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IJF News - 9 August, 2016

Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil




The Rio 2016 Olympic Games judo competition passed the halfway point on Tuesday as two new Olympic champions were crowned as Slovenia and Russia topped the podium in a momentous day in Rio de Janeiro.  



Rio 2016 Olympic Games -63kg champion Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) 


Day four saw the men’s -81kg and women’s -63kg categories were contested and the most dramatic stories of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continued to unfold on the two tatami as the spectators were ready for an emotionally driven and action paced day of judo.  



Rio 2016 Oylympic Games -81kg champion Khasan KHALMURZAEV (RUS)


Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, shared his thoughts on day as he continued to praise the organisation of the competition and the projection of the sport.


Mr. VIZER: “I am really happy about the organisation of the judo competition and we have incredible emotions every day. Today, once again was a great day for judo, a marvellous day. I congratulate the winner and I am also thinking of the ones who couldn't win.“



Tuesday’s distinguished guests in attendance included:


Mr. Hassan MUSTAFA, President International Handball Federation

Mr. Guy DRUT, IOC Member

Mr. Alex GILADY, IOC Member

Mr. Alexander ZHUKOV, President NOC of Russia

Mr. Ma Wenguang, General Secretary International Weightlifting Federation



On Wednesday, day five of the judo competition in Rio de Janeiro, the Carioca Arena 2 will showcase the women’s -70kg and the men’s -81kg categories.  



Rio 2016 Olympic Games flagbearers faced off on the tatami in the preliminary rounds. Ecuador flagbearer Estefania GARCIA faced Guinea flagbearer Mamadama BANGOURA in a special moment for the two athletes and the two nations as judo’s universality was illustrated for all to see.    


Retired reigning -70kg Olympic champion Lucie DECOSSE (FRA) prepares to see her successor crowned in Rio


Four years ago, the French legend Lucie DECOSSE won the Olympic title in -70kg. Widely considered as one of the best judoka of her generation, DECOSSE won that Olympic gold that was missing to her amazing prize list. Retired from the tatami at least as an athlete, the judo icon is in Rio and commentating on judo for the French broadcaster. On the eve of the competition, which will see her Olympic title called into play, the champion reflected on her years as an elite judoka and on her new life as a commentator.


"I'm glad and happy to be here, even if it's a totally different atmosphere from the one I have known in all my years of competition. I must admit I had a little apprehension before arriving, but since I am in Rio, I feel just fine. By watching judo, I actually begin to realise what I did during my career.“


“During the games I am a consultant for French television. It's a job I regularly do and I like it. My main objective is to transmit the things that I see on the tatami but that I also have experienced. I think my experience is a plus."


DECOSSE also commented on what she feels when she is installed a little further from the tatami, in a commentator box: "The Games are really great and I am well aware that not everyone can experience the magic of this adventure. Now I do realise how hard it is. It's really difficult to participate in the Games when you're an athlete. Many try for an entire career but they will never go to the Olympics. I think it is really complicated at all levels.


“In absolute terms, this is a normal competition, but during the Games, you have a pressure that is totally different from any other event. That moment is unique and it's the one that will ultimately count in your career. This day you can’t make any mistake. You have to be in a state of mind that allows you to practice your judo as during the rest of the year, but it's just another world, it's different. I did not realise this before I jumped on the other side of the fence."


"This is the first time that I am a spectator of what is going on on the mat like that. I love it! I like that someone like Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS), who is a double world champion, the favourite of the favourites, wins in the end. I like that an athlete like her who is the 'Mom’ of other competitors confirms what people think of her. But I also like when an athlete such as this crazy Italian, BASILE, who nobody knows, wins with style. All this gives me chills. "


The London 2012 Olympic champion explained the difficulty she had to commentate when she first arrived in Rio: "It was not easy. I worked for a television network in my country, in France, and it was difficult for our athletes. I had to make our viewers vibrate for our athletes, but it was complicated. It hurt me to see them suffer on the mat while I was up there in the press box. As a former athlete I felt bad in a way. But that's sport. "


