2015 Zagreb Grand Prix, Croatia - Day 1 Back
May 1, 2015
Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 - Croatia
The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 crowned five gold medallists on an eventful opening day in the Croatian capital as two of the top seeds suffered early exits while rising stars emerged at the Dom Sportova Arena.
The fourth IJF Grand Prix of the season opened with action in the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories.
Left - Olympic rowing silver medallist Martin SINKOVIC (blue judogi) gets to grips with judo
Croatia’s third Grand Prix, which will be followed next week by the first Grand Slam of the year in Baku, has attracted a record entry of 434 judoka from 55 nations. The Croatian Judo Federation have ambitions to propel the Olympic sport towards further national acclaim and this weekend’s showcase is a signal of their intent.
Ms. Sanda CORAK, Croatian Judo Federation President, said: "I believe that all those that participated last year have good memories of Zagreb as a host town. From the comments of many visitors, we know that Zagreb is an interesting tourist destination and that something new can always be discovered.
"As a capital of Croatia, Zagreb is hosting many international sport events throughout the year and among them, many judo events and tournaments too. Therefore, I believe that Croatian Judo Federation together with Zagreb Judo Association will be able to meet all your expectations during the competition.
"My special thanks goes to all partners, sponsors and to all those who have worked hard and with great enthusiasm to organise this Grand Prix event. I would also like to express my gratitude to the President of IJF, Mr. Marius VIZER, for the continuous support and confidence of IJF towards our Federation.”
European bronze medallist Barbara MATIC (CRO) prepares European gymnastics champion Marijo MOZNIK (white judogi) for his first judo lesson
Ahead of the final block, the Croatian Judo Federation held a special training session at their Judo Park inside the venue as Olympic rowing silver medallist Martin SINKOVIC and European gymnastics champion Marijo MOZNIK donned a judogi for the first time.
The Croatian stars were put through their paces by their judo counterparts as national team members Barbara MATIC, Tomislav MARJIANOVIC, Sasa SAFRANIC, Vladimir PRERADOVIC, Slavisa BRADIC and Ivica KOSTA were all on hand to welcome their special guests onto the tatami.
Marijo MOZNIK throws Vladimir PRERADOVIC (CRO)
On Saturday the action continues with the middleweights aiming for Croatian glory. The women’s -63kg category will include the world’s top four while Pan American champion and world number three Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN) leads the -70kg judoka into action. World number one Dex ELMONT (NED) will be among the -73kg hopefuls while world silver medallist Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) is the top seed in the -81kg category which also houses world number seven Travis STEVENS (USA).
FOLLOW THE COMPETITION
Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR) reigned supreme against Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Ebru SAHIN (TUR). The Turkish rivals had only met on the international stage once previously in 2012 at the Istanbul European Cup where LOKMANHEKIM came out on top. World number 27 LOKMANHEKIM triumphed against world number 19 SAHIN with a ko-soto-gake after 57 seconds. SAHIN dislocated her elbow in the process having landed awkwardly and will be expected to be available to resume training in three months time.
In the first semi-final LOKMANHEKIM dismissed Astana Grand Prix bronze medallist Valentina MOSCATT (ITA) with a positive display to book her spot in the final. The Turkish judoka, who bested number one seed Taciana LIME-BALDE (GBS) in the quarter-finals, opened the scoring with a waza-ari as MOSCATT failed to reply with repeated seoi-nage efforts as the former absorbed those attacks.
An all-Turkish final was confirmed when SAHIN, who took to the tatami with the semi-final victory of her teammate from the previous contest no doubt in her mind, was too sharp for 19-year-old Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Irina DOLGOVA (RUS). With a steely focus SAHIN subdued ne-waza specialist DOLGOVA with a calculated shime-waza technique as the Russian tapped out after 26 seconds.
The first bronze medal was awarded to DOLGOVA who bounced back from a semi-final loss to beat Casablanca African Open bronze medallist Scarlett GABRIELLI (FRA). The young Russian scored a yuko with a cutting piece of ashi-waza to break the deadlock with 29 seconds remaining as she earned the third Grand Prix medal of her career. The second bronze medal was won by MOSCATT who just did enough to deny Tbilisi Grand Prix runner-up Julia FIGUEROA (ESP). The contest was a stalemate at the halfway point and they were not separated on the scoreboard until the final minute when FIGUEROA was penalised with a shido for passivity. MOSCATT was penalised for the same reason moments later but found her scoring touch with 13 seconds left by throwing with a drop seoi-nage for a yuko and punched the air in celebration after the four minutes had elapsed.
