2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam - U.A.E DAY 1 Back
October 30, 2015
The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 got underway on Friday with judoka in action across five weight categories at the IPIC Arena in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city.
Following the Junior World Championships which took place from 23 - 27 October, the stars of the IJF World Judo Tour including Olympic and world champions have descended on the Middle East to compete in the fourth IJF Grand Slam of the season after visits to Baku (AZE), Tyumen (RUS) and Paris (FRA) a fortnight ago.
The three-day Grand Slam, which is taking place under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, offers vital Olympic qualification points towards the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and $154,000 in prize money will be divided among the medallists.
Abu Dhabi’s marquee judo event started with the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and the men’s -60kg and -66kg categories.
Prior to the final block, Mr. Marius VIZER, the IJF President, met with Colonel A.Hakim Al-Shino, President of International Military Sport Council.
Mr. VIZER presented Colonel A.Hakim Al-Shino, President of International Military Sport Council – CISM with the IJF Gold Card and IJF Jigoro Kano statue. The CISM President presented the CISM plaque to the IJF President.
The opening speech was made by Colonel A.Hakim AL-SHINO, President of International Military Sport Council.
"Hello everyone, dear IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER, hello to all spectators, welcome to the IPIC Arena. I’m here with people with great ambitions and a great desire to host this Grand Slam. I’m really happy to be here at this tournament and thank everyone involved in the organisation of this event. Thank you to the IJF, International Military Sport Council, I appreciate all of your support and I wish everyone here good luck in your lives.”
Mr. Nasser AL TAMIMI (below - centre), U.A.E Judo General Secretary, said: "Dear Mr. VIZER, dear President of International Military Sport Council, dear judo friends, ladies and gentlemen, first of all I welcome all countries participating here at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 and I wish you a good stay and good luck for the competition. I wish you good results also at the Olympics next year in Rio de Janeiro.”
Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, officially opened the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 and had a special message for the international judo family.
"Dear President of International Military Sport Council, Colonel A.Hakim AL-SHINO, dear Nasser, dear judo family members, dear guests, I thank the U.A.E Judo Federation for the organisation of the Junior World Championships and this Grand Slam. On behalf of all the international judo community, thank you very much for all of the support of for World Judo Day. I congratulate the judo community for their activities on this special day for our judo family. I wish you all the best and a successful competition and I open the Grand Slam here in Abu Dhabi.”
On Saturday the action in Abu Dhabi continues on the three tatami with four weight categories competing as the women’s -63kg and -70kg judoka will be joined in action on day two by the men’s -73kg and -81kg judoka. Olympic champions Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) and KIM Jae-Bum (KOR) will be among those to look out for along with former world champions Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) and Yarden GERBI (IJF).
FOLLOW THE COMPETITION
Features of the Day
MEET WITH MAJLINDA KELMENDI
It has to take an elephantine memory to remember when was the last time Majlinda KELMENDI finished a bout crouched on her knees before collapsing on her back despondent and beaten. It’s a hard sight to imagine but that is exactly how it came crashing down for Kelmendi in her semi-final contest with Erika MIRANDA of Brazil in the -52kg category at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015. READ MORE
MENEZES KEEPS AN EYE ON RIO
The disappointment is writ large on the face of Sarah MENEZES as she reflects upon her second-round loss in the -48kg category to Ebru SAHIN of Turkey. She sits with her Brazilian teammates but is probably alone in her thoughts while munching on some fruit in the warm-up area. Perhaps reflecting on where her preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are going wrong. She is yet to win a single event on the IJF World Judo Tour since the Tyumen Grand Slam in July 2014. READ MORE
Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Irina DOLGOVA surged to the first Grand Slam gold medal of her career as she defeated European Games silver medallist Ebru SAHIN (TUR) in the first final of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015. Both judoka were penalised for negative posture and after some typically intricate ne-waza work from DOLGOVA, the Russian captured the arm of SAHIN to submit her with a juji-gatame after just 67 seconds.
In the first semi-final SAHIN dismissed Olympic bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final fellow Turkish judoka Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR) was undone by 20-year-old ne-waza specialist DOLGOVA.
