2015 Baku Grand Slam - Azerbaijan DAY 3 Back
May 10, 2015
Baku Grand Slam 2015 - Azerbaijan
The Baku Grand Slam 2015 produced a stirring third and final day as the heavyweights lit up the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre with a flurry of ippons on Sunday.
The Azerbaijan audience saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals.
IJF Sports Director Mr. Daniel LASCAU reflected on the first Grand Slam of the year and in particular the strength of the competition in Baku.
"We have seen very motivated delegations here in Baku and especially the athletes who have shown a very high rate of activity," said the former world champion.
"We are still in a period where athletes who are not seeded are coming through for medals and that is good to see. As for the organisation, it has been very good and in addition we have seen good judo. It is clear to me that Azerbaijan is well prepared to host the European Games in June.”
Judo will be part of the inaugural European Games in June
European Judo Union Vice President Mr. Michael VACHUN was in attendance on Sunday ahead of June’s inaugural European Games which will effectively serve as this year’s European Championships.
Mr. VACHUN said: "Fans can expect to see the best judoka in Europe in June and many are ranked at the top of the world. The European Games will be a great presentation of judo and a wonderful occasion we are all very much looking forward to. We will have worldwide television coverage and it will be a must-see spectacle for not just judo fans but anyone who considers themselves as a sports fan.”
Hosts Azerbaijan and talent-laden Romania shared top spot on the medal table as both countries accumulated exactly the same medal haul of two gold medals and one silver medal with two fifth-place finishes and one seventh-place.
The IJF World Judo Tour now moves on to Africa for the invite-only World Judo Masters event which takes place from 23-24 May at the Palace of Sport in Rabat, Morocco and as always fans can watch all the action live at www.ippon.tv.
Full results: http://www.ippon.org/gs_aze2015.php
Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Guusje STEENHUIS (NED) took her career to new heights as she improved on her 2014 bronze medal by taking gold with a scintillating display of heart and talent. The 22-year-old squared off against former world silver medallist OGATA Akari (JPN) in the -78kg final. London 2012 Olympian OGATA has fallen out of favour in the Japanese team in recent times but reminded judo fans of her ability while STEENHUIS starred despite trailing to a yuko from an osoto-gari after 52 seconds. The Dutch fighter replied with a waza-ari from a strong harai-makikomi effort and went on to secure a fine gold medal and her maiden Grand Slam title.
In the first semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Daria POGORZELEC (POL) lost out to OGATA who opened the scoring with a waza-ari from an osoto-gari and continued to press in ne-waza. OGATA trapped her Polish opponent in osaekomi and finally settled into a yoko-shiho-gatame for 15 seconds and a place in the final.
In the second semi-final STEENHUIS defeated Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Kerstin THIELE (GER). Dutch fighter STEENHUIS was reactive on the ground as she countered a tame attack with shime-waza and Olympic silver medallist THIELE was sent into the bronze medal contest.
The first bronze medal was won by Olympic champion Kayla HARRISON (USA) as THIELE was penalised twice in a scoreless contest. HARRISON suffered a surprise defeat to POGORZELEC in the quarter-finals and while the American’s appearance in the bronze medal contest might have been a rare sight, the reigning world bronze medallist continued her prolific medal spree on the World Judo Tour. HARRISON has won more medals on the IJF World Judo Tour since 2009 than any other judoka and long will that be expected to continue. The second bronze medal contest was won by the determined Pole POGORZELEC by a slender margin of one shido against Budapest Grand Prix winner Marhinde VERKERK (NED) as POGORZELEC continued her rise to -78kg notoriety.
OGATA, Akari (JPN) vs STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
Bronze Medal Fights
THIELE, Kerstin (GER) vs HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
POGORZELEC, Daria (POL) vs VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)
1. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
2. OGATA, Akari (JPN)
3. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
3. POGORZELEC, Daria (POL)
5. THIELE, Kerstin (GER)
5. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)
7. DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS)
7. TURKS, Victoriia (UKR)
Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Svitlana IAROMKA (UKR) showed Tallinn European Open bronze medallist her ne-waza prowess as she subdued Santa PAKENYTE (LTU) after some good movement which had conviction and yielded her country’s first and last medal of the Baku Grand Slam. Both judoka were penalised after 25 seconds and after exchanging further penalties for passivity, IAROMKA sensed an opening on the ground and held her taller Lithuanian rival with a kesa-gatame for another hard-fought result.
