2015 Baku Grand Slam - Azerbaijan DAY 1 Back
May 8, 2015
The first IJF Grand Slam of the season produced a pulsating day of judo on Friday as the home fans were in full voice at the Baku Grand Slam 2015 to rally their home team and welcome the world’s leading nations at the atmospheric Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre.
The three-day event has attracted 356 judoka from 48 nations with the European portion all intent on returning in June for the inaugural European Games.
On the opening day in the Azerbaijan capital the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories opened the first of this year’s five Grand Slams.
On Saturday the action continues on the three tatami with four weight categories competing with the aim of boosting their chances of qualifying for the World Judo Masters in two weeks as the world’s top 16 judoka from each category will be invited to Rabat, Morocco.
The women’s -63kg and -70kg judoka will be joined in action on day two by the men’s -73kg and -81kg judoka.
Azerbaijan’s leading -73kg hope Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) said: "I am from Baku and I live in Baku so this Grand Slam means so much to me. I feel good, I am setting everything up to achieve my aim and that is the gold medal.”
Brazil’s -81kg hero Leandro GUILHEIRO (BRA) said: "I feel good. I've been training very hard and I know I'll find my judo again. It's a matter of time. Maybe this time will come in Baku.”
Dutch ace Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED), who will take to the tatami in the -63kg category, said: "Last weekend I had a cold and did not feel fit enough to compete. Now I'm feeling ok, I’m not at my peak form yet but I'm excited to compete and give it my best in the first Grand Slam of the year.”
FOLLOW THE COMPETITION
Qingdao Grand Prix winner Monica UNGUREANU (ROU) topped a Grand Slam medal podium for the first time in her flourishing career as she bested Olympic bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN). The Grand Slam gold was the first IJF medal of the year for UNGUREANU as she celebrated a notable double. After four minutes of action UNGUREANU and CSERNOVICZKI were tied with two shidos each and the scoreless bout went into golden score. An additional 24 seconds were required for UNGUREANU to win by ippon when CSERNOVICZKI put her right leg and hip across her opponent who anticipated the attack and turned her over with force for gold.
UNGUREANU said: "I am very happy and I hope I can come back and win gold at the European Games as that is my goal and today was good preparation for me.”
The first semi-final pitted the London 2012 bronze medallists against each other as CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) defeated Charline VAN SNICK (BEL) in a scoreless contest. Top seed CSERNOVICZKI came through with the victory by way of shido penalties as she was penalised once while her Belgian opponent was penalised twice. In the second semi-final Samsun Grand Prix silver medallist Nathalia BRIGIDA (BRA) squared off against UNGUREANU. The contest followed the pattern of the first semi-final as both judoka were unable to create any scoring opportunities and were only separated on penalties. BRIGIDA has made great progress in 2015 as she has tackled Grand Prix, Pan American Open and now Grand Slam events with her usual commitment but was sent into the repechage by the Romanian who had two shidos on her record which was one less than the Brazilian.
The first bronze medal was awarded to BRIGIDA who outworked and outthought Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Julia FIGUEROA (ESP). One of the -48kg protagonists was going to win their first Grand Slam medal and that honour went to the Brazilian who will surge up the rankings to make up substantial ground on Olympic champion Sarah MENEZES (BRA). BRIGIDA attacked with tai-otoshi but FIGUEROA stepped away from it and was penalised with a shido for passivity and received a second for the same indiscretion with a minute remaining.
BRIGIDA said: "I feel so good right now, I’ve never won a Grand Slam medal, it has been a long-time target for me. I think I had a very good competition and I’m very happy. Today’s result is just the start for me.”
The second bronze medal was won by Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner VAN SNICK who kept on track for major honours at the expense of Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Aurore CLIMENCE (FRA). VAN SNICK, who won her first Grand Slam medal since taking bronze at Moscow 2012, defeated world number 41 CLIMENCE by the narrowest of margins as the scoreless contest was settled by the only shido which was given to the Frenchwoman for passivity with a minute remaining.
UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU) vs CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)
Bronze Medal Fights
BRIGIDA, Nathalia (BRA) vs FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL) vs CLIMENCE, Aurore (FRA)
1. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)
2. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)
3. BRIGIDA, Nathalia (BRA)
3. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
5. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
5. CLIMENCE, Aurore (FRA)
7. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)
7. MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA)
World number three Erika MIRANDA (BRA) beat world number two Andreea CHITU (ROU) to stand on top of the medal podium and see the Brazilian flag raised at the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre. Pan American Champion MIRANDA defeated Zagreb Grand Prix winner CHITU, who turned 27 on Friday, with a stunning piece of shime-waza. CHITU failed with an ambitious ashi-waza attempt and fell forwards onto her knees after her ouchi-gari attack as MIRANDA locked on the choke with 65 seconds left and the Romanian had no choice but to submit.
