2014 Qingdao Judo Grand Prix - Day 2 report Back
November 20, 2014
The Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2014, continued with the focus on the middleweights on Thursday at the Qingdao Guoxin Stadium on day two. The public and officials saw four weight categories take to the tatami in search of Grand Prix honours as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s -73kg and -81kg categories were contested.
The Qingdao Grand Prix is the first part of an IJF World Judo Tour triple-header as the 2014 season comes to a riveting conclusion Asia. Many athletes will travel on from China to South Korea next week for the second edition of the Jeju Grand Prix and then, a week later, head to Japan for the season-ending Tokyo Grand Slam, the fifth Grand Slam of the year. Fans around the world can continue to watch all the action on www.ippon.tv as 386 judoka from 52 countries will compete in Jeju and 585 judoka from 74 countries will see action in Tokyo.
Mr. Daniel Lascau, the IJF Sport Director, was really pleased with the level of judo that was shown today in China: "We were really impressed by the level of the athletes today and I am particularly pleased with the fact that having a waza-ari is not any more a guaranty to win. We have seen several situations that were totally reversed because the competitors fight until the very last second. This is the real spirit of judo: to score ippon. For two days, we have also been seeing good ne-waza and this is really positive."
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The draw can be seen at: http://www.ippon.org/gp_
Live stream on Ippon TV: http://www.ippon.tv
Official event hash tag: #JudoQingdao2014
With no surprise, the final of the women’s -63kg category opposed two of today’s favorites, the 2013 World Champion and 2014 silver medallist at the Chelyabinsk World Championships, Yarden GERBI (ISR) and Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT), second at the Tyumen Grand Slam this year. Earlier during the preliminary rounds, TSUGANE Megumi (JPN) eliminated the second top seeded athlete, Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED), who finally could enter the repechage and compete for bronze. But the way to the final was not so easy for GERBI, who during the first round was quickly led with a waza-ari by Pari SURAKATOVA (RUS), who surprised the Israeli star with a brilliant action-reaction technique. Taking this as a serious warning, GERBI re-focused and went through the next fights with more ease.
In the final, following her well-known strategy, GERBI was the first one to attack with one of her ample hip movements for yuko. Then for the rest of the fight, only two penalties were distributed and despite some dangerous attacks or counter attacks coming from both sides, Gerbi maintained the score and won one more event.
The first bronze medal fight opposed the winner of 2014 Ulaanbaater Grand Prix and silver medallist at the Asian Games, YANG Junxia (CHN) and TSUGANE Megumi (JPN), who was not among the favorites on the second day. After the four minutes of a tough and fierce fight, where neither athlete was able to put their opponent in danger, the victory escaped YANG Junxia’s hands as she was penalized with a shido. TSUGANE Megumi won the bronze.
In the second bronze medal fight, Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED), second in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago, faced the second Austrian fighter of the category, Hilde DREXLER (AUT), who couldn’t find any solution to overcome the power and technique of Yarden GERBI in the semi-final. More than two minutes were necessary to see the scoreboard display the first shido given to Hilde DREXLER for passivity, Anicka VAN EMDEN being more precise and powerful in her attempts to score. Nevertheless, the scoreboard remained free of any positive score and the victory finally went to the Dutch athlete.
GERBI, Yarden (ISR) vs. UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)
Bronze Medal Fights
YANG, Junxia (CHN) vs. TSUGANE, Megumi (JPN)
VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED) vs. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)
1. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)
2. UNTERWURZACHER, Kathrin (AUT)
3. TSUGANE, Megumi (JPN)
3. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)
5. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)
5. YANG, Junxia (CHN)
7. BERNHOLM, Anna (SWE)
7. HERMANSSON, Mia (SWE)
The already two-time medallist this year on the occasion of a World Judo Tour event, Assmaa NIANG, from Morocco, didn’t encounter any difficulties to enter the final of the category. On her way to the podium, she successively defeated, BATBAATAR Khulan (MGL), WEI Chen (CHN) and ZHOU, Chao (CHN), all by ippon in less than two minutes. The second athlete qualified for the final was Iljana MARZOK (GER), who had more difficult fights, especially against Bernadette GRAFF (AUT) in the semi-final. The final started with a slow rhythm, when it suddenly burst into life, Niang, launching a slow motion yoko-sumigeashi movement for waza-ari, followed by an immobilization. The fight looked over, when Iljana MARZOK returned the situation to immobilize NIANG, who again escaped before being caught but this time for ippon and gold medal for the German.
The first bronze medal fight saw the two Chinese representatives, YAN Zi (CHN) and ZHOU Chao (CHN), facing off for only one spot on the podium for the host country. Neither of the two competitors were among the favorites in the morning, but ZHOU Chao, easily defeated one of the seeded athletes, Antonia MOREIRA from Angola, in the first round. It is always difficult to determine the winner when the two fighters are from the same country as they know each other very well and are generally used to training together. But this time it was really easy to designate the winner as ZHOU Chao launched a quick uki-otoshi for a crystal clear ippon.
The second bronze medal opposed two European representatives, Maria BERNABEU (ESP) and Bernadette GRAF (AUT), who was the top seeded athlete of the category, after her good results this season (silver in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago and winner of the Astana Grand Prix in October). The first half of the fight looked to favour the Spanish judoka, but both competitors always attacked in the same direction and the scoreboard remained blank, until Bernadette GRAF suddenly decided to change her direction of attack to score a brilliant ippon with tane-otoshi.
