JUDO GRAND SLAM, TOKYO 2011 DAY 1 RESULTS 4/4 FOR JAPAN

Tokyo, IJF News Dec 09, 2011: JUDO GRAND SLAM TOKYO 2011, Women’s -48kg: Hierarchy Observed; In a category dominated by Japan for months, there was no surprise in the final as world number one won the title in front of world number two, with a perfectly executed ko-soto-gake, along the fighting area.

Thus, as expected before the competition, the world number 1 and 2 had no difficulties to enter the semifinals. In the upper part of the draw, ASAMI Haruna (JPN), seeded number one and double World Champion, passed a round before getting rid of, trouble-free, her teammate ENDO Hiromi and CHUNG Jung-Yeon (KOR) both beaten by ippon. In her semifinal, she was facing the young Belgian, Charline VAN SNIC, who until then had made a clear round, winning her first three preliminary fights by ippon well before the final gong, and particularly her quarter-final against the Hungarian Eva CSERNOVICZKI, who was better ranked than her (4 vs. 6). The semi-final went to the decision of the referees, who, without hesitation, gave the advantage to ASAMI as well as a ticket for the gold medal.

At the bottom of the draw, Tomoko Fukumi had no real difficulties to enter the semi-final against the dynamic Korean, JEONG Kyeong Bo, who in the first round defeated, the experienced Frédérique Jossinet (FRA). FUKUMI took a little more than a minute to immobilize her opponent and also enter into the final against her compatriot ASAMI Haruna.

Final: ASAMI, Haruna (JPN) vs. FUKUMI, Tomoko (JPN)

Semi-Finals: ASAMI, Haruna (JPN) vs. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL) and FUKUMI, Tomoko (JPN) vs. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)

Final Results: 1. ASAMI, Haruna (JPN), 2. FUKUMI, Tomoko (JPN)

3. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL), 3. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)

5. CHUNG, Jung-Yeon (KOR), 5. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN), 5. KONDRATYEVA, Nataliya (RUS), 5. YAMAZAKI, Tamami (JPN)

Men’s -60kg: Japanese Domination:

In the lightweight men’s category, the Japanese domination was expected, and it was total, since the four Japanese judoka entered into the semifinals, making the last four medalists. So one thing was certain: far before the final block begins, it was announced that the anthem of the country of the rising sun would be played at the end of the competition. In what looked a bit like a Japanese championship, Hirofumi YAMAMOTO was the best, managing to defeat all of his opponents, and particularly in the final, by sending on his back, Ryo KAWABATA, scoring an ippon on Kushiki daoshi gaeshi, a ippon synonymous of victory.

In the absence of world number one, the Uzbek Rishod Sobirov, who has a hand injury, the competition was however a little more open. World number 4, Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR) had probably that in mind, but in the quarter-final, ZANTARAIA couldn’t make it against Takato NAOHISA, who also added to his list of victories, number 18 and Vice Olympic Champion, the Austrian Ludwig Paischer, and number 8, Tumurkhuleg DAVAADORJ (MGL), already winner of four titles on the international circuit. Only 15 seconds were necessary to KAWABATA Ryo, not ranked in the top 25 in the world, to score a superb ippon to world number two, Hiraoka Hiroaki, with a ko-uchi-gari, followed with a leg grab (allowed combination). In the second semi-final, the public had to wait until the second minute of the fight to see the victory of Hirofumi Yamamoto (JPN), who immobilized his opponent NaohisaTAKATO (JPN).

Final: KAWABATA, Ryo (JPN) vs. YAMAMOTO, Hirofumi (JPN)

Semi-Finals: HIRAOKA, Hiroaki (JPN) vs. KAWABATA, Ryo (JPN) and YAMAMOTO, Hirofumi (JPN) vs. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)

Final Results: 1. YAMAMOTO, Hirofumi (JPN), 2. KAWABATA, Ryo (JPN)

3. HIRAOKA, Hiroaki (JPN), 3. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)

5. MUSHKIYEV, Ilgar (AZE), 5. KIM, Won Jin (KOR), 5. CHOI, Gwang-Hyeon (KOR), 5. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)

Women’s -52kg: Gold for Japan, Silver for France:

After just two minutes of a fight that seemed fairly balanced, the ground work of MIYAKAWA Takumi paid. She successfully immobilized Priscilla GNETO (FRA) ensuring at the same time the title of the Judo Grand Slam, Tokyo 2011 edition.