Brazilian coach Rosicleia CAMPOS said: "That was a very important win for Erika as many times she has lost in the final on the world level. Erika has won the Pan American Championships three times so gold on the international stage is what she really wanted today. Now we will go to Tokyo for a camp at the National Training Centre.”
In the first semi-final CHITU overwhelmed Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla GNETO (FRA) with a clinical display. GNETO, who had looked full of confidence in the preliminary rounds, was beaten by ippon after two minutes. French star GNETO has fallen behind Annabelle EURANIE (FRA) in the domestic pecking order and had to enter the repechage to try and win what would be her first IJF medal since taking silver in Baku a year ago. In the second semi-final MIRANDA outshone Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Jaana SUNDBERG (FIN) but required added time to see off the high-quality Finn. MIRANDA, who as always was urged on by the ever-animated coach Rosicleia CAMPOS, booked her place in the final with a waza-ari score after 25 seconds of added time.
The first bronze medal was clinched by Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) who looks at home in the -52kg category as she claimed her first Grand Slam medal. KRASNIQI, who is still only 19, opened the scoring with a waza-ari from an ouchi-gari before beaten semi-finalist SUNDBERG pulled back a yuko with a makikomi effort. That is where the scoring ended and Kosovo’s -52kg number two received a warm embrace from coach Driton TONI KUKA. The second bronze medal was won by GNETO who returned to form by defeating Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Yulia RYZHOVA (RUS). GNETO floored her opponent with a tani-otoshi which started off the area and the referee had already called a stop to the action. RYZHOVA was penalised twice while GNETO was only penalised once and that decided who would occupy final spot on the podium.
MIRANDA, Erika (BRA) vs CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
Bronze Medal Fights
SUNDBERG, Jaana (FIN) vs KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
GNETO, Priscilla (FRA) vs RYZHOVA, Yulia (RUS)
1. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)
2. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
3. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
3. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)
5. SUNDBERG, Jaana (FIN)
5. RYZHOVA, Yulia (RUS)
7. COHEN, Gili (ISR)
7. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)
Olympic silver medallist Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU) recorded her first win over Zagreb Grand Prix winner Nekoda SMYTHE DAVIS (GBR) to take -57kg gold medal on day one. Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist CAPRIORIU lost out to the blossoming Brit in the Zagreb Grand Prix quarter-finals but avenged that today in the gold medal contest. CAPRIORIU persevered on the ground and eventually gained control of her opponent’s arm for the juji-gatame and SMYTHE DAVIS tapped out. The silver medal for the young Briton is the first of what will surely be many more over the coming years.
In the first semi-final former Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Loredana OHAI (ROU) succumb to SMYTHE DAVIS who defeated her 22-year-old rival by a waza-ari which was the only score of the contest. In the second semi-final former Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Irina ZABLUDINA (RUS) fell to CAPRIORIU as Romania were in the medal hunt in all three women’s categories on day one. CAPRIORIU showed her superiority on the day by scoring a waza-ari and a yuko without reply and sealed her place in the gold medal contest.
The first bronze medal was won by losing semi-finalist ZABLUDINA who overcame Samsun Grand Prix winner Viola WAECHTER (GER) by a slender yuko score. The second bronze medal was won by world number seven Miryam ROPER (GER) – who having took bronze at the Tbilisi Grand Prix – returned to the podium in Baku as OHAI could not compete due to injury.
CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU) vs SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)
Bronze Medal Fights
ZABLUDINA, Irina (RUS) vs WAECHTER, Viola (GER)
OHAI, Loredana (ROU) vs ROPER, Miryam (GER)
1. CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU)
2. SMYTHE DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)
3. ZABLUDINA, Irina (RUS)
3. ROPER, Miryam (GER)
5. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)
5. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)
7. KAZENYUK, Tatiana (RUS)
7. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)
Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Rustam IBRAYEV (KAZ) defeated Qingdao Grand Prix winner Vincent LIMARE (FRA) to seal his first Grand Slam gold medal. IBRAYEV, who appeared on his first Grand Slam podium in Tokyo last year as a bronze medallist, was facing a hungry LIMARE, 22, who was already guaranteed his first Grand Slam medal. World number 24 LIMARE was out to bolster his world ranking and did exactly that despite claiming silver as IBRAYEV produced a waza-ari score, the only score of the contest, and was tactically astute as he received three shido penalties to wind down the clock.
