2015 Zagreb Grand Prix, Croatia - Day 2 Back
May 2, 2015
Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 - Croatia
The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 was the talk of Croatia on Saturday as Olympic and world champions took to the tatami and the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC, officially opened the Grand Prix at the Dom Sportova Arena.
On day two gold medallists were crowned in the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and in the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories. World champion Clarisse AGBEBGNENOU (FRA) and Olympic bronze medallist VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) were on -63kg and -81kg duty respectively while Olympic champion Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) was anxious to boost his chances of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics to defend his title.
The opening ceremony took place ahead of the final block on Saturday as the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC and IJF and SportAccord President Mr. Marius VIZER joined Croatian Judo Federation President, Ms. Sanda CORAK on the stage.
After a memorable performance of the Croatian national anthem by Ms. Ema GAGRO, Croatian Judo Federation President, Ms. Sanda CORAK, made the opening address.
President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC (centre), was joined by IJF and SportAccord President Mr. Marius VIZER (right) and Ms. Sanda CORAK, CJF President (left)
"Dear Madam President, Mr. President VIZER, dear Mayor of Zagreb Mr. Milan BANDIC, dear competitors and all judo friends, it is my privilege and honour to wish a cordial welcome to the President of Croatia under whose auspices this Grand Prix has been organised. It is also my pleasure to wish you all a warm welcome to the third IJF Grand Prix in Croatia and second here in Zagreb.
"This event has a record number of more than 400 competitors from 55 countries. It is the biggest senior judo competition ever held in Croatia. I am sure there a lot of champions among you and I am sure many of you are eager to be new champions. I want to thank all of our partners, sponsors and all those who have worked hard and organised this Grand Prix. I want to express my gratitude to Mr. Marius VIZER for his continuous support of our Federation. I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you next year and finally I hope your stay in Zagreb will be a memorable one.”
IJF and SportAccord President Mr. Marius VIZER said: "Your Excellency, President of Croatia, dear guests, spectators, media members and athletes, the athletes are the heroes of sport. Our athletes benefit our society and if we invest in sport we invest in society. I thank the Croatian Judo Federation for hosting this event and I thank the sponsors, spectators and media representatives for supporting this event. I wish you successful judo and thank you all.”
The -63kg Awarding Ceremony
The stage was set for President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC, under whose auspices the Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 was organised, to declare the competition open.
"President VIZER, Ms. Sanda CORAK, athletes, distinguished guests, I wish you a warm welcome and I wish to thank the Croatian Judo Federation and Mr. VIZER, President of the IJF, for making this event possible," said the President.
"It is a great pleasure and honour to be here with you all today. Sport is a way of life, especially for youth and also for people who enjoy it as a recreational activity. Sport can be used for a healthy lifestyle and to meet new people and experience different cultures. Sport has played a great part in the history of Croatia and is the best way to promote our country around the world. Sport also serves to promote our towns, cities and cultural heritage. It is so important for our children to have places to train and to develop their talents, talents which we are famous for around the globe.
"The third consecutive Grand Prix of Zagreb is a very special one as athletes from around world are here trying to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Points acquired here will be of extreme importance to the athletes and all countries. I wish you success today and in your career in the future. I hope all our visitors can be introduced to parts of our cultural heritage here in Zagreb. I wish you good health and many happy moments – I declare the Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 open,” added the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC.
President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC and IJF and SportAccord President Mr. Marius VIZER were joined by respective members of Croatian government, the IJF and CJF
On Sunday, the three-day Grand Prix will come to a close with the remaining five gold medals up for grabs. Judo fans can watch all the action live and free on the internet (www.ippon.tv) in the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories and the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories.
World silver medallist TOTH Krisztian (HUN), who turned 21 on Friday, will be in -90kg action while world champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) will be out to dominate the -100kg category. Dusseldorf Grand Prix silver medallist Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) will also be among the names to look out for on day three as she battles in the -78kg category.
FOLLOW THE COMPETITION
Tokyo Grand Slam winner Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) ruled the -63kg category on Saturday as she saw off current world champion Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) in the final. TRSTENJAK, who was seeking her first victory over her fabled French foe after three defeats against previously, took the lead with a waza-ari but AGBEGNENOU was not fazed and fought back. The 22-year-old countered an uchi-mata to roll her Slovenian rival over onto her back but was countered herself as TRSTENJAK retained control with a tate-shiho-gatame subduing AGBEGNENOU for 15 seconds and a magnificent win.
