2015 Tokyo Grand Slam Day 2 - 5 December Back
December 5, 2015
Tokyo Grand Slam 2015 - Japan
December 5, 2015
Tokyo Grand Slam 2015 - Japan
GERMANY AND GEORGIA SHINE IN TOKYO
After a first day of competition under the sign of Japan with five wins out of a possible five, this second day of competition at the Grand Slam Tokyo 2015 was announced to be exciting with the four categories engaged today: women’s -63kg and -70kg and men’s -73kg and -81kg.
On paper, the -81kg category was presented as one of the strongest of the weekend as all of the world's best athletes, current and former world champions, made the trip to Japan, some to conclude a good season and others to get back into the points race. What is certain is that all athletes had in their sights the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. However, the other categories of day also had their fair share of surprises or confirmations in a context that rises higher and higher after every world event.
Yesterday's Japanese medallist could meet with their fans today at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
A few minutes prior to the final block, the public could discover the Isutsu-No-Kata, created in 1887 by the founder of judo, Professor Kano Jigoro. Often named the kata of the five principles, the Isutsu-No-Kata is one of the eight recognized kata by the Kodokan. This relatively less known kata is composed of movements identified by numbers. Perfectly illustrating one of the founding principles of judo (Seiryoku-zen'y?), the set of techniques is a true evocation of the movements of the universe.
As Professor Kano explained, there are two principal ways of practicing Judo: Kata and Randori. Kata, which literally means "form" is practiced following a formal system of prearranged exercises, while Randori, meaning "free practice" is practiced freely. Through Kata practice, trainees learn the principles of techniques. The IJF organizes every year a Kata World Championship. The last edition was held last September in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Please use #JudoTokyo2015 as often as possible in all your communications
Slovenia's Tina TRSTENJAK did not flinch today on the tatami of the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and held her role of ultimate favorite of the competition by qualifying for the final where she met the last athlete who defeated her, Martyna TRAJDOS (GER). It was in Baku during the European Games, acting as the 2015 European championship but the difference from the Baku Games was that in the meanwhile TRSTENJAK became world champion and nothing seems to stop her on the way to the title, except maybe the French athlete Clarisse AGBEGNENOU who is her closet rival but who did not come to Tokyo this year.
According to the tactic that she has developed in recent months, TRSTENJAK began her final with a very high rhythm, making her opponent’s head spin, but TRAJDOS knowing she had already beaten the Slovenian did not panic and let the storm fade, even once she was thrown for a yuko with a counterattack. But after a opportunist piece of ground work that followed the yuko, the German managed to get her leg out to immobilize the Slovenian for ippon and offer a surprise victory to the German, TRAJDOS earning her first Grand Slam gold medal. At the same time, the German delivered a superb performance to become the first non-Japanese to win gold in Japan this year.
The first bronze medal fight opposed the experienced VAN EMDEN Anicka (NED), who was running after a 13th Grand Slam medal and TASHIRO Miku (JPN), winner of the World Masters this year in Rabat, Morocco, and who was the last Japanese representative present in the final block of the category. Less than a minute was necessary for TASHIRO Miku to pin down VAN EMDEN with a strong hold down. This third medal on the occasion of a grand slam for the Japanese deprives the Dutch the opportunity to increase her personal record of medals on the World Judo Tour.
The second bronze medal fight saw the 2015 Asian Champion and Tyumen Grand Slam gold medallist, TSEDEVSUREN Munkhzaya (MGL) opposed to Ekaterina VALKOVA (RUS), who scored the first yuko with a well executed yoko-tomoe-nage. The Russian doubled the score a fews seconds later with again the same technique but then TSEDEVSUREN reduced the score with a ura-nage for yuko. But it was said that it would not be the final result, when VALKOVA increased her lead with a o-uchi-gari for waza-ari. A few strong attacks later but for no score, VALKOVA could finally relax to celebrate a well deserved medal.
Bronze Medal fights
Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER) was counting on a beautiful series of performances and a top seeded position to perform in Tokyo. But the German lost quickly in the first round against IKE Erina (JPN) by immobilization, while the Japanese, before the competition, only had to her credit a seventh place at a Grand Prix. The world number two eliminated, the road to the final opened to another Japanese Grand Slam winner (Tokyo in 2013), ARAI Chizuru, who was opposed to her compatriot ONO Yoko.
During the first four minutes of regular time, nothing seemed to be able to differentiate the two finalists who were each penalized with three shido. It was time for the golden score. Maintaining a incredible rhythm, attacks coming from both sides but for no score, the two competitors were trying everything possible to score but it is a last false attack of ONO Yoko, which finally delivered ARAI, who after more than 7 minutes and 30 seconds won the gold.
Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN), Sally CONWAY (GBR) and Fanny Estelle POSVITE (FRA) prematurely eliminated from the competition, there was not much room for the favorites of the competition to step on the podium. Two survivors still clambered to the bronze Final: Linda BOLDER (ISR) and Assmaa NIANG (MAR).
Thus the first bronze medal fight opposed the 2013 African Champion Assmaa NIANG (MAR) and Maria PORTELA (BRA). After a big mistake, totally missing her control while applying a sutemi-waza, NIANG was caught on immobilisation by PORTELA, who could let her joy explode when she realized that she was bronze medalist in Tokyo.
For the second bronze medal, the match took place between the Israeli Linda Bolder and the Japanese IKE Erina. Only one shido given to IKE Erina was enough to give the chance to BOLDER to step on the podium.
Bronze Medal Fights
Winner of the last edition of the Tokyo Grand Slam 2014, Japan's Hiroyuki AKIMOTO was not among the two top favorites of the competition. But between a sixth and a fourth place at the world ranking list, there is not much space. Yet it is in this mouse hole between him and Nugzari TATALASHVILI (GEO), that AKIMOTO, benefiting from his public support, slipped into to enter again into the final of the event where he was opposed to the top seeded athlete, AN Changrim (KOR), winner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, a few weeks ago.
After one minute and thirty seconds, AKIMOTO took a strong lead with a perfectly executed left handed drop-seoi-nage for waza-ari, as AN landed on his side. It is not the last two penalties that were given to AKIMOTO, one for false attack, one for blocking his opponent, which changed the final results, and AKIMOTO added one more gold to the Japanese long prize list and a second gold for him in a Grand Slam.
The first bronze medal fight was a match between the two teammates Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO), current Olympic Champion in -66kg, and Nugzari TATALASHVILI (GEO). In the dying seconds TATALASHVILI took the advantage with a counterattack for waza-ari, enough to secure a place on the podium.
In the second bronze medal fight, one could recognize the experienced Rok DRAKSIC (SLO), bronze medal on the occasion of the first edition of the European Games this year, and the tough Musa MOGUSHKOV, who has already won eight Grand Slam medals (2 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze). If DRAKSIC took quickly the lead with a waza-ari, MOGUSHKOV finally added a ninth Grand Slam medal, after he catapulted his opponent on his back, with force, speed and control with a ko-soto-gake for ippon.
Bronze Medal Fights
The -81kg category was particularly tough and could be compared to a group of death, seeing the high number of favorites who were present today in Tokyo. Between TCHRIKISHVILI, NAGASE, VALOIS-FORTIER and PIETRI, it was difficult, in the morning to make a prediction on the future winner. Yet it was patiently that world number one, Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO), defeated one by one each of his opponents to enter the finals where he was opposed to the Korean, LEE Seungsu, which was not part of the long list of favorites. Facing the world champion and defending gold medalist here in Tokyo, NAGASE Taknori, LEE had the chance to see his opponent quickly eliminated in the semi-final for a prohibited leg grab.
If the final was not the most spectacular it is because both athlete were definitely the strongest today and perfectly neutralized themselves throughout the fight, TCHRIKISHVILI confirming his World Number one position after a short victory by two penalties.
The first bronze medal fight opposed Roman MOUSTOPOULOS (GRE), World number 15, and the current world champion NAGASE Takanori (JPN), who scored the first with uchi-mata for yuko. NAGASE repeated the same technique but for a better results a few seconds later for waza-ari. Never able to really launch an attack or even put his hands on NAGASE’s judogi, MOUSTOPOULOS was thrown for an other yuko with a o-soto-gari, before the Japanese applied an arm-lock for ippon.
It was two old acquaintance of international judo who met for the second bronze medal of the day as Travis Stevens, 5th at the last London Olympic Games, and WANG Ki-Chun (KOR), who used to be the undisputed world number one in -73kg a few years ago, fought for a spot on the podium. At the end of the fight, only penalties could determine the winner, WANG Ki-Chun, STEVENS having been penalized two times.
Bronze Medal Fights
DAY3 - Sunday December 6
9:30 preliminaries on 4 tatami
16:00 final block on 1 tatami
Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg
Location: Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium 1-17-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
IJF Media & Communications Department
Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager
Photos © IJF Media by G. Sabau
Photo Japanese medalists © Huu-Hanh Pham / IJF