Today was the first day of competition at the Judo Grand Slam, Paris 2013, and the first day of the implementation of the new adapted rules.
"The signal was positive", said the IJF President, Marius Vizer, before adding: "The final block was really spectacular and we had very good contests during the preliminaries. It is still the beginning of the testing period, and we have to work all together to make those new adapted rules a great success for the benefit of judo, but we are on the good way." This was also the opinion of, Vladimir Barta, the IJF Head Sports Director, and Juan Carlos Barcos, the IJF Head Refereeing Director, who agreed to say that the competition was spectacular and that a new generation of judoka was born. Mr. Barcos underlined the perfect behavior of the Georgian team, which showed an incredible fair-play: "We still have to tune the work of the referees. The rules have evolved quite a lot and people need to get use to it. During the day, we had a small incident concerning a golden score, and the Georgian Team agreed to let their athlete come back on the tatami and continue the fight whereas he had been already designated as the winner. That is really appreciable."
Generally speaking and according to last year's edition of the tournament, the number of ippon has increased in 2013 and during the day, there were only 2 golden score: "The judoka have to fight. They can not built a strategy on defense only", said Vladimir Barta, before explaining: "Until the last second, everything can change. Nothing is written in advance. We have put a lot of efforts and energy in those new adapted rules, and I am happy to see that we are moving forward. Of course, penalties are still playing a big role, but the advantage is given to the attack and we don't have any more those long tunnels of inactivity, where both fighters are looking for the good grip or just simply blocking the opponent."
Women's -48kg: ASAMI Gives its First Gold Medal to Japan
In the final, PAYET was rapidly penalized with a first shido, which was followed by a yuko scored by ASAMI with an action-reaction movement (tane-otoshi). Totally controlled by the strong grip of her opponent, PAYET looked powerless. Nothing else was scored until the end of the fight, and ASAMI could control PAYET for the victory of the Paris Grand Slam.
The first surprise of the day came from the defeat of the Olympic Champion, Sarah MENEZES (BRA), who after a difficult first fight, lost against the French, Laetitia PAYET. While the Brazilian was leading by yuko, a few seconds before the end of the fight, she was immobilized, allowing Payet to also score a yuko. Menezes having been penalized earlier during the quarter-final, Payet could pass this stage and got qualified for the final, leaving no chance to the Cuban, Celia Maria LABORDE, during the semifinal. For her first final in Paris, the French fought against the double world champion Haruna Asami (JPN), who eliminated UNGUREANU Monica (ROU), Aurore Climence (FRA) and Urantsetseg Munkhbat (MGL) during the preliminaries.
The two bronze medals went to Maria Celia LABORDE (CUB) and MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL), who once again defeated the Olympic Champion from Brazil.
PAYET, Laetitia (FRA) vs. ASAMI, Haruna (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
MENEZES, Sarah (BRA) vs. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
CLIMENCE, Aurore (FRA) vs. LABORDE, Maria Celia (CUB)
1. ASAMI, Haruna (JPN)
2. PAYET, Laetitia (FRA)
3. LABORDE, Maria Celia (CUB)
3. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
5. CLIMENCE, Aurore (FRA)
5. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)
7. BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA)
7. CHOI, Soohee (KOR)
Men's -60kg: Superb Ippon for a Second Gold for Japan
After 25 seconds, according to the new rules, TAKATO was penalized for refusing to grip his opponent. Pushing him to react, his first strong attack (ko-uchi-gari) was not powerful enough to score, but put JANG in danger. The Korean then tried to launch his technic but was immediately blocked and counter attacked by TAKATO for ippon (attack inside the attack - uchi-mata).
On the top of the draw table, the top seeded athlete of the category, TAKATO Naohisa (JPN), qualified for the final by defeating Juan POSTIGOS (PER), Begli MERETGELDIYEV (TKM), KIM Won Jin (KOR) and Beslan MUDRANOV (RUS). In the final, he was opposed to the Korean JANG Jin-Min (KOR), who won against Victor GARCIA OSADO (ESP), Askhat TELMANOV (KAZ), Betkili SHUKVANI (GEO), before defeating the bronze medallist of the last Olympic Games, Felipe KITADAI (BRA).
The two bronze medals went to Beslan MUDRANOV (RUS) and Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO).
TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN) vs. JANG, Jin-Min (KOR)
Bronze Medal Fights
PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO) vs. KITADAI, Felipe (BRA)
MILOUS, Sofiane (FRA) vs. MUDRANOV, Beslan (RUS)
1. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)
2. JANG, Jin-Min (KOR)
3. MUDRANOV, Beslan (RUS)
3. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
5. KITADAI, Felipe (BRA)
5. MILOUS, Sofiane (RA)
7. KIM, Won Jin (KOR)
7. SHUKVANI, Betkili (GEO)
Women's -52kg: Despite KELMENDI's Strong Opposition, HASHIMOTO Wins the Third Gold Medal
The final started on a high rhythm from both sides, even if Kelmendi was penalized three times for passivity before the final gong giving the victory to the Japanese. During most of the fight, the two champions battled for the grip (kumikata), and in that sector, HASHIMOTO was the strongest, despite Kelmendi's attempts to launch her left handed hip movement.
Only aged 21, Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS) is already a well known athlete on the world circuit. Junior world champion, 2 times juniors European champion and winner of three gold medals at World Judo events, she came back really disappointed from London, after her early elimination. Here in Paris, to get qualified for the final, she successively defeated Jaana SUNDBERG (FIN), Delphine DELSALLE (FRA) and the winner of the 2011 edition of the Tokyo Judo Grand Slam, Takumi MIYAKAWA (JPN). In the final, she faced the second Japanese athlete of the category, HASHIMOTO Yuki (JPN), who recently won the Sofia European Open and who, early during the day, defeated MAROS Barbara (HUN), PARK Da Sol (KOR) and the bronze medallist of the Paris World Championship in 2011, Andreea CHITU (ROU).
The two bronze medals went to Andreea CHITU (ROU) and MIYAKAWA Takumi (JPN).
KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS) vs. HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
DELSALLE, Delphine (FRA) vs. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
PARK, Da Sol (KOR) vs. MIYAKAWA, Takumi (JPN)
1. HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN)
2. KELMENDI, Majlinda (KOS)
3. CHITU, Andreea (ROU)
3. MIYAKAWA, Takumi (JPN)
5. DELSALLE, Delphine (FRA)
5. PARK, Da Sol (KOR)
7. BERMOY ACOSTA, Yanet (CUB)
7. HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL)
Men's -66kg: 2 Wins in a Row for LAROSE (FRA)
After 40 seconds, LAROSE demonstrated his agility and escaped from a sweep movement which was really close to score for DAVAADORJ. With his stronger grip, the Mongolian was controlling the French, but just after the half of the final, LAROSE engaged a powerful ko-soto-gari for an incredible ippon, giving him a second win in the Paris Tournament after last year's tournament.
Thus, for the second year in a raw, David Larose (FRA) qualified for the final of the Paris Grand Slam. If it is not a total surprise, the French was not the favorite of the tournament in his weight category. This position was occupied by MORISHITA Jumpei (JPN), who lost in the second round against the Tunisian, Houcem KHALFAOUI (TUN). In the pool C, an interesting fight opposed the World champion and two times Olympic Medallist from Uzbekistan, Rishod Sobirov (results obtained in -60kg) and the French, Dimitri Dragin, who surprisingly eliminated Sobirov after an intense fight. But Dragin was then eliminated by CHO, who, one round later, lost against David LAROSE. In the first half of the draw, Tumurkhuleg DAVAADORJ (MGL) was the strongest competitor. In the first round, he defeated the bronze medalist of the last Tokyo Grand Slam, Mikhail PULYAEV (RUS), before winning against Clément CZUKIEWYCZ (FRA), Azamat MUKANOV (KAZ) and TAKAJO Tomofumi (JPN), also bronze medallist in Tokyo last December.
The two bronze medals went to CHO Jun-Ho (KOR) and TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN).
DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL) vs. LAROSE, David (FRA)
Bronze Medal Fights
FARMONOV, Mirzahid (UZB) vs. CHO, Jun-Ho (KOR)
DRAGIN, Dimitri (FRA) vs. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN)
1. LAROSE, David (FRA)
2. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)
3. CHO, Jun-Ho (KOR)
3. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN)
5. DRAGIN, Dimitri (FRA)
5. FARMONOV, Mirzahid (UZB)
7. LIM, Sergey (KAZ)
7. MUKANOV, Azamat (KAZ)
Women's 57kg: PAVIA Gives the Second Gold Medal to the French Delegation
The Strategy of both fighters seemed clear from the start of the fight: PAVIA, taller than her opponent, using her long legs to look for an achi-waza technic, YAMAMOTO trying to go under the center of gravity of the French with a shoulder movement. The first to change her strategy was the Japanese, who engaged a sutemi-waza (tomoe-nage) next to the hedge of the combat area for a yuko, immediately followed after the break by an strong o-uchi-gari coming from the French side, again for yuko. One minute before the end of the final, both athlete had exactly the same score. This was the time that YAMAMOTO chose to score a waza-ari with a unstoppable morose-seoi-nage. But it was not the end of the fight. PAVIA continued to put pressure on her opponent and 30 seconds before the end, she swept Yamamoto's foot (de-ashi-barai) for ippon.