TRSTENJAK said: "This is really important to me because of the points towards Rio 2016. I came here to win and I’m very happy. I know I beat the current and former world champions today but to me this is already in the past and I now look forward to fighting in my next event which I will determine with my coaches.”
In the first semi-final AGBEGNENOU defeated Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Edwige GWEND (ITA). The French fighter, who extended her perfect head-to-head record against the Italian to 6-0, was dominant once again as she opened the scoring after a minute with a yuko from a koshi-guruma. AGBEGNENOU added a second yuko and a waza-ari before picking up the Italian fighter with ease to win by ippon. In the second semi-final world number two GERBI was undone by TRSTENJAK who outlasted the big-throwing Israeli judoka. GERBI, who had won four of their previous five meetings, was held down with mune-gatame for 15 seconds and ran out of energy in the closing minute.
The first bronze medal was won by 2013 world champion GERBI against Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Agata OZDOBA (POL). The Polish fighter lost out by a shido as GERBI showed her tenacity by digging deep to force her way onto the podium. The second bronze medal was claimed by GWEND who returned to winning ways by defeating Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Martyna TRAJDOS (GER). The hard-working Italian fighter scored a waza-ari with an ouchi-gari which was not the cleanest technique as she fell towards her opponent but TRAJDOS could not issue a response.
TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO) vs AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)
Bronze Medal Fights
GERBI, Yarden (ISR) vs OZDOBA, Agata (POL)
GWEND, Edwige (ITA) vs TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)
1. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)
2. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)
3. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)
3. GWEND, Edwige (ITA)
5. OZDOBA, Agata (POL)
5. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)
7. TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL)
7. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)
Samsun Grand Prix winner Linda BOLDER (ISR) won her second Grand Prix title of the year as Glasgow European Open winner Sally CONWAY (GBR) had to settle for silver. BOLDER chopped down her opponent wish ashi-waza and applied osaekomi after countering the ne-waza efforts of her highly-regarded rival. Both judoka will expect today’s results to steer them towards bigger wins and closer to the summit of the -70kg category.
BOLDER said: "I am delighted to medal again. I’ll be in Baku aiming to pick up another medal and give me the best possible chance of qualifying for the World Judo Masters.”
In the first semi-final contest BOLDER defeated Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Szaundra DIEDRICH (GER). The young German judoka was penalised with a shido for dropping before her opponent was held accountable for going out of the area. BOLDER pulled away with a waza-ari score as DIEDRICH left herself exposed from a failed attack and the former utilised her upper body power to send the German down for the score. In the second semi-final CONWAY was on form as she defeated world bronze medallist Katarzyna KLYS (POL) with a juji-gatame. The Bristol-born fighter always comes into her own on the ground and is a natural finisher when there is any chance to attack on the ground.
The first bronze medal was claimed by top seed Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN) who inflicted a second consecutive defeat for KLYS. A harai-goshi from the Canadian was blocked but her Polish opponent could not stop a driving uchi-mata which was enough for a waza-ari. The second bronze medal contest was won by Prague European Open winner Fanny Estelle POSVITE (FRA) as DIEDRICH was on the losing side once more. POSVITE led with a waza-ari score and added a second in osaekomi with 90 seconds left on the clock.
CONWAY, Sally (GBR) vs BOLDER, Linda (ISR)
Bronze Medal Fights
KLYS, Katarzyna (POL) vs ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN)
DIEDRICH, Szaundra (GER) vs POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)
1. BOLDER, Linda (ISR)
2. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)
3. ZUPANCIC, Kelita (CAN)
3. POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)
5. KLYS, Katarzyna (POL)
5. DIEDRICH, Szaundra (GER)
7. PROKOPENKO, Alena (RUS)
7. RENAUD-ROY, Alix (CAN)
Olympic champion Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) achieved a career first as he won Grand Prix gold for the first time and in doing so finally looked at home in the -73kg category. SHAVDATUASHVILI emerged victorious against Mongolian legend KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar (MGL) to earn much-needed Olympic qualification points and undoubtedly a morale boost after finding the going hard in the category above -66kg where he won gold in London. SHAVDATUASHVILI, who as an Olympic champion wears a gold backpatch, scored with a winding ouchi-gari as he left his foot there and KHASHBAATAR could not hold the Georgian off for a waza-ari score. Both judoka are idols in their own countries and revered around the world but the top place on the medal podium belonged to SHAVDATUASHVILI who scored a second waza-ari with a ura-nage.
SHAVDATUASHVILI said: "Today I won my first Grand Prix gold medal which is something I have wanted for a long time. After I changed categories from -66kg to -73kg I started really badly at my new weight. It was hard to adjust, I needed to change a lot of things and develop my power. There were some low points for me but now I feel more comfortable. KHASHBAATAR is someone I have a lot of respect for as a champion and a person, he is a great sportsman and I look forward to our next meeting.”
