2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam - U.A.E DAY 3 Back
November 1, 2015
The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2015, the fourth IJF Grand Slam of the season, concluded on Sunday as 148 judoka squared off at the IPIC Arena.
The youthful crowd saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five Grand Slam titles on day three.
South Korea finished top of the medal table with four gold medals ahead of Russia who saw the reemergence of Olympic champions Tagir KHAIBULAEV and Arsen GALSTYAN who finished with gold and silver respectively. Russia’s medal haul in total came in at two gold, one silver and one bronze medal ahead of France who won two gold and two bronze medals.
Tagir KHAIBULAEV (below) won only his second gold medal since London 2012 and his first Grand Slam title as he won four of his six fights by ippon.
Tagir KHAIBULAEV was one of Russia's three Olympic champions at the London 2012 Olympic Games
The Russian hero, who was wearing his gold backpatch and will do throughout this Olympic cycle, produced his best judo since his London heroics.
"I feel in a very good condition and I am pleased with what I have achieved today,” said the 2011 world champion who hails from Samara.
"I have won Grand Slam gold for the first time having won silver in Moscow before so this means a lot to me. I thought my best fight was against Maxim RAKOV (KAZ) because he is such a difficult opponent. Karl-Richard FREY (GER) was a tough opponent in the quarter-final as he is strong and is still very young.”
KHAIBULAEV was quick to highlight the success of his teammates and was pleased to once again be among the medals with his fellow Olympic champion GALSTYAN.
"I always enjoy coming away with my team and sharing our success. We are very united and along with Mansur (ISAEV) and Arsen and the rest of the team we want to record new results and new medals for Russia. Now we all feel in a good place and our results are continuing to improve and so is our level.”
"I am hoping to compete in the Asian tour and we will look at the opportunities and decide my competitions for the rest of the year.”
Judo’s elite will now return home for three weeks and reconvene in China for the Qingdao Grand Prix from 20 – 22 November at the Qingdao Guoxin Stadium. The provisional entry list features 514 judoka from 70 nations including Teddy RINER (FRA) who will compete for the first time since winning his record-breaking eighth world title. The next posting will be a trip to South Korea for the Jeju Grand Prix and then the season will culminate in Japan with the Tokyo Grand Slam. Judo fans can watch every IJF event live and free atwww.ippon.tv
Features of the day
GETTING INSIDE THE GI: It comes in white and it comes in blue, and is the most visible element of a judo competition on the tatami. Yet despite its omnipresence the judogi or simply the gi is often overlooked. To the most causal observers of the sport it is simply a piece of clothing that is worn by the practitioners of judo and is in keeping with the traditions laid down by the founder of judo, Dr. Jigoro Kano. But if you think that it is as simple as that, read on... READ MORE
INTERVIEW WITH MARHINDE VERKERK: There is a very confident air about Marhinde Verkerk just moments after she is awarded the gold medal for winning in the -78 kg category at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. "It feels heavy around the neck but it is a nice kind of heavy,” she laughs. Talk to her about the final against Mayra Aguiar of Brazil and she doesn’t hold back in her assessment... READ MORE
FOLLOW THE COMPETITION
World number six Marhinde VERKERK (NED) won a battle of former world champions as she defeated London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) in the -78kg final. Brazil’s only previous medal in Abu Dhabi came on day one as Erika MIRANDA (BRA) took silver as the 13-strong team from South America were frustrated on all three days. AGUIAR went close to taking the lead with a de-ashi-barai attack before both judoka received two shidos apiece to move into golden score. In added time VERKERK reigned as she was quick to apply a koshi-jime strangle on the ground and her Brazilian opponent had no choice but to tap out.
The first semi-final matched London 2012 Olympic bronze medallists Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) against each other Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA). AGUIAR was able to subdue her French rival with a yuko while the second semi-final was an all-Dutch affair. VERKERK bested two-time Grand Slam winner and countrywoman Guusje STEENHUIS (NED) by shido penalties (1:2).
The first bronze medal was won by STEENHUIS who threw former Moscow Grand Slam runner-up PUREVJARGAL Lkhamdegd (MGL) for ippon after exactly 100 seconds with a harai-goshi which started just inside the area. The second bronze medal contest was won by two-time Grand Slam winner JOO Abigel (HUN) after world number two TCHEUMEO was penalised for the fourth and final time in the last second for going out. TCHEUMEO was leading by a yuko and stepped out of the area in the last action of the contest to receive hansoku-make and award the bronze medal to the Hugnarian JOO.
AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA) vs. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)
Bronze Medal Fights
PUREVJARGAL, Lkhamdegd (MGL) vs. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
JOO, Abigel (HUN) vs. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
1. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)
2. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)
3. JOO, Abigel (HUN)
3. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
5. PUREVJARGAL, Lkhamdegd (MGL)
5. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
7. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)
7. TURKS, Victoriia (UKR)
Tyumen Grand Slam winner MA Sisi (CHN) improved on her Tashkent Grand Prix silver medal from her last outing by defeating Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Tessie SAVELKOULS (NED) to win heavyweight gold. SAVELKOULS was penalised for a false attack and received a second shido while her opponent MA, who continues to outshine world champion and teammate YU Song, was penalised once for passivity.
In the first semi-final MA profited from the inaction of Marine ERB (FRA) who was penalised on four occasions for her inferior work ethic to revert to the repechage. In the second semi-final YU was humbled by Tessie SAVELKOULS (NED) on shido penalties 1:2 as the former is yet to reproduce the form which saw her win gold in Astana.
The first bronze medal was won by Paris Grand Slam winner Emilie ANDEOL (FRA) who has leaped up the world ranking list after two Grand Slam medals in as many weeks. In an all-French clash ANDEOL defeated ERB on shido penalties with three against the later and one against the vastly-experienced ANDEOL. ERB, 21, was penalised for going out after 90 seconds and then for passivity before both judoka were reprimanded for passivity with 46 seconds remaining. The second bronze medal was won by YU who scored a waza-ari with a ko-soto-gake with a minute left and then held down Jasmin KUELBS (GER) with a mune-gatame for 15 seconds and her second waza-ari score.
SAVELKOULS, Tessie (NED) vs. MA, Sisi (CHN)
Bronze Medal Fights
ANDEOL, Emilie (FRA) vs. ERB, Marine (FRA)
KUELBS, Jasmin (GER) vs. YU, Song (CHN)
1. MA, Sisi (CHN)
2. SAVELKOULS, Tessie (NED)
3. ANDEOL, Emilie (FRA)
3. YU, Song (CHN)
5. ERB, Marine (FRA)
5. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)
7. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)
7. KIM, Minjeong (KOR)
World number 13 LKHAGVASUREN Otgonbaatar (MGL) won his first Grand Slam gold medal to move towards the summit of the -90kg category and at 22 years old could be a mainstay among the elite. The Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner LKHAGVASUREN defeated the returning World Judo Masters bronze medallist Noel VAN T END (NED) who was the top seed on his return to action from injury. LKHAGVASUREN, who took bronze a fortnight ago in Paris, was penalised for a false attack and then for an overly defensive posture which VAN T END was also guilty of and was reprimanded. VAN T END picked up a shido for a false attack before the young Mongolian threw for ippon with a picturesque morote-seoi-nage. LKHAGVASUREN then gave a double thumbs up to his teammates in the crowd who stood up and applauded their peer’s achievement.
In the first semi-final former world silver medallist TOTH Krisztian (HUN) lost out to LKHAGVASUREN 2:3 on shido penalties while VAN T END defeated Ilias ILIADIS after close to two minutes of golden score by a shido for passivity at the same stage.
The first bronze medal was awarded to TOTH who surpassed Samsun Grand Prix silver medallist Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB) to win the first medal on day three. TOTH was penalised with a shido for going out after 40 seconds before KUKOLJ received a shido for passivity to restore level terms. With 44 seconds left and golden score looking likely, the Hungarian countered an attack from his opponent for waza-ari and that was enough for bronze. The second bronze medal went to the hard-working Marcus NYMAN (SWE) who defeated Greek legend ILIADIS to win his first Grand Slam medal. Both judoka were penalised for not taking a grip after 36 seconds before ILIADIS was penalised again for the same offence. NYMAN failed with repeated sumi-gaeshi attempts and then his workrate decreased which resulted in a shido for passivity. ILIADIS finally found his mark with just under two minutes left as he drove NYMAN down to the tatami with a osoto-gari for a yuko. ILIADIS was penalised twice more with the fourth shido coming for going out of the area and received hansoku-make.
