Tokyo – Japan, Dec 02: NISHIYAMA, Today was the last day of competition of the Judo Grand Slam, Tokyo 2012. 2 women’s categories (-78kg and +78kg) and 3 men’s categories (-90kg, -100kg and +100kg) were concerned. The last match of the day put a final end to the 2012 IJF World Judo Tour (a last World Cup will be organized next week in Korea under the umbrella of the Judo Union of Asia).
The next IJF events will be held in Paris, on the 9th and 10th of February, 2013. On that occasion the new referring and organizational rules will be applied for the first time. This year’s Tokyo Grand Slam gave the occasion to the IJF Executive Committee and the IJF experts to take the final decisions which will be released next week. Next January, refereeing and coaching seminars will be held in Europe, Africa, Pan-America and Asia (for Asia and Oceania) to detail the new elements of the refereeing and organizational rules. Those ones will then be under testing from Paris Grand Slam on, until the World Championship in Rio, 2013.
Men’s -90kg: Gold for a Storm Called LEE (KOR)
NISHIYAMA, Masashi (JPN) vs. LEE, Kyu-Won (KOR)
The fist attack of the final was launched by NISHIYAMA with a strong achi-waza (leg technique) but the lack of control did not help him to score anything. Only a few second later, he engaged a strong o-soto-gari, but once again, LEE could escape. Being more active, with several drop-shoulder movements (drop-seoi-nage), LEE pushed NISHIYAMA to be penalized with a first shido. Reaching the end of the regular time with no score, both fighters entered the golden score, the first dangerous attack of the extra-time coming this time from the Korean side. In a very last attempt, once again, LEE dropped on his knees to put NISHIYAMA out of balance. This time was the right one. The Japanese suddenly lost the control of the situation and found himself up-side-down for ippon.
NISHIYAMA, Masashi (JPN) vs. SHIMOWADA, Shohei (JPN)
BOZBAYEV, Islam (KAZ) vs. LEE, Kyu-Won (KOR)
With no surprise, the world number one and top seeded athlete of the category, NISHIYAMA Masashi (JPN), went through the preliminaries of the last day of competition in Tokyo. In the semifinal, he was opposed to his teammate, SHIMOWADA Shohei (JPN) and won with a waza-ari scored during the first half of the fight. In the second half of the draw, the unseeded Kazakh, BOZBAYEV Islam (KAZ), was the surprise of the day. In the first round, he defeated the World number 7, VOPROSOV Kirill (RUS), before winning against YOSHIDA Yuya (JPN), in the quarterfinal. In the semifinal, he was opposed to LEE Kyu-Won, from Korea. After 3 minutes with no score, a first shido was given to BOZBAYEV for passivity, the Korean, LEE, being much more active than his opponent. 30 seconds before the end of the fight, LEE could finally score waza-ari, with a last shoulder movement (morote-seoi-nage), immediately followed on the floor with an immobilization for ippon.
Women’s -78kg: One More Gold for Japan
OGATA, Akari (JPN) vs. SATO, Ruika (JPN)
The final, which opposed two Japanese fighters, OGATA Akari (JPN) and SATO Ruika (JPN), started on a slow rhythm, both athletes trying to catch the opposite arm of the opponent. After 3 minutes and a half, SATO scored the first yuko. This score seemed to give her some extra-energy for a moment, but preferring to defend than to keep going with a offensive attitude, she was penalized with a shido. Nevertheless, the small yuko scored one minute and a half earlier was enough to give her the victory.
OGATA, Akari (JPN) vs. YOON, Hyunji (KOR)
COTTON, Amy (CAN) vs. SATO, Ruika (JPN)
The first athlete qualified for the semifinal was the top seeded competitor of the category, OGATA Akari (JPN), who defeated HSU Hsin-Mei (TPE) and Kaliema ANTOMARCHI (CUB). In the semifinal she was opposed to YOON Hyunji (KOR), who surprisingly sent back home Lucie LOUETTE. A first shido was given to YOON, after less than one minute of fight, for non respecting the limit of the competition area. After a second round of observation, OGATA threw YOON, with a low uchi-mata for ippon and qualified for the final.
The second semifinal of the category took place between Amy COTTON (CAN) and SATO Ruika (JPN). The left-handed position of the Canadian and the right-handed position of the Japanese did not help to have spectacular judo, the first significant attempt to score coming after more than 3 minutes, with a counterattack from COTTON. The Canadian was then penalized for catching the finger of her opponent. The golden score was getting closer and closer, when at the very last second, SATO launched a last attack (uchi-mata), which was counted was-ari.
Men’s -100kg: ILIADIS in Silver, KOBAYASHI in Gold
ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE) vs. KOBAYASHI, Daisuke (JPN)
It was a long run for Iliadis to reach the final, having to enter several times into the golden score during the preliminary rounds of the competition. After 3 minutes and a half, both athletes received a shido as they were spending most of the time looking for gripping. But this fight was too much for the Greek Champion. In the last minute, KOBAYASHI engaged a percussive uchi-mata, which first looked coming from too far, but he could ensure the gripping and controlled Iliadis until the end to score a beautiful ippon.
RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ) vs. ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE)
BATTULGA, Temuulen (MGL) vs. KOBAYASHI, Daisuke (JPN)
In the -100kg category, the performance of the Olympic and World Champion, Ilias Iliadis was particularly awaited, as it is not his regular weight class (-90kg). Looking a bit tired, he managed to go through the preliminaries, winning all his fights by ippon against ASANUMA Takumi (JPN), Luciano CORREA (BRA) and the French Thierry FABRE, World bronze medallist in 2010, here in Tokyo. The combat against FABRE was the most difficult for the Greek champion, as he had to go into the golden score to finally throw the French for ippon after only a few seconds. In the semifinal he was opposed to the 2009 World Champion of the category, Maxim RAKOV (KAZ), who after a few seconds received a first penalty for passivity. Largely dominated by the strong gripping of the Greek, RAKOV looked armless and was only waiting for possible counterattacks.
At the end of the regular time nothing was scored and for the second time of the day, Iliadis entered the golden score period. The first very strong attack of RAKOV came 40 seconds before the end of the extra time but for no score, and the decision was finally made by the referees, who unanimously designated Iliadis as the winner of the semifinal. The second semifinal opposed, Temuulen BATTULGA (MGL) and Daisuke KOBAYASHI (JPN). Supported by his public, KOBAYASHI launched a first very strong attack (o-uchi-gari) after a few seconds, for no score, but giving a severe warning to BATTULGA. It took exactly 3:12 to the Japanese, to find the right moment to engage a tremendous uchi-mati, which literally nailed BATTULGA on the mat, for ippon.
Women’s +78kg: Olympic Champion Defeated by TACHIMOTO for a Last Gold Medal for Japan.
ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB) vs. TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN)
TACHIMOTO was the first one the enter into action, destabilizing the Cuban with small achi-waza techniques, which were not strong enough to put the Olympic champion in danger. Nevertheless, ORTIZ being more and more passive, she was sanctioned with a first shido. Never in the position to attack, ORTIZ was projected on her belly by TACHIMOTO, who immediately followed with a strangulation technic for ippon.
ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB) vs. ASAHINA, Sara (JPN)
TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN) vs. ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA)
Olympic Champion, Idalys ORTIZ (CUB), went through the preliminaries and got qualified for the final block after having defeated SHIRAISHI Nodoka (JPN) and Carolin WEISS from Germany. In the semifinal, she faced the cadet world champion and 16 years of age, ASAHINA Sara (JPN), who beat Emilie ANDEOL (FRA) by referee decision, before defeating Gulzhan ISSANOVA (KAZ) by ippon. In the semifinal, the more experienced ORTIZ had no difficulties to throw ASAHINA for ippon and for a new final.
The second semifinal of the day, opposed the top seeded athlete of the second half of the draw, TACHIMOTO Megumi (JPN), and the Brazilian Maria Suelen ALTHEMAN, World number 7 in the World Ranking List. After a little bit more than 1 minute, the Brazilian was penalized for non-respecting the limits of the fighting area. Largely dominated by TACHIMOTO, ALTHEMAN was trying everything possible to take the advantage, but the first to score was the Japanese, who obtained a first yuko on the edge of the tatami. A yuko that she could keep alive until the end of the fight to enter the final.
Men’s +100kg: Unbeatable KIM and Gold for Korea
SILVA, Rafael (BRA) vs. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)
Despite the difference in weight, KIM looked more confident than SILVA when he entered the tatami. And that was rapidly confirmed during the final. KIM launched a first powerful o-soto-gari for waza-ari, which he immediately followed with an immobilization for ippon concluding an impressive series of victories obtained throughout the day.
In the last category of the day, in the absence of Teddy Riner (FRA – WRL 1), the World number 2, Rafael SILVA (BRA) had no difficulties to qualify for the final block. Against him was the young new Japanese champion, Ryu SHICHINOHE, who defeated his teammate and Open World Champion, Daiki KAMIKAWA in the second round. SHICHINOHE did already a remarkable performance, when a few weeks ago, he almost beat the London silver medalist and several times world champion, Alexander MIKHAILIN, on the occasion of the World Judo Championship Teams, in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Dominated by SHICHINOHE, SILVA quickly received a shido for passivity, but it was then the turn of the Japanese to suffer under the strong o-soto-gari attempts coming from the Brazilian side.
Not able to maintain the pressure, the Japanese was penalized again, giving a yuko to Silva. This was enough for the Brazilian to qualify for the final. The second semifinal was also a surprise, as Jean-Sébastien BONVOISIN (FRA), beat the London Bronze medallist, Andreas TOELZER (GER), in the golden score. In the semifinal, he was opposed to KIM Sung-Min (KOR). The fist attack came from KIM, who quickly engaged a shoulder movement for no score. Only a few seconds later, the Korean dived under the center of gravity of the French, for a Kata-guruma (without the leg) for ippon.
SILVA, Rafael (BRA) vs. SHICHINOHE, Ryu (JPN)
BONVOISIN, Jean-Sebastien (FRA) vs. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR). —- IJF
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