Finally, before returning in the heights of the Carioca Arena to commentate on the final block where her compatriot, Clarisse AGBEGNENOU - at the time of this interview - had the ability to compete for the gold medal, DECOSSE shared a message she wants all judoka to convey: "My message is clearly to make people love judo. During the Games, we are mainly talking to the general public and you have to convince the audience to stay in front of their television sets. It is not a discussion among specialists. Everything goes very fast. We must get to the point and never forget that millions of people must understand, vibrate and have fun. When I watch judo, I think it's really super hard to be there. The level is getting higher and higher. When you watch TV, we only see the fight, but it's much more than that. This is what I want to convey as a message. "



-63kg: World champion TRSTENJAK keeps the -63kg Olympic title in Slovenia   

World champion Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) became the -63kg Olympic champion on day four as Slovenia achieving one of the most incredible sporting feats in the history of the Olympic Games. TRSTENJAK was able to retain the title Urska ZOLNIR – who is here coaching members of the Slovenian team - won at London 2012. 



Slovenia’s two female Summer Olympics gold medals have both come in judo and both in the -63kg category. TRSTENJAK faced world number two Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) in the final as the familiar foes extended their rivaly into an Olympic final having previously squared off in European and World Championships finals. The Slovenian entered the final leading their head-to-head series 2:1 and, having never met in anything other than a final, it was TRSTENJAK who powered to gold as she held down her French opponent for 20 seconds and ippon.



After leaving the tatami AGBEGNENOU showed her class by stopping to shake hands with fans while TRSTENJAK could barely believe the scale of her accomplishment.


Newly-crowned Olympic champion TRSTENJAK said: “We made a good tactic with my coach. The bout against Mariana SILVA (BRA) (in the semi-final) was very tough, because the full stadium was against me but I was focused and finally I succeeded. Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) is a very strong judoka but she made a mistake and I took advantage of it. I was practising a lot this move. It is a very basic move, but I know how to put my leg in a special way and so today this training was the key of success."


"I have a lot of ambitions for the future but it is impossible talking about it in this moment. This night, I will go to my room, sit down and stay a little with myself."



In the first semi-final unseeded Pan American Championships winner Mariana SILVA (BRA) was an unexpected contender after a fine run in the preliminaries. Unfortunately for the Brazilian and the home crowd, it was TRSTENJAK who opposed SILVA and proceeded to pin down the home fighter with a tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon.


In the second semi-final AGBEGNENOU (FRA) defeated world bronze medallist TASHIRO Miku (JPN) by the smallest of margins. The scoreless contest ended with the French fighter progressing into the -63kg final as she confirmed her team’s first judo medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as TANIMOTO was penalised once with a shido for stepping out.


The first -63kg Olympic bronze medal contest saw TASHIRO face former world champion Yarden GERBI (ISR). TASHIRO, who had two-time -63kg Olympic champion TANIMOTO Ayumi coaching her, went behind to a yuko from an uchi-mata and then the Israeli added a waza-ari. There was no way through for TASHIRO which meant that this was the first category in the competition without a Japanese medallist as the Japanese fighter left the field of play in tears. The result gave Israel their first medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics and their fourth ever Olympic judo medal as GERBI was pounced upon by the Israeli delegation in celebration.


The second -63kg Olympic bronze medal contest pitted SILVA (BRA) against World Judo Masters bronze medallist Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED). The Dutch fighter was too strong for SILVA as she protected her yuko advantage with to win the Netherlands’ first judo medal at Rio 2016. VAN EMDEN used all of her physical attributes and tactical nous to keep SILVA at bay and deny the hosts what would have been a second medal on the tatami.  




Bronze Medal Fights
TASHIRO, Miku (JPN) vs GERBI, Yarden (ISR) 
SILVA, Mariana (BRA) vs VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED) 


TASHIRO, Miku (JPN) vs AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)  
SILVA, Mariana (BRA) vs TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO) 



Final Results
1. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)  
2. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)  
3. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)  
3. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)      
5. TASHIRO, Miku (JPN)   
5. SILVA, Mariana (BRA)   
7. YANG, Junxia (CHN)  


-81kg: KHALMURZAEV wins Russia’s second judo gold at Rio 2016  

European champion Khasan KHALMURZAEV (RUS) became Olympic champion on Tuesday as he won Russia’s second Olympic judo gold medal in Rio. KHALMURZAEV entered the competition as one of the favourites and won all five of his contests to come away with the ultimate prize. The 22-year-old was one of the top seeds which could also be said of his opponent Travis STEVENS (USA) whose World Judo Masters victory in May gave some indication that he would be in contention in Rio de Janeiro. 