The final opposed the London bronze medallist, Automne PAVIA (FRA) and the winner of the last Tokyo Grand Slam, YAMAMOTO Anzu (JPN), who precisely defeated PAVIA in Japan, last December. Top seeded athlete of the category, PAVIA won her preliminary fights against Johanna MUELLER (GER), Tina ZELTNER (AUT) and UDAKA Nae (JPN), when YAMAMOTO sent back home Nora GJAKOVA (KOS), Ketleyn QUADROS (BRA) and Viola WAECHTER (GER). It must be noted that the fantastic winner of last year's edition of the tournament, Telma MONTEIRO (POR), could not reproduce her performance. She was eliminated in the quarter final and again during the repechages.
PAVIA, Automne (FRA) vs. YAMAMOTO, Anzu (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
OHAI, Loredana (ROU) vs.
QUADROS, Ketleyn (BRA) vs. UDAKA, Nae (JPN)
1. PAVIA, Automne (FRA)
2. YAMAMOTO, Anzu (JPN)
3. OHAI, Loredana (ROU)
3. UDAKA, Nae (JPN)
5. QUADROS, Ketleyn (BRA)
5. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)
7. MONTEIRO, Telma (POR)
7. ZELTNER, Tina (AUT)
Men's -73kg: The Steps Warrior Wins the Title in Paris
The first athlete to score was MENDONCA with a koshi-waza technique for yuko. But totally under the pressure of KHASHBAATAR, the Brazilian seemed in danger and was penalized two times by shido, before KHASHBAATAR took the lead with a strong counter attack for waza-ari, which was enough to win the final.
Until the semi-final, this year's edition of the tournament, seemed to be in favor of the two-times World silver medallist, Dex ELMONT (NED). But to access the final, he was opposed to Bruno MENDONCA (BRA), silver medallist of the Pan-American Championship, last year. This was too much for Elmont today. In the second half of the draw, the 2009 World Champion, KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar, qualified for the final after having defeated Georgios AZOIDIS (GRE), Sagi MUKI (ISR), Zebeda REKHVIASHVILI (GEO) and ONO Shohei (JPN). Earlier during the competition, the London bronze medallist, Ugo LEGRAND (FRA) lost against Sagi MUKI (ISR): "I was so exhausted", declared LEGRAND, before adding, "After London I took a three-months break, and I felt today like if it was my first competition at the top level."
MENDONCA, Bruno (BRA) vs. KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL)
Bronze Medal Fights
DARBELET, Benjamin (FRA) vs. ONO, Shohei (JPN)
VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL) vs. ELMONT, Dex (NED)
1. KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL)
2. MENDONCA, Bruno (BRA)
3. ELMONT, Dex (NED)
3. ONO, Shohei (JPN)
5. DARBELET, Benjamin (FRA)
5. VAN TICHELT, Dirk (BEL)
7. REKHVIASHVILI, Zebeda (GEO)
7. URANI, Florent (FRA)
The first strong movement was produced by the Dutch athlete, Anicka VAN EMDEN, who threw AGBEGNENOU on her back with force, speed, and control, but outside of the competition area. After a long sequence of gripping battle, the French found a tiny opportunity inside her opponent's defense to score a yuko, giving her the lead. Always a little bit in advance over VAN EMDEN, AGBEGNENOU less than 40 seconds before the end of the fight, immobilized the Dutch, just outside of the combat area…. but with the new rules, this was counting as a regular immobilization for ippon and a great win for the 20 year-old young lady.
In the women's -63kg, the top seeded athlete was the French, Gévrise EMANE, bronze medallist in London and 2 times World Champion. But apparently it was not her day. Penalized during her first fight against Maricet ESPINOSA (CUB), she was rapidly defeated. The draw table being much more open, after EMANE's defeat, Anicka VAN EMDEN took her chance and entered the final with a victory against Yarden GERBI (ISR) in the semi-final. In the second half of the draw, Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) defeated Severine NEBIE (BUR), Anna BERNHOLM (SWE), Miki TANAKA (JPN) and Kana ABE (JPN) to join VAN EMDEN in the final.
VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED) vs. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)