2014 Qingdao Judo Grand Prix - Day 3 report Back
November 23, 2014
The Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2014, produced a stirring conclusion for this first part of an IJF World Judo Tour triple-header that will conclude in Tokyo in December. Today the heavyweights went toe-to-toe at the Qingdao Guoxin Stadium. The public saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals of the event in China. Next stop will be next week in Jeju, Korea, for the last Grand Prix of 2014.
One more event with the Tokyo Grand Slam, and it will be time for the delegations to go back home for a well deserved end-of-the-year break. The first World Judo Tour event of 2015 will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from February 20-22 as Paris Grand Slam, which usually opens the season will take place in October 2015. Since May 2014, all IJF World Judo Tour events are already counting for the Olympic Qualification, but starting with the Zagreb Grand Prix, in May 2015, all points will count for 100%. Nevertheless, the points that were collected here in Qingdao over the past three days might already be decisive for some athletes to go to Rio.
Mr. Daniel Lascau, the IJF Sport Director, said: "It was a very interesting event. We had several Olympic and world medallists present in Qingdao to already secure some precious points for the Olympic Qualification. But even in the category where the very top athletes were not in China, we can observe that the World Ranking list is very important and accurate, because the top seeded athletes of this event are often present in the final block. I am also pleased with the fact that many fights were dicided at the last seconds. It means that even having a waza-ari or a strong advantage is not a guarantee to win the bout. Last but not least, the ground work was very good. We have observed many situations where the victory changed hands on ne-waza and we have seen uke taking advantage of a throw to take over and win. This is judo and it shows that our sport has many faces.”
From an organizational point of view, the IJF was very satisfied with the work done by the Chinese Judo Association. Mrs. Larisa Kiss, Director of the IJF Presidential office said: "The Chinese Judo Association did a really good job and they improved a lot compared to the previous editions of the event. There are still some sectors that need to be improved but we had and we have a good collaboration with our Chinese counterparts and we can be really confident for the future of the Qingdao Grand Prix.”
FOLLOW THE COMPETITION
The draw can be seen at: http://www.ippon.org/gp_
Official event hash tag: #JudoQingdao2014
The top seeded athlete of the category, SOL Kyong (PRK), World Champion in 2013 in Rio and winner of the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix, entered the final with no surprise, confirming the general good condition of the North Korean team here in China. She was joined by the third top seeded athlete, Guusje STEENHUIS (NED), bronze medallist at the 2014 Baku Grand Slam Baku. Immediately on attack mode, SOL Kyong pushed STEENHUIS to be penalized with a shido for passivity. During more than two minutes, SOL showed all the control that she had over her opponent, and when the first opportunity appeared on the floor, she didn’t give a chance to the Dutch athlete, applying a shime-waza technique for an immediate ippon.
In the first bronze medal fight, ZHU Feng (CHN), who had no special records at the international level so far faced the bronze medallist of the last Asian Games, Incheon 2014, UMEKI Mami (JPN). More than three minutes were necessary to see the first positive score with a left handed arai-goshi executed by UMEKI for yuko, which offered here the bronze medal.
The second bronze medal fight opposed Anastasiya DMITRIEVA (RUS), winner of last year’s Grand Prix in Almaty, Kazakhstan and medallist last year in Qingdao, and the silver medallist of the last Olympic Games in London, Kerstin THIELE (GER), who in the British capital was only defeated by Kayla Harrison (USA) in the final. A first shido was given to DMITRIEVA for false gripping after only a few seconds and a little while later again but this time for not respecting the limits of the competition area. Thirty more seconds were necessary for the German to immobilize her opponent after a nice piece of work on sankaku-jime, combined with an immobilization for ippon.
SOL, Kyong (PRK) vs. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
Bronze Medal Fights
ZHU, Feng (CHN) vs. UMEKI, Mami (JPN)
DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS) vs. THIELE, Kerstin (GER)
1. SOL, Kyong (PRK)
2. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
3. THIELE, Kerstin (GER)
3. UMEKI, Mami (JPN)
5. DMITRIEVA, Anastasiya (RUS)
5. ZHU, Feng (CHN)
7. HE, Huizhen (CHN)
7. ZHANG, Jie (CHN)
It is not a surprise to see that China was massively dominating the women’s heavyweight category, with two Chinese judoka present in the final, YU Song (CHN) and WANG Rui (CHN). If WANG had no specific records so far on the international scene, YU Song is a well-known athlete as she won the World Masters last year in Tyumen and the last two IJF World Judo Tour events she participated in (Grand Slam Abu Dhabi, Grand Prix, Zagreb). She seems to be the designated successor of TONG Wen, Olympic and World Champion, who is now officiating as a coach and is deeply involved in educational programs in her hometown. In front of her home crowd, YU Song perfectly controlled the whole final, even if she was not able to score, she made WANG being penalized with a shido, which was enough to win the gold medal.