KHALMURZAEV did everything to stay away from STEVENS on the ground and send the American over with a uchi-mata for ippon after three minutes.


KHALMURZAEV, who had his twin brother Khusen KHALMURZAEV in the stands, said: “I cannot believe it. I'm happy for all the Russian people. I know Travis STEVENS (USA) and he is strong. So I did all I can to win this gold medal. I just saw on the TV that I am the winner of these Games and I can't believe it."



STEVENS, who had one of the most bruising encounters in Olympic judo history at London 2012 against eventual silver medallist Ole BISCHOF (GER), said: “To be able to put it to the grindstone and have my team behind me and get me to this point, it means more than the world to me. I wouldn't change my team for anyone else whether I win a silver, a gold or a bronze.”


In the semi-finals KHALMURZAEV defeated World Judo Masters bronze medallist Sergiu TOMA (UAE) in a memorable contest. The Russian pressed the action in golden score after both men finished regulation time without a score and level with two shidos each. An additional 90 seconds was required to determine the first Olympic finalist as KHALMURZAEV caught TOMA with a sumi-gaeshi for ippon.  



At the same stage STEVENS faced former world champion Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI (GEO). The American trailed in their head-to-head series 1:4 but his lone win came at London 2012 and STEVENS defeated the Georgian for a second time at the Olympic Games by submitting him with a okuri-eri-jime strangle.


The first -81kg bronze medal contest saw TOMA up against Almaty Grand Prix silver medallist Matteo MARCONCINI (ITA) as the Italian team continued to exceed expectations. TOMA delighted the many UAE supporters as he threw with a sumi-gaeshi to win a first ever Olympic judo medal for his country and only their second ever Olympic Games medal in any sport. The UAE had previously won golden at the 2004 Athens Olympics in shooting.  


Mr. Naser AL-TAMIMI, UAE Judo Federation General Secretary, reflected on an emotional day for his country. "It's difficult to express my feelings right now. After London in 2012, day-by-day, hour after hour I was thinking of a moment like this. It's pure happiness. He deserves it. The group is working hard and today, with Toma's success they all reached their goal.“


Former world champion TCHRIKISHVILI faced current world champion NAGASE Takanori (JPN) for the second -81kg bronze medal after the Japanese fighter was left reeling after a shock quarter-final loss to TOMA (UAE) bya  yuko.


NAGASE defeated Georgia’s number on seed by a yuko as TCHRIKISHVILI had to settle for fifth-place. 




Bronze Medal Fights

TOMA, Sergiu (UAE) vs MARCONCINI, Matteo (ITA)
TCHRIKISHVILI, Avtandili (GEO) vs NAGASE, Takanori (JPN)


KHALMURZAEV, Khasan (RUS) vs TOMA, Sergiu (UAE)



Final Results

1. KHALMURZAEV, Khasan (RUS)  
2. STEVENS, Travis (USA)   
3. TOMA, Sergiu (UAE)   
3. NAGASE, Takanori (JPN) 
5. MARCONCINI, Matteo (ITA) 
5. TCHRIKISHVILI, Avtandili (GEO)   
7. IVANOV, Ivaylo (BUL)   
7. VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN)  



Wednesday - 10 August 

10:00 - 13:00 Preliminaries  
15:30 - 18:10 Final block  


Women: -70kg

Men: -90kg


Thursday - 11 August 

10:00 - 13:00 Preliminaries  
15:30 - 18:10 Final block  


Women: -78kg

Men: -100kg


Friday - 12 August 

10:00 - 13:00 Preliminaries  
15:30 - 18:10 Final block  


Women: +78kg

Men: +100kg


Location: Carioca Arena 2 

IJF Media & Communications Department

Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager 

Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director


Photos ©  IJF Media by G. Sabau, Tamas Zahonyi and Jack Willingham




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