In the first semi-final LIMARE defeated Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO). LIMARE was penalised for dropping but went ahead with a yuko and CHKHVIMIANI could not conjure up any chances to threaten the stubborn resistance of the young French fighter who is arguably his country’s most exciting male prospect.
LIMARE said: "I’ve worked hard for this, I’ve done a lot of big training camps and it paid off today. I was really focused all day and hopefully I can now go on to the World Judo Masters and European Games.”
In the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix runner-up Tobias ENGLMAIER (GER) had his moments but ultimately it was IBRAYEV who advanced to the gold medal match. IBRAYEV was penalised for not taking a grip quick enough but when he did he scored and that waza-ari gave him a substantial lead. The Kazakh fighter trapped the German in osaekomi and he was scrambling to escape for the full 15 seconds but IBRAYEV retained control to win by wazari-awasette-ippon.
The first bronze medal was claimed by ENGLMAIER which was a career-first for the fighter who is carving out a real reputation for himself in the men’s lightweight category. ENGLMAIER defeated world number seven DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) on shido penalties having almost scored with a beautiful sode-tsurikomi-ashi but his opponent turned out to avoid giving away a score. DASHDAVAA, who ended a miserable day for world champion GANBAT Boldbaatar (MGL) in the first repechage contest, lost out on shido penalties with two against him and one against his conqueror. The second bronze medal went to CHKHVIMIANI as world bronze medallist Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) could not contest the fight due to injury.
IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ) vs LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)
Bronze Medal Fights
ENGLMAIER, Tobias (GER) vs DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO) vs PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
1. IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ)
2. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)
3. ENGLMAIER, Tobias (GER)
3. CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO)
5. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
5. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
7. GANBAT, Boldbaatar (MGL)
7. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)
Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Nijat SHIKHALIZADA (AZE) sent the home crowd into euphoria as he denied reigning Baku Grand Slam winner Colin OATES (GBR) a successful defence of his 2014 title. OATES, 31, was penalised for passivity after 50 seconds and then for not taking a grip which SHIKHALIZADA was also penalised for. With 43 seconds left and everything still to fight for, SHIKHALIZADA brought the entire arena to their feet with a huge ippon. The explosive Azerbaijan fighter shaped up for an ashi-waza attack and came through with a harai-goshi to win his country’s first gold medal in Baku. Even OATES applauded SHIKHALIZADA after he returned to his feet and raised the arm of the Azerbaijan ace in a great show of respect.
SHIKHALIZADA said: "Today is a very emotional moment for me, to win my country’s first medal of the competition. The atmosphere was amazing and it energised me all day. Colin OATES (GBR) is a very tough fighter and he brought out the best in me. I look forward to facing him again and maybe once more in Baku at the European Games.”
In the first semi-final OATES resisted former European champion Sugoi URIARTE (ESP) to move one step closer to defending his 2014 title. OATES produced a trademark sumi-gaeshi to go ahead with a yuko and was penalised for going out of the area after URIARTE was given a penalty for breaking off the grip of OATES with both hands but there were no further scores. In the second semi-final former Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Andraz JEREB (SLO) was beaten by SHIKHALIZADA who had a swagger all day and was brimming with confidence. The home fighter won by wazari-awasette-ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by European champion Loic KORVAL (FRA) who triumphed against JEREB with two waza-ari scores. After leaving the tatami KORVAL gave his belt away to an Azerbaijan youngster in a classy touch while teammate David LAROSE (FRA) was defeated in the second round. The second bronze medal went to world number 18 URIARTE who stopped the home country and 17-year-old newcomer Hidayat HEYDAROV (AZE) from winning their first medal of the Baku Grand Slam. In his first senior IJF event HEYDAROV acquitted himself superbly and can take a lot of pride from a fifth-place finish which came from a tate-shiho-gatame from URIARTE who had too much experience for the plucky teenager.
OATES, Colin (GBR) vs SHIKHALIZADA, Nijat (AZE)
Bronze Medal Fights
JEREB, Andraz (SLO) vs KORVAL, Loic (FRA)
URIARTE, Sugoi (ESP) vs HEYDAROV, Hidayat (AZE)
1. SHIKHALIZADA, Nijat (AZE)
2. OATES, Colin (GBR)
3. KORVAL, Loic (FRA)
3. URIARTE, Sugoi (ESP)
5. JEREB, Andraz (SLO)
5. HEYDAROV, Hidayat (AZE)
7. SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR)
7. MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO)
10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat
Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg
11:00 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat
Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg
Location: Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre
IJF Media & Communications Department
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager
Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director
Photos © IJF Media by G. Sabau