Earlier during the day, in the first semifinal of the women’s -52kg, Yanet BERMOY ACOSTA, world champion in 2005 in Cairo, who defeated in quarter final the World number two and first seeded, Misato Nakamura (JPN), was again opposed to a Japanese fighter, Takumi MIYAKAWA, who was not ranked in the top 25 in the world. The battle of youth against the experience was won by the youth, NAKAMURA winning by ippon with a rear technic.

In the second part of the draw it is another young Japanese, who created the surprise by pushing out of the competition, the Mongolian Bundmaa MUNKHBAATAR, seeded No. 3, while Priscilla GNETO, who is a member of the new generation of rising French champions, also managed to reach the last four after having eliminated Chiho KAGAYA (JPN) in her first fight, and Laura GOMEZ (ESP), even if the spanish it better ranked. After a minute of combat against HASHIMOTO, GNETO scored a first big advantage with Kubi-nage, giving her a significant advance. But after a session on the ground, Hashimoto equalized. A last yuko, 30 seconds before the end of the fight gave the victory and the ticket to the finals to the French.

Final: MIYAKAWA, Takumi (JPN) vs. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)

Semi-Final: BERMOY ACOSTA, Yanet (CUB) vs. MIYAKAWA, Takumi (JPN) and HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN) vs. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)

Final Results: 1. MIYAKAWA, Takumi (JPN), 2. GNETO, Priscilla (FRA)

3. BERMOY ACOSTA, Yanet (CUB), 3. HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN)

5. NAKAMURA, Misato (JPN), 5. FORCINITI, Rosalba (ITA), 5. TARANGUL, Romy (GER), 5. GOMEZ, Laura (ESP)

Men’s -66kg: Young Takajo Offers the Fourth Gold Medal to Japan:

Musa MOGUSHKOV (RUS) seemed to be untouchable today, but after a very fast early fight and a first yuko scored, he was surprised by the powerful shoulder projection of Tomofumi TAKAJO, only 20 years old and for whom this is the first title in a Grand Slam.

Just before that, the semi-final between Musa MOGUSHKOV (RUS), the world number one and Masashi EBINUMA (JPN), World Champion in Paris last August, was announced to be a potentially titanic battle. And the show was at the rendezvous. Earlier in the competition EBINUMA was several times in danger, especially against the English, Colin OATES, who thought for a few seconds that he had scored a ippon, the video reversing the first decision of the referees, or against the incisive Loïc CORVAL (FRA), bronze medalist at the 2010 World Judo Championships here in Tokyo, who put a lot of pressure on him with his atypical Kumikata (gripping).

But MOGUSHKOV early in the semi-finals took the advantage and left no chance to his opponent, even if EBINUMA is the current world champion, and he scored a superb Ippon with a shoulder movement. In the lower part of the draw, logically world number two, the Mongol Tsagaanbaatar KHASHBAATAR, always present at that level of competition, opposed Tomofumi TAKAJO (JPN) who won against many seeded competitors during the preliminaries, including world number three Ali GADANOV (RUS). But, today nobody could defeat Tomofumi TAKAJO.

Final: MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS) vs. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN)

Semi-Finals: MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS) vs. EBINUMA, Masashi (JPN) and KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL) vs. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN)

Final Results: 1. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN), 2. MOGUSHKOV, Musa (RUS)

3. EBINUMA, Masashi (JPN), 3. KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL)

5. URIARTE, Sugoi (ESP), 5. LIM, Sergey (KAZ), 5. DRAGIN, Dimitri (FRA), 5. CHOI, Min-Ho (KOR)

Photos © Tamas Zahonyi.

REVIEW

Tokyo, IJF News Dec 08, 2011: Special Moment for Japan 2011 has been a tough year for Japan. Struck on March 11 by a devastating earthquake followed by a terrible tsunami, the country is still very affected and is gradually rebuilding the devastated areas. Therefore the organization of the Judo Grand Slam, Tokyo 2011, will be a special moment for all the judoka around the world.

Beyond the sports dimension of the event, which is not negligible since this is the last grand slam of the season (after Paris, Moscow and Rio) and since many points will be awarded for the Olympic qualification, the arrival of nearly 400 competitors from 62 countries, is a strong sign of support from the world of judo towards the entire Japanese judo family and Japanese people as a whole.

