum Benito Juarez as the home fans were now being spoiled.

The second bronze medal went to POSTIGOS who registered two waza-ari scores without reply against Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Andraz JEREB (SLO) to show the strength of Pan American judo by winning Peru’s first IJF World Judo Tour medal.     



Bronze Medal Fights
SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR) vs CASTILLO, Nabor (MEX)                                               
JEREB, Andraz (SLO) vs POSTIGOS, Juan (PER)   

Final Result 
1. FLICKER, Tal (ISR)                                              
3. CASTILLO, Nabor (MEX)                                                
3. POSTIGOS, Juan (PER)      
5. SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR)     
5. JEREB, Andraz (SLO)       
7. WYNS, Senne (BEL)                                            
7. BURNS, Nathon (IRL)