Top seed and world number six LIMA-BALDE had to settle for seventh-place after losing out by hansoku-make against GABRIELLI for receiving four shido penalties in her first repechage contest having led by a waza-ari from a trademark ouchi-gari. Meanwhile teenage world bronze medallist Amandine BUCHARD (FRA), who was due to revert back from -52kg to -48kg duty today, failed to attend the weigh-in on Friday night and watched the action from the stands.
SAHIN, Ebru (TUR) vs LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)
Bronze Medal Fights
DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS) vs GABRIELLI, Scarlett (FRA)
MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA) vs FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
1. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)
2. SAHIN, Ebru (TUR)
3. DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)
3. MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA)
5. GABRIELLI, Scarlett (FRA)
5. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
7. LIMA-BALDE, Taciana (GBS)
7. BRIGIDA, Nathalia (BRA)
World silver medallist and world number two Andreea CHITU (ROU) showed her fighting spirit as she beat Tyumen Grand Slam silver medallist Yulia RYZHOVA (RUS) in a frenetic contest. CHITU, who was penalised for passivity after 90 seconds, was first to the grip for the remainder of the contest as she showed a real appetite for beating the Russian and received the rewards for all her endeavours in the form of the gold medal. CHITU scored a waza-ari with 39 seconds left as RYZHOVA was second best in her last contest.
In the first semi-final CHITU overcame 19-year-old Samsun Grand Prix winner Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) by ippon after leading with a yuko. In the second semi-final RYZHOVA comprehensively defeated Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Agata PERENC (POL) with a waza-ari advantage before scoring ippon as the Polish fighter could not trouble the defensively robust Russian.
The first bronze medal was clinched by beaten semi-finalist PERENC who held off Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) to win by a yuko which was the only score of the contest. GIUFFRIDA, 20, was narrowly undone as both judoka attacked with ashi-waza and the Polish fighter picked up the score to continue her strong start to the year. The second bronze medal was won by KRASNIQI who bested Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Annabelle EURANIE (FRA). As -52kg world champion Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS) urged on her teammate from the stands the Kosovan dynamo showed her quality as she cancelled out the high-quality veteran EURANIE who herself has been a prominent figure on the IJF World Judo Tour.
RYZHOVA, Yulia (RUS) vs CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
Bronze Medal Fights
PERENC, Agata (POL) vs GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)
KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS) vs EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)
1. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
2. RYZHOVA, Yulia (RUS)
3. PERENC, Agata (POL)
3. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
5. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)
5. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)
7. HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL)
7. BABAMURATOVA, Gulbadam (TKM)
Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Nekoda SMYTHE DAVIS (GBR) took her career to new heights in Zagreb as she defeated Olympic bronze medallist Marti MALLOY (USA) who was fresh from winning the Pan American Championships a week ago. SMYTHE DAVIS won her first IJF Grand Prix gold medal and with it her first win against the world-renowned MALLOY who had triumphed in their two previous meetings. The 22-year-old Londoner scored ippon with 53 seconds left and could not hide her emotions on the tatami as she wept with tears of joy. MALLOY returned to an IJF podium for the first time since taking silver at the 2014 Tyumen Grand Slam.
In the first semi-final SMYTHE DAVIS threw Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Tina ZELTNER (AUT) with a majestic uchi-mata as the Austrian was sent through the air in a battle of two of the brightest talents in the weight category. In the second semi-final MALLOY, who was clearly buoyed by her Pan American Championships victory, conquered Glasgow European Open silver medallist Johanna MUELLER (GER), to guarantee an overdue medal on the IJF World Judo Tour. MALLOY worked with her usual conviction to capture the left arm of MUELLER and locked on the juji-gatame to force the German judoka to submit.
The first bronze medal was won by MUELLER who worked her way into the contest against Olympic silver medallist Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU). The world number 46 from Germany struck with 15 seconds left as she scored a yuko and there was not enough time for her Romanian foe to respond. There was an audible gasp of delight from the German who earned her country’s third medal on day one. The second bronze medal was won by ZELTNER, who having eliminated top seed Miryam ROPER (GER) in the second round, was good value for a place on the podium. ZELTNER, 22, who is behind Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) domestically, outperformed her veteran countrywoman today, as she defeated 18-year-old Junior European bronze medallist and Cadet European champion Andreja LESKI (SLO) for bronze while FILZMOSER fell in the second round to MUELLER. LESKI, who won her first senior title at the Sarajevo European Cup in March, lost out with 90 seconds left on the clock.