The first bronze medal again opposed two Chinese competitors, QIN Qian (CHN), gold medallist at the World Masters Almaty 2012 and MA Sisi (CHN), winner of the last Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. After two minutes and 13 seconds, both athletes were penalized with a shido for passivity. The second shido that was given to MA Sissi also for passivity offered the medal to QIN Qian.
In the second bronze medal fight, Ksenia CHIBISOVA (RUS), bronze medallist a few weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, was opposed to INAMORI Nami (JPN). Being much taller that her opponent, CHIBISOVA quickly seemed to take the advantage, but incapable of scoring she slightly let INAMORI install her system of attack. But the Japanese fighter didn’t seem to be more successful in applying techniques that could actually score, until during a ground technique phase, the Japanese applied a very simple arm-roll-over turn-over and caught CHIBISOVA in an immobilisation for ippon.
YU, Song (CHN) vs. WANG, Rui (CHN)
Bronze Medal Fights
QIN, Qian (CHN) vs. MA, Sisi (CHN)
CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS) vs. INAMORI, Nami (JPN)
1. YU, Song (CHN)
2. WANG, Rui (CHN)
3. INAMORI, Nami (JPN)
3. QIN, Qian (CHN)
5. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)
5. MA, Sisi (CHN)
In the men’s -90kg weight category, the top seeded athlete, Noel VAN T END (NED) could enter the final, with the good hope to this time obtain the gold medal after already three silver medals this year on the World Judo Tour (Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2014, Grand Slam Baku, Grand Prix Dusseldorf 2014). His opponent was Alon SASSON (ISR), bronze medallist at the Rijeka Grand Prix in 2013. After 24 seconds, SASSON was penalized with a first shido for a false defense and after one minute and 40 seconds he was penalized again but for passivity. Clearly more confident than his opponent, Noel VAN T END scored first with a superb left-handed ippon-seoi-nage for waza-ari, before the Israeli received his third penalty. Nothing seemed to work for him and with one minute left on the scoreboard, he had to take risks but no, today, was the day of Noel VAN T END, who after his lost final in Abu Dhabi, this time can step on the top of the podium.
The first bronze medal fight opposed GANTULGA Altanbagana (MGL), who so far only got a bronze medal in the continental circuit (Asian Open Taipei City 2014) and Ciril GROSSKLAUS (SUI), who stepped on the podium in Abu Dhabi on the occasion of the first Judo Grand Slam in the United Arab Emirates. After a little bit less than 4 minutes, the first shido was given to GROSSKLAUS for blocking his opponent, a shido that was enough to secure the victory of GANTULGA.
The second bronze medal fight saw the two Swedish athletes, Marcus NYMAN (SWE), who is back on the international circuit, his last medals coming from 2011, when he was first at the Judo Grand Prix in Düsseldorf and Joakim DVARBY (SWE), whose best results so far are two fifth places at the 2013 World and European Championships, competing for a place on the podium. The fight had the same layout as the first bronze medal fight as both athletes were not capable of scoring despite a waza-ari that was initially given to NYMAN but cancelled by the jury and the video refereeing, and the victory went to DVARBY, NYMAN having a shido against him.
VAN T END, Noel (NED) vs. SASSON, Alon (ISR)
Bronze Medal Fights
GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL) vs. GROSSKLAUS, Ciril (SUI)
NYMAN, Marcus (SWE) vs. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)
1. VAN T END, Noel (NED)
2. SASSON, Alon (ISR)
3. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)
3. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)
5. GROSSKLAUS, Ciril (SUI)
5. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)
7. MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)
7. SULEMIN, Grigorii (RUS)
Top seeded athlete, world number five and bronze medallist in Chelyabinsk last summer at the World Championships, Karl-Richard FREY (GER), was expecting to face his teammate and Olympic bronze medallist, Dimitri PETERS (GER) in the final. But Peters was defeated in the semi-final by Martin PACEK (SWE), who didn’t give any chance to the German to join FREY for a revenge of the last Abu Dhabi Grand Slam final, won by PETERS. Martin PACEK was penalized after one minute for passivity and again after three minutes for kicking the leg of his opponent. But FREY’s advantage was reduced when he was also penalized a first time, and cancelled when a few seconds before the end of the regular time, he received a second shido. This was time for the golden score where everything is possible and despite the general impression of FREY leading the fight, Martin PACEK finally found the right opportunity to engage his o-uchi-gari for waza-ari.