Within the fourteen weight categories (men and women), many top ranked athletes made the trip, before going to the final bout of the year to be held in China next week. Only after the last awarding ceremony in Qindgao (CHN), the final world rankings list for the 2011 season will be established, thus allowing the IJF to send the invitations to the 16 best judoka in the world to participate in the World Masters, which will be held next January in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, this weekend, all eyes will be focussed on the Japanese tatami to find out if the local national team, still in great shape, could repeat the feat of the 2010 edition, which saw the victory of 11 Japanese athletes out of the 14 awarded titles, for a total of 26 medals.

Women’s Categories

Among women, in the -48kg weight category, the four best judoka in the world will be competing and the result of the struggle between Asami (JPN) and Fukumi (JPN), which in recent years share the first place, will be particularly expected. In -52kg, in the absence of Nishida Yuka (JPN), World number one and winner of the last year edition of the tournament, the title could fall back to another seeded athletes classified between rows 2-6, while both French, Gneto and Bonna, respectively 10 and 11 in the world rankings, will try to tie for the Olympic qualification.

In -57kg, the favorite will undoubtedly be Kaori Matsumoto, world number one, although she has had some disappointments this year, especially during the World Championships in Paris, where she left the title to her compatriot Aiko Sato. In -63kg, in the absence of the leader of the world ranking list, Gévrise Emane (FRA), it is the number 2, Yoshie Ueno (JPN), who could take the advantage if she wins.

Indeed, only 175 points separate the two fighters, when 300 points will be awarded to the winner. One can also count on the recent bronze medalist at the world juniors, Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA), who won the last year Judo Grand Slam in Tokyo, defeating Emane in final. In -70kg, the world leaders are less represented, the first seeded athlete, Tachimoto Haruka, being fifth in the world ranking list, Edith Bosch being present for training in Japan, but not competing this weekend, and Lucie Decosse also being absent.

In -78kg, the world champion, Audrey Tcheumeo did not come and it is the world number two, Akari Ogata (JPN) who will take the clothes of the favorite, while Mayra Aguiar (BRA – number 3) and Kayla Harrison (United States – No. 4), world champion in 2010, will be serious outsiders here in Tokyo. In 78kg, there will be only 13 fighters to compete for a title that could once again return to Japan’s Megumi Tachimoto, who still leads the world ranking.

Men’s Categories

In the men’s competition, the tournament will also reach a very high level. In -60kg, the winner of the 2010 tournament, Hirofumi Yamamoto, will be present. In the absence of Rishod Sobirov, away from the tatami for a few weeks because of a hand injury, Georgii Zantaraia (UKR), pointing at the fourth place worldwide, will wish with no doubt to show his spectacular judo. In -66kg, the world leader, Musa Mogushkov will be present, as well as the number two, Tsagaanbaatar KHASHBAATAR (MGL) and the number 3, Alim GADANOV (RUS) as well as the World Champion, EBINUMA Masashi (JPN), which makes the category very interesting in the framework of the upcoming Olympic Games.

In -73kg, which for once will not be the largest category (it will be the -81kg), the title will not be easily attributed as world number one, Japan’s Nakayama Riki, and number 3, the Dutchman Dex Elmont, remaining on a victory in the Grand Prix of Amsterdam a few weeks ago, are present, while the French, Hugo Legrand, also wants to consolidate its leadership in the category, to confirm his Olympic selection so far. In -81kg, in the absence of Kim Jae-Bum (1) it is Leandro Guilheiro, who will occupy the favorite place. With 43 competitors, the category promises to reach a very outstanding level. In -90kg, a repetition of a world championship is expected, since the first 4 world ranked athletes will try to win the gold, like the jovial but powerful Ilias Iliadis (double World Champion and Olympic Champion) or the talented, Takashi Ono (JPN).

In -100kg, Takamasa Anai, who remains the world leader in the category, will try to overcome his disappointment of the last World Championships in Paris, during which he could not reach the podium. In the category, the two French, Fabre and Maret, will try to find some fresh air in their fratricidal struggle for the Olympic qualification. Finally in +100kg, in the absence of the first three world ranked competitors, the tournament will nevertheless be very interesting with the entry, Sunday, of the Open World Champion (Tyumen, 2011), the Uzbek Tangriev, and the technician, Suzuki (CHN), for example.

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