The first medal contest of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015 was won by LOKMANHEKIM who defeated Baku Grand Slam winner Monica UNGUREANU (ROU). With both judoka registering a yuko the contest was in the balance until LOKMANHEKIM stretched forwards to attack with an ouchi-gari for a yuko score. The second bronze medal was won by former Rome European Open bronze medallist XIE Shishi (CHN) who produced a career-best result at the expense of CSERNOVICZKI. In a scoreless contest XIE was penalised once while her opponent could not impose herself in the contest as she received three shidos with the final one being given for passivity.
SAHIN, Ebru (TUR) vs. DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)
Bronze Medal Fights
UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU) vs. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)
XIE, Shishi (CHN) vs. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)
1. DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)
2. SAHIN, Ebru (TUR)
3. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)
3. XIE, Shishi (CHN)
5. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)
5. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)
7. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
7. LIMA, Taciana (GBS)
European Games silver medallist Annabelle EURANIE (FRA) was the star of the -52kg category as she emerged from a high-quality field to defeat world bronze medallist Erika MIRANDA (BRA) in the -52kg final. The French fighter scored ippon after just 26 seconds which guided the Frenchwoman onto the top of the podium as her country won half of the medals on offer in the -52kg category.
In the first semi-final EURANIE beat Olympic bronze medallist and compatriot Priscilla GNETO (FRA) by a yuko. In the second semi-final world double world champion Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS) was stunned by MIRANDA as she was beaten for the first time since the 2013 European Championships. MIRANDA went in front by a waza-ari with exactly two minutes to go and then ended the 44-fight win-streak of the Kosovo hero by submitting her with shime-waza.
The first bronze medal was clinched by KELMENDI who showed no emotion as she left the tatami having beaten Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Mareen KRAEH (GER) but having lost her unbeaten record in her previous contest. KRAEH could not break down KELMENDI who was tentative rather than imposing as she made sure there was no repeat of her semi-final slip. Three shido penalties were given to KRAEH while KELMENI was penalised once and the flag Kosovo could still be raised at the IPIC Arena. The second bronze medal was won by GNETO a week after her younger sister Astride took bronze at the Junior World Championships in the same venue. GNETO stopped 22-year-old Karolina PIENKOWSKA (POL) from gracing an IJF medal podium for the first time on shido penalties (1:2) after the most promising attempt from the French fighter, a koshi-jime strangle effort, was gamely resisted by the Polish fighter.
EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA) vs. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)
Bronze Medal Fights
KRAEH, Mareen (GER) vs. KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS)
PIENKOWSKA, Karolina (POL) vs. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)
1. EURANIE, Annabelle (FRA)
2. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)
3. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)
3. KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS)
5. KRAEH, Mareen (GER)
5. PIENKOWSKA, Karolina (POL)
7. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
7. COHEN, Gili (IJF)
Tashkent Grand Prix winner KIM Jan-Di (KOR) won her second consecutive IJF World Judo Tour event as Budapest Grand Prix winner LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE) was unable to win her country’s first Grand Slam gold medal. Two-time Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist LIEN, who lives in Japan and trains with members of their national team, lost out on shido penalties (2:3) as KIM continues her upward trajectory towards the summit of the category.
In the first semi-final LIEN fought her way past Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Catherine BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD (CAN) by a yuko which was the only time either defence was breached. In the second semi-final KIM defeated former Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Loredana OHAI (ROU) after the latter was penalised with a shido for passivity.
The first bronze medal was won by beaten semi-finalist OHAI who beat Jovana ROGIC (SRB) by forcing her to submit to a juji-gatame with three minutes remaining. The second bronze medal was won by Budapest Grand Prix silver medallist Viola WAECHTER (GER) who pointed towards her teammates in the crowd after she was awarded the contest against BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD. WAECHTER won by way of shido penalties (1:2).
LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE) vs. KIM, Jan-Di (KOR)
Bronze Medal Fights
ROGIC, Jovana (SRB) vs. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)
WAECHTER, Viola (GER) vs. BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD, Catherine (CAN)
1. KIM, Jan-Di (KOR)
2. LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE)
3. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)
3. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)
5. BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD, Catherine (CAN)
5. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)
7. BLOT, Laetitia (FRA)
7. FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT)
European Games bronze medallist Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) pipped Junior world silver medallist TSENDOCHIR Tsogtbaatar (MGL) in the first men’s final in Abu Dhabi. TSENDOCHIR, 19, who won four of his five contests a week ago at the Junior World Championships, fell behind to a waza-ari before pulling back a yuko by countering a trademark pick up attempt from the Georgian. PAPINASHVILI added a yuko before TSENDOCHIR added a second and then the former was in defensive mode as he changed his tactics. The Georgian talent received his third penalty for passivity with 14 seconds left and all but grinded to a halt in the final seconds as TSENDOCHIR was desperately unlucky to finish as the runner-up for the second time in Abu Dhabi in the space of a week.
The Mongolian starlet received a tap on the back and hug from IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER during the awarding ceremony for his battling display.
World champion Yeldos SMETOV (KAZ) was shocked in his first contest by Bekir OZLU (TUR) by a shido penalty and will be keen to return to action as soon as possible.
In the first semi-final Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Diyorbek UROZBOEV (UZB) lost out to TSENDOCHIR by a shido penalty. In the second semi-final PAPINASHVILI was severely tested by Minsk European Open silver medallist Bekir OZLU (TUR) but prevailed by a shido.
The first bronze medal was claimed by world silver medallist Rustam IBRAYEV (KAZ) who squeezed past OZLU by a yuko score in a closely fought contest. The second bronze medal went to world number 16 UROZBOEV who captured a place on a Grand Slam podium for the first time in his career be seeing off Zagreb Grand Prix winner Hovhannes DAVTYAN (ARM) in golden score. DAVTYAN was penalised for the fourth and final time after 33 seconds of added time to receive hansoku-make and finish in fifth-place.
TSENDOCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL) vs. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
Bronze Medal Fights
IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ) vs. OZLU, Bekir (TUR)
DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM) vs. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
1. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
2. TSENDOCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL)
3. IBRAYEV, Rustam (KAZ)
3. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
5. DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM)
5. OZLU, Bekir (TUR)
7. CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO)
7. LIMARE, Vincent (FRA)
World champion AN Baul (KOR) stepped onto the tatami for the first time in a competition since winning the world title in Astana. The 21-year-old won his first Grand Slam gold medal in a fascinating contest which matched the world champion against the Olympic champion. World number 52 Arsen GALSTYAN (RUS) has struggled for form since his London 2012 triumph but on this evidence is finally set to make a dent in the category and be in contention for selection for Rio 2016 to defend his title. AN reigned supreme in the -66kg category once again as he was penalised twice while GALSTYAN was penalised on three occasions.
In the first semi-final Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) was humbled by GALSTYAN by the maximum score in 23 seconds while in the second semi-final AN defeated European Games bronze medallist Sebastian SEIDL (GER).
The first bronze medal was won by world bronze medallist Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) who beat SEIDL after one minute of golden score when the German was penalised for a false attack to his surprise. The second bronze medal went to the one and only ZANTARAIA who defeated European Games winner Kamal KHAN-MAGOMEDOV (RUS) on shido penalties and helped up the exhausted Russian after the time elapsed.
GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS) vs. AN, Baul (KOR)
Bronze Medal Fights
SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB) vs. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)
KHAN-MAGOMEDOV, Kamal (RUS) vs. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)
1. AN, Baul (KOR)
2. GALSTYAN, Arsen (RUS)
3. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
3. ZANTARAIA, Georgii (UKR)
5. KHAN-MAGOMEDOV, Kamal (RUS)
5. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)
7. BOUCHARD, Antoine (CAN)
7. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)
10:00 Preliminaries on three mats
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: -90g, -100kg, +100kg
Location: IPIC Arena
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Photos © IJF Media by Gabriela Sabau and Marina Mayorova