VAN T END, Noel (NED) vs. LKHAGVASUREN, Otgonbaatar (MGL)
Bronze Medal Fights
KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB) vs. TOTH, Krisztian (HUN)
NYMAN, Marcus (SWE) vs. ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE)
1. LKHAGVASUREN, Otgonbaatar (MGL)
2. VAN T END, Noel (NED)
3. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)
3. TOTH, Krisztian (HUN)
5. ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE)
5. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)
7. GERASIMENKO, Dmitri (SRB)
7. USTOPIRIYON, Komronshokh (TJK)
Olympic champion Tagir KHAIBULAEV (RUS) took a vital step towards selection for Rio 2016 to defend his title by winning his first Grand Slam title by beating former world champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE). KHAIBULAEV threw KRPALEK, who will be travelling to Japan following the Grand Slam for the third time this year, with an ippon seoi-nage for a score after 59 seconds. KHAIBULAEV was chased down by KRPALEK who ahead of the event said he’s still working to be in his best physical condition and that there is more to come from him between now and Rio. The Russian was penalised for going out and for a false attack but protected his advantage to win gold for Russia.
In the first semi-final Belgrade European Cup winner Domenico DI GUIDA (ITA) was held down for 20 seconds by KHAIBULAEV for ippon. In the second semi-final KRPALEK downed Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Javad MAHJOUB (IRI) by two yuko scores including 13 seconds in osaekomi as the Italian escaped but still could not find a route to the final.
The first bronze medal was won by world silver medallist Karl-Richard FREY (GER) who boosted his Rio 2016 ambitions by defeating MAHJOUB. FREY thew his opponent with a textbook uchi-mata for a waza-ari score and moved straight into osaekomi for 15 seconds to earn a crucial result after teammate and Olympic bronze medallist Dimitri PETERS (GER) was eliminated in the second round. The second bronze medal was won by 22-year-old world bronze medallist Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL) who defeated surprise contender DI GUIDA. The Italian had never won a Grand Slam or a Grand Prix medal before today so was already assured of achieving the best result of his career. NIKIFOROV lifted his opponent up with an uchi-mata but DI GUIDA fell onto his front to avoid giving away a score. The Italian offered a nicely disguised left-sided ouchi-gari which had NIKIFOROV off balance but the Belgian turned out. DI GUIDA received a shido for a false attack before NIKIFOROV settled the contest by ippon with a rotating ko-soto-gake.
KHAIBULAEV, Tagir (RUS) vs. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
Bronze Medal Fights
FREY, Karl-Richard (GER) vs. MAHJOUB, Javad (IRI)
NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL) vs. DI GUIDA, Domenico (ITA)
1. KHAIBULAEV, Tagir (RUS)
2. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
3. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)
3. NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL)
5. DI GUIDA, Domenico (ITA)
5. MAHJOUB, Javad (IRI)
7. HU, Kai (CHN)
7. MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)
Former world bronze medallist KIM Sung-Min (KOR) won his star-laden team’s fourth Grand Slam gold medal in three days as he defeated world bronze medallist Iakiv KHAMMO (UKR) in the +100kg final. Both judoka were penalised for passivity after two minutes before KIM threw his young Ukrainian foe on the edge of the area and KHAMMO bridged which meant the referee had no choice but to award the ippon for KIM.
In the first semi-final KHAMMO (UKR) comfortably defeated Andre BREITBARTH (GER) by a waza-ari and yuko to advance into the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final KIM defeated Levani MATIASHVILI (GEO) by ippon having led by a waza-ari.
The first bronze medal went to top seed and former world bronze medallist Faicel JABALLAH (TUN) who beat MATIASHVILI in a heavyweight contest which never ignited. Both judoka exchanged shido penalties as the Georgian was penalised on three occasions including twice for passivity while JABALLAH was only penalised once for an overly defensive posture. The second bronze medal went to BREITBARTH at the expense of Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Maciej SARNACKI (POL).
KHAMMO, Iakiv (UKR) vs. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)
Bronze Medal Fights
JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN) vs. MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)
SARNACKI, Maciej (POL) vs. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)
1. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)
2. KHAMMO, Iakiv (UKR)
3. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)
3. JABALLAH, Faicel (TUN)
5. MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)
5. SARNACKI, Maciej (POL)
7. ALLERSTORFER, Daniel (AUT)
7. PASKEVICIUS, Marius (LTU)
IJF Media & Communications Department
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager
Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director
Abhinav Kohli, IJF Media Team
Photos © IJF Media by Gabriela Sabau and Marina Mayorova