The first bronze medal fight opposed the silver medallist of last Judo Grand Prix, Havana 2014, but also medallist in Ulaanbaatar, Flavio ORLIK (SUI), and the winner of the last Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, Dimitri PETERS (GER), who showed to be in a different condition than a few weeks ago in the UAE. After less than thirty seconds, PETER put all his energy into an o-uchi-gari, but he didn’t control his opponent enough and was counterattacked with a tremendous ura-nage for waza-ari. Immediately after the German scored a yuko, followed by a second one, before concluding on the floor with an immobilisation for ippon.
In the second bronze medal contest, the bronze medallist of the European Open in Oberwart this year, TAKAHASHI Ryosuke (JPN) was facing Luca ARDIZIO from Italy. The first shido was given to ARDIZIO for not respecting the limits of the fighting area. A few more seconds, and TAKAHASHI secured his gripping on the left collar of the Italian, meaning that he immediately had to attack to avoid the shido, which he did with a left handed arai-goshi for a clear ippon, giving no chance to ARDIZIO.
FREY, Karl-Richard (GER) vs. PACEK, Martin (SWE)
Bronze Medal Fights
ORLIK, Flavio (SUI) vs. PETERS, Dimitri (GER)
TAKAHASHI, Ryosuke (JPN) vs. ARDIZIO, Luca (ITA)
1. PACEK, Martin (SWE)
2. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)
3. PETERS, Dimitri (GER)
3. TAKAHASHI, Ryosuke (JPN)
5. ARDIZIO, Luca (ITA)
5. ORLIK, Flavio (SUI)
7. SAIDOV, Saidzhalol (TJK)
7. SI, Rijigawa (CHN)
In the last category of the day and of the tournament, Roy MEYER was expected to be in the final, but he was defeated in the semi-final by the Mongolia’s Junior world champion ULZIIBAYAR Duurenbayar, silver medallist of the last Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. The second athlete qualified for the final was the Japanese, HARASAWA Hisayoshi, who won the bronze medal in Tyumen this year and the bronze as well last year in his home country on the occasion of the judo Grand Slam in Tokyo. The final was one of the shortest of the event as HARASAWA launched a terrific uchi-mata for ippon after 15 seconds, concluding in the best way possible three days of competition in Qingdao, China.
The second Japanese judoka present in the final block was NISHIGATA Kenta (JPN), who is a newcomer on the international scene, as he was not classified in the World Ranking List so far. For a place on the podium, he was opposed to the German, Robert ZIMMERMANN, but being injured, ZIMMERMANN couldn’t compete and NISHIGATA won his first medal at that level of competition.
The second and last bronze medal fight opposed the second German athlete of the category, Andre BREITBARTH, bronze medallist in Astana in October 2014 and Roy MEYER (NED), winner of the Zagreb Grand Prix this year, and bronze medallist in Abu Dhabi a few weeks ago. In 57 seconds, Roy MEYER sent BREITBARTH to the tatami with a flat landing on his back with a powerful tani-otoshi for ippon.
ULZIIBAYAR, Duurenbayar (MGL) vs. HARASAWA, Hisayoshi (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
NISHIGATA, Kenta (JPN) vs. ZIMMERMANN, Robert (GER)
BREITBARTH, Andre (GER) vs. MEYER, Roy (NED)
1. HARASAWA, Hisayoshi (JPN)
2. ULZIIBAYAR, Duurenbayar (MGL)
3. MEYER, Roy (NED)
3. NISHIGATA, Kenta (JPN)
5. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)
5. ZIMMERMANN, Robert (GER)
7. BATTULGA, Temuulen (MGL)
7. HARMEGNIES, Benjamin (BEL)
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Photos © IJF Media by Tamas Zahonyi