MARZOK, Iljana (GER) vs. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)
Bronze Medal Fights
YAN, Zi (CHN) vs. ZHOU, Chao (CHN)
BERNABEU, Maria (ESP) vs. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)
1. MARZOK, Iljana (GER)
2. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)
3. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)
3. ZHOU, Chao (CHN)
5. BERNABEU, Maria (ESP)
5. YAN, Zi (CHN)
7. ROBRA, Juliane (SUI)
7. WEI, Chen (CHN)
After his brilliant second place at the World Championships, this summer in Chelyabinsk, Russia, HONG Kuk Hyon (PRK) confirms that he is one of the strong men of the moment in the -73kg category. His victory in the semi-final against Miklos UNGVARI (HUN), Olympic silver medallist in London, is particularly significant. In the final he was opposed to Dirk VAN TICHELT (BEL), bronze medallist at the world championships last year in Rio. After a few seconds, VAN TICHELT was the first to score with a ura-nage for yuko followed immediately by a nice ground work session by the Belgian. Immobilized, HONG Kuk Hyon could escape before 10 seconds. He then scored a surprising left sided drop-ippon-nage for waza-ari. After three minutes and a half, and a confusing situation, where both athletes were attacking, counterattacking and combining several attacks, YAN finally scored again a yuko. But looking at the scoreboard, the danger seemed to come from the penalties, the North Korean having three shidos for false attack. One more and he would be disqualified. At the end, he could save his result and top the medal podium.
The first bronze medal fight opposed SUN Shuai (CHN), with no special reference, and BUUVEIBAATAR Khishigbayar (MGL), second here in Qingdao two years ago. In front of his public, almost two minutes and a half were necessary to see the first real action, with an aerial kubi-nage from the Chinese, which literally sent BUUVEIBAATAR into the air for ippon.
In the second bronze medal fight, Kiyoshi UEMATSU (ESP), silver in Jeju last year and UNGVARI Miklos (HUN), faced off for a place on the podium. After a missed attempt to score with an action reaction movement, Ungvari immediately followed on the floor with a simple but very effective immobilization that gave no chance to UEMATSU to escape. Ippon and bronze medal for Ungvari.
HONG, Kuk Hyon (PRK) vs. VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL)
Bronze Medal Fights
SUN, Shuai (CHN) vs. BUUVEIBAATAR, Khishigbayar (MGL)
UEMATSU, Kiyoshi (ESP) vs. UNGVARI, Miklos (HUN)
1. HONG, Kuk Hyon (PRK)
2. VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL)
3. SUN, Shuai (CHN)
3. UNGVARI, Miklos (HUN)
5. BUUVEIBAATAR, Khishigbayar (MGL)
5. UEMATSU, Kiyoshi (ESP)
7. IARTCEV, Denis (RUS)
7. PARLATI, Enrico (ITA)
The last final of the day opposed the top seeded athlete and winner of the Zagreb Grand Prix this year, Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) and Antonio CIANO (ITA), silver medallist two years ago at the Paris Grand Slam. After a sumi-gaeshi attempt which lacked control by CIANO, MAGOMEDOV could catch him on the floor with an unstable immobilization for waza-ari. CIANO’s hope to come back raised again when he could score a yuko with a combination ko-soto-tane-otoshi, but only 40 seconds were remaining and this was not enough to take the victory from MAGOMEDOV’s hands.
The first bronze medal fight opposed Robin PACEK (SWE), bronze medallist on the occasion of a Grand Prix, but this was in 2013 in Jeju, and YASUDA Tomofumi (JPN), who defeated one of the favorites of today’s tournament, Alain SCHMITT, from France, in the first round. After a short moment where both athletes were looking for the right gripping, Robin PACEK launched a lightning quick o-soto-gari that turned into a arai-makikomi for ippon, YASUDA Tomofumi landing on the bridge position which is now systematically synonymous of ippon for the opponent.
In the second and last bronze medal fight of the day, the two Mongol fighters were facing to determine who would win the most points, knowing that the leadership of the category in Mongolia is still not perfectly clear, OTGONBAATAR Uuganbaatar sitting in the 24th position and NYAMSUREN Dagvasuren around the 50th position. But after the fight, things seems to get clearer for OTGONBAATAR who applied a shime-waza technique to his teammate after a precise ground work session next to the edge of the fighting area.
MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS) vs. CIANO, Antonio (ITA)
Bronze Medal Fights
PACEK, Robin (SWE) vs. YASUDA, Tomofumi (JPN)
OTGONBAATAR, Uuganbaatar (MGL) vs. NYAMSUREN, Dagvasuren (MGL)
1. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)
2. CIANO, Antonio (ITA)
3. OTGONBAATAR, Uuganbaatar (MGL)
3. PACEK, Robin (SWE)
5. NYAMSUREN, Dagvasuren (MGL)
5. YASUDA, Tomofumi (JPN)
7. CHEN, Asaf (ISR)
7. LUCENTI, Emmanuel (ARG)
17:00 Final block
Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg
Qingdao Guoxin Stadium (Diamond Hall)
Address: Tong’an Road, Laoshan District, Qingdao
IJF Media & Communications Department
Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager
Photos © IJF Media by Tamas Zahonyi