MALLOY, Marti (USA) vs SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)
Bronze Medal Fights
MUELLER, Johanna (GER) vs CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU)
ZELTNER, Tina (AUT) vs LESKI, Andreja (SLO)
1. SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)
2. MALLOY, Marti (USA)
3. MUELLER, Johanna (GER)
3. ZELTNER, Tina (AUT)
5. CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU)
5. LESKI, Andreja (SLO)
7. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)
7. ILIEVA, Ivelina (BUL)
Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Hovhannes DAVTYAN (ARM) was unstoppable for Armenia as he concluded his classy outing with a victory against Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Tobias ENGLMAIER (GER). DAVTYAN, who is part of a five-strong Armenian team who have been supported to be here by the IJF, scored a waza-ari with an osoto-gari and sealed the win by trapping his opponent in osaekomi for 15 seconds to win by wazari-awasette-ippon.
In the first semi-final top seed GANBOLD Kherlen (MGL) fell to world number 19 DAVTYAN. World number 12 GANBOLD was penalised with a shido for dropping before his rival was penalised for the same indiscretion. The Mongolian went in front with an uchi-mata on the edge of the area for a waza-ari and shortly thereafter his overzealous coach was asked to leave the field of play for coaching while the contest was in play rather than during the breaks in the action. DAVTYAN was penalised with a shido for a false attack as GANBOLD applied more and more pressure but the Armenian had done enough as the five minutes elapsed and he could look forward to a place in the final.
In the second semi-final Casablanca African Open bronze medallist Nuno CARVALHO (POR) lost out to ENGLMAIER (GER) who was defiant in the preliminary rounds. ENGLMAIER led with a waza-ari but still showed invention and the desire to win by ippon which he did with a low morote-seoi-nage with 51 seconds remaining.
The first bronze medal was claimed by Junior world champion Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) who defeated CARVALHO to win the first senior IJF medal of his career. The young Spaniard finish fifth here a year ago which shows his development over the last 12 months. GARRIGOS scored a yuko from a ko-uchi-makikomi and added a second from a drop seoi-nage and there was no way back for the Portuguese hope CARVALHO. The second bronze medal went to GANBOLD who will be relieved to have salvaged something from his day having started as the top seed. The Mongolian outlasted Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Phelipe PELIM (BRA) who received three shido penalties while the former was only reprimanded twice.
ENGLMAIER, Tobias (GER) vs DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM)
Bronze Medal Fights
CARVALHO, Nuno (POR) vs GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)
GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL) vs PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)
1. DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM)
2. ENGLMAIER, Tobias (GER)
3. GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)
3. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL)
5. CARVALHO, Nuno (POR)
5. PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)
7. KULIKOV, Dmitriy (RUS)
7. KABA, Ahmet Sahin (TUR)
World bronze medallist Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) was at his dynamic best in Croatia as he sealed a fine day by besting Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Sebastian SEIDL (GER) to win gold. The 2009 world champion was irresistible as he won all five fights by ippon and did not concede a single score including during the final against world number 20 SEIDL. ZANTARAIA scored a waza-ari to take a significant lead and did not stop there as he finished the contest with osaekomi as SEIDL was overpowered on the ground for 15 seconds.
In the first semi-final ZANTARAIA progressed at the expense of Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Golan POLLACK (ISR) by ippon at which point he became a firm favourite to rule the category and hear his anthem at the end of the day. In the second semi-final the surprise run of world number 78 Sinan SANDAL (TUR) was initially curtailed by Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Sebastian SEIDL (GER). SEIDL wrapped up his opponent on the ground with a sankaku-gatame for 20 seconds to advance by ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by SANDAL who saw off Buenos Aires Pan American silver medallist Nathon BURNS (GBR). Both judoka were aiming for their first IJF World Judo Tour medal and the result went in the favour of the Turkish judoka who scored a waza-ari, the only score of the contest, and finished with three shido penalties to his name. BURNS will not be too dispirited as it’s clearly a matter of time before he’s winning medals on this stage. The second bronze medal went to POLLACK who secured an important domestic and international victory against teammate and Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Baruch SHMAILOV (ISR). POLLACK opened his account for 2015 at his third Grand Prix of the year with three yuko scores going unanswered in a contest which initially lacked vigour before the eventual winner showed willing and was rewarded with the final place on the podium.
SEIDL, Sebastian (GER) vs ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)
Bronze Medal Fights
SANDAL, Sinan (TUR) vs BURNS, Nathon (GBR)
POLLACK, Golan (ISR) vs SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR)
1. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)
2. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)
3. SANDAL, Sinan (TUR)
3. POLLACK, Golan (ISR)
5. BURNS, Nathon (GBR)
5. SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR)
7. TATARASHVILI, Tornike (GEO)
7. GHAZARYAN, Arsen (ARM)
10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
16:30 Opening ceremony
17:00 Final block on one mat
Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg
10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat
Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg
Location: Dom Sportova Arena
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Photos © IJF Media by T. Zahonyi and M. Kravac