In the first semi-final KHASHBAATAR bested top seed Dex ELMONT (NED) in a close contest which was settled on shido penalties. The first semi-final of the day saw ELMONT penalised for passivity after 90 seconds and then negative posture while KHASHBAATAR was only penalised for passivity. In the second semi-final SHAVDATUASHVILI downed Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Pierre DUPRAT (FRA). The Georgian was successful by ippon and sensed gold could well be the outcome of his ever-improving day for the first time on the Grand Prix stage.
The first bronze medal was won by DUPRAT who denied 22-year-old Sofia European Open silver medallist Sami CHOUCHI (BEL) what would have been a first Grand Prix medal. It was a strong showing from DUPRAT on the ground as he created the space to catch the arm of the Belgian and submitted him with juji-gatame in the first minute. The second bronze medal was won by Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Sagi MUKI (ISR) as a frustrating day for ELMONT ended with fifth-place. The second seed defeated the top seed as MUKI, who thwarted a hopeful tai-otoshi attack with ease, countered ELMONT for a yuko and the victory.
SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) vs KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL)
Bronze Medal Fights
DUPRAT, Pierre (FRA) vs CHOUCHI, Sami (BEL)
ELMONT, Dex (NED) vs MUKI, Sagi (ISR)
1. SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO)
2. KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL)
3. DUPRAT, Pierre (FRA)
3. MUKI, Sagi (ISR)
5. CHOUCHI, Sami (BEL)
5. ELMONT, Dex (NED)
7. DREBOT, Serhiy (UKR)
7. KHOMULA, Artem (UKR)
Rijeka 2013 Grand Prix winner KRIZSAN Szabolcs (HUN) defeated teammate CSOKNYAI Laszlo (HUN) in a repeat final and outcome of the Tunisia African Open. The Hungarian colleagues cancelled each other out for all five minutes and could only be separated on shido penalties. CSOKNYAI infringed on three occasions while KRIZSAN was only penalised once to send the latter onto the top of the podium in a result which will have domestic and international ramifications as both men move up the rankings.
KRIZSAN said: "This is a very meaningful result for me because there are three strong fighters in this category in Hungary and we’re all at a similar position on the ranking list. I have earned 300 points today and that is crucial for me to try and position myself as the number one at my weight. I have a good friendship with CSOKNYAI and we have a lot of respect for each other. I will now compete next week in the Baku Grand Slam and hopefully the World Judo Masters after that.”
In the first semi-final CSOKNYAI bested highly-dangerous veteran Antonio CIANO (ITA) while an all-Hungarian final became a reality when Khasan KHALMURZAEV (RUS) succumbed to KRIZSAN as the Russian was disqualified for a leg grab.
The first bronze medal was won by Astana Grand Prix silver medallist KHALMURZAEV who stopped Zebeda REKHVIASHVILI (GEO) from earning what would have been his country’s second medal of the day. The second bronze medal was captured by 19-year-old Frank DE WIT (NED) who produced a sensational display to defeat veteran CIANO for the last spot on the podium and his maiden medal on the senior World Judo Tour. With a 15-year age gap between them, DE WIT was able to squeeze out the win on shido penalties with one against his record and two against the Italian judoka.
DE WIT, who stunned top-ranked opponents such as Travis STEVENS (USA) and Sven MARESCH (GER), said: "I’ve had an amazing day, especially the second round where I beat Travis STEVENS (USA) as that was very special for me. I’m really happy with what I achieved, I found it very difficult in the bronze medal contest against CIANO (ITA) because he was so strong, it was difficult to get a grip and attack but I got the result in the end and it means everything to me.”
KRIZSAN, Szabolcs (HUN) vs CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN)
Bronze Medal Fights
KHALMURZAEV, Khasan (RUS) vs REKHVIASHVILI, Zebeda (GEO)
CIANO, Antonio (ITA) vs DE WIT, Frank (NED)
1. KRIZSAN, Szabolcs (HUN)
2. CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN)
3. KHALMURZAEV, Khasan (RUS)
3. DE WIT, Frank (NED)
5. REKHVIASHVILI, Zebeda (GEO)
5. CIANO, Antonio (ITA)
7. BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)
7. MARESCH, Sven (GER)
10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat
Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg
Location: Dom Sportova Arena
IJF Media & Communications Department
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager
Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director
Photos © IJF Media by T. Zahonyi