In the first semi-final PAKENYTE held off Pan American Championships runner-up Rochele NUNES (BRA) in a contest which was only settled on shido penalties. One shido against Brazil’s number two heavyweight NUNES was the difference as PAKENYTE guaranteed a place on the medal podium. In the second semi-final IAROMKA humbled Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Ksenia CHIBISOVA (RUS). The Ukrainian fighter showed more industry and was a worthy winner as she went through to the final by ippon to leave no doubt in her mind that she could claim gold.
The first bronze medal was won by Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist and top seed Jasmin KUELBS (GER) who returned to winning ways by defeating CHIBISOVA by a waza-ari after four minutes. The second bronze medal was clinched by Zagreb Grand Prix winner Belkis Zehra KAYA (TUR) who scored two waza-ari and recognised the respectful ovation from the judo-loving crowd by making a heart sign with her hands. KAYA made sure of victory with just 23 seconds left as she turned to osaekomi-waza for the second and match-winning waza-ari.
IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR) vs PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)
Bronze Medal Fights
CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS) vs KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)
NUNES, Rochele (BRA) vs KAYA, Belkis Zehra (TUR)
1. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)
2. PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)
3. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)
3. KAYA, Belkis Zehra (TUR)
5. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)
5. NUNES, Rochele (BRA)
7. OZEN, Gulsah (TUR)
7. WEISS, Carolin (GER)
All Japan Championships winner BAKER Mashu (JPN) won the second Grand Slam gold medal of his fast-rising career as he showed his quality all day long. BAKER defeated Samsun Grand Prix winner Noel VAN T END (NED) in the -90kg final with a yuko from an ouchi-gari opening the scoring. Tokyo Grand Slam 2013 winner BAKER defiantly resisted a ko-uchi-gake attack and protected his advantage for top spot.
BAKER said: "This is the second time I have won a Grand Slam gold medal and I want to stay at this level. I won all my fights by ippon before the final which is important to me. Now my goal is to be seeded for the World Championships this year after being officially selected for the competition."
In the first semi-final VAN T END was in devastating form as he threw Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Joakim DVARBY (SWE) twice for waza-ari inside 90 seconds to leave the Swede reeling. In the second semi-final BAKER beat Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Walter FACENTE (ITA) after 99 seconds with an emphatic ko-soto-gake which sent the Italian out of the area with velocity.
The first bronze medal was awarded to FACENTE who saw off Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Aaron HILDEBRAND (GER) in just 55 seconds. The Italian started with a waza-ari fom an osoto-gari and immediately followed up with a kesa-gatame hold for 15 seconds and HILDEBRAND lost by wazari-awasette-ippon. The second bronze medal was captured by DVARBY who came from behind to triumph against Samsun Grand Prix runner-up Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB). DVARBY trailed to a yuko score and struggled to establish himself in the contest as he was penalised three times for gripping infringements. To his credit DVARBY kept his belief and toppled KUKOLJ with a tomoe-nage for ippon with nine seconds remaining.
BAKER, Mashu (JPN) vs VAN T END, Noel (NED)
Bronze Medal Fights
FACENTE, Walter (ITA) vs HILDEBRAND, Aaron (GER)
DVARBY, Joakim (SWE) vs KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)
1. BAKER, Mashu (JPN)
2. VAN T END, Noel (NED)
3. FACENTE, Walter (ITA)
3. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)
5. HILDEBRAND, Aaron (GER)
5. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)
7. JURECKA, Alexandr (CZE)
7. ELMONT, Guillaume (NED)
World number two Elmar GASIMOV (AZE) produced some highlight reel moments during his charge to the final but 2014 Zagreb Grand Prix winner Adlan BISULTANOV (RUS) did not read the script as he denied the Azerbaijan fighter a fitting finale. Former World Judo Masters bronze medallist GASIMOV, 24, trailed to a yuko score and the crowd played their part in willing on their compatriot but BISULTANOV was unperturbed and silenced the home crowd to take the title.
