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The World Championships, Chelyabinsk 2014, delivered one last day of scintillating judo as the Team Championships took centre stage on the final day in front of Mr. Vladimir PUTIN, President of the Russian Federation and IJF Honorary President.
The seven-day annual extravaganza in Chelyabinsk has been praised the world around and offered a pulse-pounding finale on Sunday at the Traktor Sport Arena.
Teams of five judoka were in action as the venue was bursting to capacity with the crowd relishing their last chance to see the finest athletes in the world on the biggest stage on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Mr. PUTIN, an avid judo practitioner and 8th Dan, was officially invited to attend Chelyabinsk 2014 by Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF and SportAccord President and dually obliged as Russia fielded a men’s team and a women’s team.
The men’s title and a first gold medal for the hosts eluded the Russian teams as the men were undone by Japan who trailed 2-0 but showed their spirit to come back and win the last three fights to defeat the hosts 3-2. The women’s title was won by France who defeated Mongolia in dramatic fashion by the same score.
“I have the greatest impression of these judo event. Of course, my gratitude goes the IJF and its President, Mr. Marius Vizer. Thanks to the IJF and the Russian Judo Federation, judo is growing in our country and it has become a real priority.
Mr. RAKISHEV said: “Thank you everyone for trusting us with hosting a World Championships next year. We have been very impressed by the extremely high level of competition organised here in Chelyabinsk. Now we have a very serious task ahead of us and we invite you all to Astana in 2015.”
France won the World Championships women’s title after a hard-fought victory against a battling Mongolian team who lost 3-2. Priscilla GNETO (FRA) gave her team the lead with her first career win over MUNKHBAATAR Bundmaa (MGL) before DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL) beat world bronze medallist Automne PAVIA (FRA) with a drop seoi-nage to make it all square. World champion helped her teams cause and her bid to become individual and team champion by beating BALDORJ with a yuko and waza-ari all in the last 48 seconds.TSEND-AYUSH (MGL) restored parity with a win against PINOT (FRA) to make it 2-2. It all came down to world silver medallist and BATTULGA Munkhtuya (MGL) and the former threw for ippon with a uchi-mata as her teammates jumped for joy matside.
The French team said: “Despite the extreme tiredness it is really good to finish on the top of the podium. The team event is something special and different from any other event. Most of us we fought in the individual tournament. I was difficult to restart again a new competition day, which is really long. But all together we found the necessary energy to take match after match and to win. When we go on the tatami, we forget that we are tired and we want to win. That is what we did today."
In the semi-final France beat Japan 3-2 as Margaux PINOT (FRA) conquered TACHIMOTO Haruka (JPN) in the third contest to send her team through. In the second semi-final Mongolia shaded an impressive Poland team as TSEND-AYUSH Naranjargal (MGL) bested Katarzyna KLYS (POL) to put her team 3-1 ahead before they added an extra win in the heavyweight contest. The first team bronze medals were won by Germany who looked to Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix runner-up Luise MALZAHN (GER) for inspiration and she held her nerve in the decider against Daria POGORZELEC (POL) who had two shido penalties while her opponent pitched an unblemished record. The second team bronze medals went to JAPAN who lost their 2013 title but salvaged the final place on the women’s podium with a win against RUSSIA. Like so many matches before and after this engrossing battle, the winner was decided in the final contest as YAMABE Kanae (JPN) defeated -70kg judoka Irina GAZIEVA (RUS) was only selected for the team event. YAMABE scored with a osoto-otoshi for waza-ari and earned the same score with a ouchi-gari to send her team onto the podium.
The Japanese team said: “Obviously we came here for the gold so we are disappointed that we only could get the bronze. We had really tough fights today, but despite that, were able to concentrate again and even after having lost the two first fights of the bronze medal match, we managed to win the medal and for that we are happy.”
FRANCE vs MONGOLIA
Bronze Medal Fights
POLAND vs GERMANY
JAPAN vs RUSSIA
Japan seized their chance in the men’s final as they impressively come from behind to beat hosts Russia 3-2. Russia started the strongest as world bronze medallist Kamal KHAN-MAGOMEDOV (RUS) shocked world champion EBINUMA Masashi (JPN) with an o-goshi for ippon which had the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir PUTIN, on his feet and highly animated as he willed the team on. The hosts doubled their lead when Denis IARTCEV dominated ONO Shohei (JPN). ONO opened the scoring with a uchi-mata for waza-ari but IARTCEV was overawed and come back to a yuko from a uchi-mata counter and a waza-ari from an osoto-otoshi. As the crowd sensed the gold medal was within their reach Japan sent out 20-year Tokyo Grand Slam winner NAGASE Takanori (JPN) who unlocked Murat KHABACHIROV (RUS) to make a breakthrough for his team and keep them in the contest.
The contest was scoreless after five minutes so the nerve-jangling potential decider went into golden score and after 14 seconds NAGASE scored ippon from an explosive ouchi-gari. Teenager BAKER Mashu (JPN) was next up for Japan and the gutsy newcomer held down Magomed MAGOMEDOV (RUS) after two minutes to level the match at 2-2. The match came down to the last fight of the World Championships, Chelyabinsk 2014, as world silver medallist SHICHINOHE Ryu (JPN) faced Aslan KAMBIEV (RUS) who was only selected for team duties this week. SHICHINOHE went close with a tai-otoshi buefore going ahead with a waza-ari score and sealing a remarkable comeback with a tate-shiho-gatame for 15 seconds.
ONO Shohei said: “I’m very disappointed I lost so many times at these World Championships, but I’m a team member and we won as a team.”
SHICHINOHE said: “As a team representing Japan we tried out best and thanks to our team spirit we were able to win and we are very happy.”
Three-time world champion EBINUMA said: “I’m very disappointed because I lost but thanks to the group we were able to win. INOUE Kosei (Japan Head Coach) congratulated us and was pleased so I’m very happy with that.”
In the semi-final Japan defeated reigning champions Georgia 4-1 while at the same stage Russia thumped Germany 4-1. Germany bounced back in devastating fashion in the repechage as they humbled Kazakhstan 5-0 to end their tournament on a high. The same could not be said for Brazilian men who, having won only won individual medal, ran out of steam in the second bronze medal match against Georgia who won the fifth and final contest to steal a 3-2 victory. Olympic and seven-time world champion Teddy RINER suffered a first round defeat as France lost 3-2 Brazil on the opening round. RINER did his part by defeating David MOURA (BRA) with a tate-shiho-gatame pin but that only restored some pride as his team lost out 3-2.
RUSSIA vs JAPAN
Bronze Medal Fights
KAZAKHSTAN vs GERMANY
BRAZIL vs GEORGIA
IJF Media & Communications Department
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager
Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director
Photos: © IJF Media Team by T. Zahonyi & G. Sabau
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Plus a look back at last years World Team Championships Results 2013: