Samsun, Mar 30, 2014: Over the weekend, 351 athletes from 44 delegations competed to earn points for the World Ranking List. There were several good surprises but also important confirmations of the sport’s leading judoka. The Turkish Judo Federation can be very proud of the work that was done since last year’s edition of the Grand Prix and without any doubt, the organizational level as well as the sport level significantly increased this year for this second edition. Next year, the Judo Grand Prix in Samsun will count for the Olympic Qualification which will give even more visibility to the competition.
Throughout the weekend, the current IJF refereeing rules were applied and gave a good opportunity to the athletes, referees and to the public to get familiarized with them. All the feedback was very positive and the rules will continue to be strictly applied during the upcoming event. The next IJF World Judo Tour competition will be the Judo Grand Slam, Baku 2014, which will be held from May 9-11 in Azerbaijan. The Olympic qualification period for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will start after the Baku Grand Slam.
Education in Turkey
Following the Judo Grand Prix, Samsun 2014, the IJF and the Turkish Judo Federation will organize several educational activities, led by Daniel Lascau, IJF Sports Director, and Nicolas Messner, Media and Judo for Peace Director. The focus will be put on the judo values and how they can help the federation to set up development programmes, which will increase the number of judoka and help to build a better society. Four sessions are scheduled (two judo sessions on the tatami and two conferences). Club representatives, local Directors, parents, media and school, university and sports managers have been invited to follow the sessions. Most of the session will be held in the brand news Olympic Training center, that the IJF representatives already visited on the eve of the competition. Daniel Lascau said: “It is important to combine the sport and the education. Both dimensions help the development of judo. We have already set up a branch of the IJF Academy in Turkey. With the next two days, we will really focus on the education and the judo values. By doing that, we will of course also highlight the Olympic values which we share with the Olympic Movement.”
In parallel to the World Judo Tour, every time ‘the top level activity’ stops somewhere in the world, educational activities are organized. Local judo leaders and children are involved. The first pilot project was launched in China, on the occasion of the Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2012. Judo clinics with children conferences were organizes. For more than a year and a half, several other programs have been developed in Azerbaijan, USA, Mongolia, Brazil, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, France and now in Turkey. The biggest programme is the Judo Educational Tour Through China. The first part of it was organized at the end of 2013. During two weeks, IJF representatives and Chinese Champions, travelled throughout the country and organized more than 15 events for more than 3,500 young judoka. The tour ended on the Great Wall. In May, the second part of the event will be held in China, starting again in Beijing and finishing in Nanjing, which will be the host city of the upcoming Youth Olympic Games.
WOMEN: -78kg: One More Gold for Germany
The final opposed Luise MALZAHN (GER) and Natalie POWELL (GBR), but due to an injury, Powell could not compete and the German added one more gold medal to the German team.
In the absence of the top athletes of the category, and among the twelve participants in the women’s -78kg, the favorite was winner of the Düsseldorf Grand Prix and the world number seven, Luise MALZAHN from Germany, who without surprise reached the final after having defeated Sviatlana TSIMASHENKA (BLR)and Kaouthar OUALLAL (ALG) both by ippon. In the second half of the draw, Natalie POWELL (GBR), bronze medallist in Düsseldorf, was the second best seeded athlete. At the first round she eliminated the French judoka Sama Hawa CAMARA and then Ivana MARANIC (CRO) in the semifinal.
The bronze medal fight opposed Sviatlana TSIMASHENKA (BLR) and Ivana MARANIC (CRO) and after the four minute fight, only penalties differentiated the two athletes, MARANIC winning the bronze.
The second bronze medal fight opposed Sama Hawa CAMARA (FRA) and Kaouthar OUALLAL (ALG). After 15 seconds, OUALLAL was penalized with a first shido for cross-grip, followed by an other penalty for both athletes. Thirty seconds before the end of the fight, CAMARA executed a last-gasp ko-soto-gake for waza-ari, followed by an immobilisation for ippon. The 19-year-old French athlete won her first medal at that level of competition.
+78kg: Tunisia on the Top of the Podium
The last female category of the competition saw the African Champion Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU (TUN) and Jasmin KUELBS (GER) fight for gold. Rapidly the German seemed to take the lead but suddenly the Tunisian launched a rolling attack for yuko followed by an immobilisation from where KUELBS could not escape. Gold medal for Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU and Tunisia, concluding a good weekend for the African continent.
In the women’s +78kg, the silver medallist of the last world championships in Rio, Maria Suelen ALTHEMAN (BRA) was definitely the ultimate favorite of the competition but she was surprisingly defeated in semifinal by the Tunisian, Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU, event if the African Athlete is not totally unknown as she already won the African Open in Casablanca this year. In the second half of the draw, there was no surprise as top seeded athlete, Jasmin KUELBS (GER), reached the final after having eliminated the second Tunisian, Sahar TRABELSI (TUN) and the Turkish fighter Gulsah KOCATURK.
The first bronze medal fight opposed the two Turkish fighters, Kubra KARA (TUR) and Gulsah KOCATURK (TUR), for a third Turkish medal on the occasion of this year’s event. After only 15 seconds, Gulsah KOCATURK launched her left handed o-soto-gari for an other ippon on this spectacular final block.
The other bronze medal fight opposed Sahar TRABELSI (TUN) and Maria Suelen ALTHEMAN (BRA). Disappointed for not having reached the final, the Brazilian, gave no chance to the Tunisian to win the medal. After 25 seconds, she applied a counter-attack (ura-nage) for ippon.
1. CHEIKH ROUHOU, Nihel (TUN)
2. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)
3. ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA)
3. KOCATURK, Gulsah (TUR)
5. KARA, Kubra (TUR)
5. TRABELSI, Sahar (TUN)
7. AKBULUT, Sebile (TUR)
7. PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)
MEN: -90kg: Explosive Victory for Georgia
The first final of the day opposed Beka GVINIASHVILI (GEO) and Marc ODENTHAL (GER) and the high rhythm imposed since the start of the final block continued as in only 15 seconds GVINIASHVILI threw his opponent on his back with a powerful o-goshi for ippon and for gold.
The French Alexandre IDDIR (FRA), immediately created the surprise by sending back home the favorite of the competition, the Russian Grigorii SULEMIN (RUS), winner of the Judo Grand Slam, Moscow 2013. IDDIR passed one more preliminary round against Joakim DVARBY (SWE), before falling in the semifinal in front of Beka GVINIASHVILI with a superb ippon from the Georgian. In the second half of the draw, Magomed MAGOMEDOV (RUS), seemed to be the most dangerous athlete until he faced Marc ODENTHAL (GER). After a fantastic day for Germany yesterday, ODENTHAL did not give a chance to GVINIASHVILI to enter the final, ensuring one more medal for the German squad.
The first bronze medal fight opposed Joakim DVARBY (SWE) and Magomed MAGOMEDOV (RUS). After a little more than one minute, MAGOMEDOV launched a quick tai-otoshi, but so quick that DVARBY landed on the side for waza-ari. The rest of the fight was more difficult for MAGOMEDOV, who looked tired after a tough competition day. But the Russian could find the necessary energy, despite two penalties, to stay on the podium.
In the second bronze medal fight, Vadym SYNYAVSKY (UKR) and Alexandre IDDIR (FRA) were opposed for a place on the podium. Only 25 seconds were necessary to the French to engaged an incredible standing sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for ippon.
1. GVINIASHVILI, Beka (GEO)
2. ODENTHAL, Marc (GER)
3. IDDIR, Alexandre (FRA)
3. MAGOMEDOV, Magomed (RUS)
5. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)
5. SYNYAVSKY, Vadym (UKR)
7. PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR)
7. VER, Gabor (HUN)
-100kg: Maret Confirms his Status in Samsun
The third final of the day saw Cyrille MARET (FRA) and Adlan BISULTANOV (RUS) compete for gold. The home winner of the Paris Grand Slam this year was the first one to score yuko after more than three minutes with a harai-makikomi, followed by a second yuko on the same action a few seconds later. MARET confirmed his favorite status for the upcoming big events.
Nothing and nobody seemed to be able to stop Cyrille MARET from France. After his solid victory in Paris, at the beginning of February, MARET has gained confidence and it is not Martin PACEK (SWE), who really put him in danger despite a very good kansetsu-waza technique (arm-lock) which was not far to be successful in the semifinal. The French, once again qualified for a final of a major international event. He is definitely one of the favorites of the upcoming European Championships, which will be held in Montpellier, France, in April. Multi-time winner of IJF event, Sergei SAMOILOVICH (RUS), was rapidly eliminated by MARET. In the second half of the draw, Adlan BISULTANOV (RUS), who was not among the top favorites of the tournament, obtained his ticket to the final having defeated Samet BULUT (TUR), Javad MAHJOUB (IRI) and Elmar GASIMOV (AZE).
The first bronze medal fight opposed Karl-Richard FREY (GER) and Elmar GASIMOV (AZE). 37 seconds were enough to Karl-Richard FREY to catch GASIMOV with a shime-waza technique for ippon.
The second bronze medal fight opposed Javad MAHJOUB (IRI) and Martin PACEK (SWE). Even less time was required for Javad MAHJOUB to apply a shime-waza technique as well and win the bronze by ippon, giving no chance to PACEK.
1. MARET, Cyrille (FRA)
2. BISULTANOV, Adlan (RUS)
3. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)
3. MAHJOUB, Javad (IRI)
5. GASIMOV, Elmar (AZE)
5. PACEK, Martin (SWE)
7. DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)
7. SAMOILOVICH, Sergei (RUS)
+100kg: ASKEVICIUS Creates the Last Surprise of the Competition
The final opposed the favorite Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO) and Marius ASKEVICIUS (LTU). The bout slowly started and it looked like the decision would not be decided by penalties when ASKEVICIUS launched a beautiful uchi-mata for ippon.
Winner of last week’s Grand Prix in his home country, Adam OKRUASHVILI (GEO), was again on the run today in Samsun. Looking a little tired, he nevertheless produced an incredible effort to defeat his opponent with brilliant movements. In the first round he defeated Bilal ZOUANI (ALG), then Yerzhan SHYNKEYEV (KAZ) and Andre BREITBARTH (GER) in the semifinal. Islam EL SHEHABY (EGY), who used to be among the top best athletes of the category, tried a come-back but could not go through the first round. He was surprised by the tactics of Bilal ZOUANI and was penalized four times for a disqualification. In the second half of the draw, Marius PASKEVICIUS (LTU) showed the most potential to win a medal and that is what he did by entering the final against OKRUASHVILI, after having defeated Vladut SIMIONESCU (ROU), Daniel ALLERSTORFER (AUT) and the giant Renat SAIDOV (RUS) in semifinal.
The first bronze medal fight of the day opposed Levani MATIASHVILI (GEO) and Renat SAIDOV (RUS), but with the Russian being injured, the medal went to Georgia and to Levani MATIASHVILI.
In the second bronze medal contest, it took Stanislav BONDARENKO (UKR) a little more than 30 seconds to throw Andre BREITBARTH (GER) on his back with force, speed and control for ippon (tani-otoshi).
1. PASKEVICIUS, Marius (LTU)
2. OKRUASHVILI, Adam (GEO)
3. BONDARENKO, Stanislav (UKR)
3. MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)
5. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)
5. SAIDOV, Renat (RUS)
7. ALLERSTORFER, Daniel (AUT)
7. SHYNKEYEV, Yerzhan (KAZ). —- Photos © IJF Media by Tamas Zahonyi