In the first semi-final GASIMOV came from behind to spectacularly throw Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Jorge FONSECA (POR) with 13 seconds left. FONSECA broke the deadlock with 35 seconds on the clock and GASIMOV had enough in reserve to lift up FONSECA who was literally hanging over his back for a split second and was driven up and over for a majestic ippon which will be played over and over again. In the second semi-final BISULTANOV bested Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner HAGA Ryunosuke (JPN). The Russian fighter had a waza-ari advantage when HAGA executed an appealing uchi-mata for a yuko but his opponent was cautious enough to the increasing threat of the Japanese fighter who could not conjure up a second score.
The first bronze medal was won by FONSECA, his first at this level, as he returned from an agonising defeat against a home fighter to gain a taste of revenge by beating former world champion Elkhan MAMMADOV (AZE). The home fans chanted the name of their judoka and he needed the support as he gasped for oxygen against a workman like FONSECA who took the bronze medal by a single shido. The second bronze medal was won by African Championships silver medallist Ramadan DARWISH (EGY) who overcame HAGA with a single yuko which was the only time the scoreboard was in action during a nervy five minutes.
FONSECA said: "I feel good, I am growing stronger with every competition and I have more and more belief in myself. I was disappointed with the way I lost the semi-final, I felt very bad as it was a difficult moment for me. I moved forward and was pleased to win the medal. Now I hope to qualify for the World Masters."
BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS) vs GASIMOV, Elmar (AZE)
Bronze Medal Fights
FONSECA, Jorge (POR) vs MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)
HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN) vs DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)
1. BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS)
2. GASIMOV, Elmar (AZE)
3. DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)
3. FONSECA, Jorge (POR)
5. HAGA, Ryunosuke (JPN)
5. MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)
7. PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR)
7. GROL, Henk (NED)
Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist BOR Barna (HUN) entered unchartered territory on the last day in Baku as he contested a Grand Slam final and dually won his first gold medal on this stage. World number eight BOR has grown into being a serious heavyweight contender and claimed the last contest of the Baku Grand Slam against Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Roy MEYER (NED). BOR and MEYER cancelled each other out for the full five minutes with only two shido penalties to their names but the result was determined 30 seconds later when a ko-soto-gari earned a yuko score and the winner screamed with delight.
In the first semi-final BOR was too powerful for Aslan KAMBIEV (RUS) as he won by ippon at the halfway stage while in the second semi-final MEYER also saw off Russian opposition. The Dutch fighter shaded Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Andrey VOLKOV (RUS) with a drop seoi-nage enough for a yuko score.
The first bronze medal went to VOLKOV who dismissed Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Oleksandr GORDIIENKO (UKR) by ippon after only 36 seconds. The second bronze medal went to Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Levani MATIASHVILI (GEO) who bested KAMBIEV. Georgian youngster MATIASHVILI went ahead with a waza-ari from ashi-waza and wrapped up a crucial result with osaekomi-waza for 15 seconds as he outperformed teammate and top seed Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO) who had fallen to KAMBIEV in the second round.
MEYER, Roy (NED) vs BOR, Barna (HUN)
Bronze Medal Fights
VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS) vs GORDIIENKO, Oleksandr (UKR)
KAMBIEV, Aslan (RUS) vs MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)
1. BOR, Barna (HUN)
2. MEYER, Roy (NED)
3. VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS)
3. MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)
5. GORDIIENKO, Oleksandr (UKR)
5. KAMBIEV, Aslan (RUS)
7. NATEA, Daniel (ROU)
7. MASHARIPOV, Elyor (UZB)
IJF Media & Communications Department
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager
Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director
Photos © IJF Media by G. Sabau