Almaty, September 26, 2019: Just a few extra kilos, it is the biggest difference between the first and second day (Almaty Cadets Judo Championships).
There are four other categories at stake, but those extra kilos also mean another type of judo. There is more wingspan, more strength and more speed.
The movements are wider. It is a more explosive judo. Welcome to the second day in Almaty, welcome to the World Judo Championships Cadets
-48kg: (Almaty Cadets Judo Championships) The first final of the day was in the -48kg category. The Japanese Hikari Yoshioka faced Croatian Ana Viktorija Puljiz, or what is the same, the thirty-first against the seventh in the world ranking. When we say judo we first think of Japan, the country that invented the sport.
They are the best and fighting against a Japanese is usually a huge challenge. However, they also have their own problems. Justin Imagawa, a member of All Japanese Judo Federation, explains.
“It is the first time that Yoshioka leaves Japan. It is therefore the first time she fights against judoka that are not Japanese. In our country we have a traditional kumikata, the same in all schools.
Here, Yoshioka has discovered that the rest of the world does it differently”. The young woman had to adapt to another style.
The public expected anything but not an osae-komi by the Japanese thirty seconds after the start to mark waza-ari.
And they expected even much less another osae-komi fifteen seconds later to conquer the title without suffering. It is what is called an immediate adaptation.
Yoshioka completed her baptism among the best by collecting her reward from the President of the International Judo Federation, Marius Vizer.
The Italian Assunta Scutto won the first bronze medal, winning against the Turkish Buketnur Karabulut with a waza-ari marked when there were 39 seconds left.
In the second fight for the bronze, the victory went to the Hungarian Anna Kriza, who surpassed the Brazilian Nascimento by ippon a few seconds from the end.
FINAL/Almaty Cadets Judo Championships
YOSHIOKA Hikari (JPN) vs PULJIZ Ana Viktorija (CRO)
BRONZE MEDAL CONTESTS
SCUTTO Assunta (ITA) vs KARABULUT Buketnur (TUR)
KRIZA Anna (HUN) vs NASCIMENTO Alexia (BRA)
1. YOSHIOKA, Hikari (JPN)
2. PULJIZ, Ana Viktorija (CRO)
3. KRIZA, Anna (HUN)
3. SCUTTO, Assunta (ITA)
5. KARABULUT, Buketnur (TUR)
5. NASCIMENTO, Alexia (BRA)
7. BAKHODIROVA, Elizza (UZB)
7. BRITO, Raquel (POR)
-60kg: (Almaty Cadets Judo Championships) There was also a Japanese judoka in the final of -60kg. It is the lightest category among professionals and Japan has always won medals and titles on the World Judo Tour.
Tsujioka Keiji had silenced the stands of the enclosure by eliminating Kazakh Nursultan Zaizagaliyev in the semifinals with two waza-ari. In the final he faced the Azeri Kamran Suleymanov.
The Japanese had demonstrated the wide range of movements in his arsenal all day. Suleymanov is a judo prty on his own, a fast young man with explosive moves. Both spent the day eliminating opponents at the stroke of ippon.
There was respect, but no fear. Both entered the tatami ready to win, looking for the ippon from the beginning. There was a lot of ne-waza but, in the end, the Japanese surprised Azeri with a waza-ari and added the second gold medal of the day for Japan.
We were able to talk to him after the final. Tsujioka confirmed what we thought:
“It was the toughest match of the day because it was the first time that I participated in an international competition, with only one tatami in the final and crowded stands. I was nervous.”
Which shows that, at the highest level, the difference is always produced by each one’s mental strength.
Kyrgyzstan Chyngyzkhan was one waza-ari down against Azerbaijan Turan Bayramov when, a few seconds before the end, he scored ippon and secured the first medal for his country here in Almaty.
The second bronze medal was a local derby between Marlen Adil and Nursultan Zaizagaliyev. Zaizagaliyev scored waza-ari first and, it seemed he would win because he was dominating.
However, he had two shidos against him and, one minute before the end, he was eliminated for getting out of the mat.
TSUJIOKA Keiji (JPN) vs SULEYMANOV Kamran (AZE)
BRONZE MEDAL CONTESTS
BAYRAMOV Turam (AZE) vs SAGYNALIEV Chyngyzkhan (KGZ)
ADIL Marlen (KAZ) vs ZAIZAGALIYEV Nursultan (KAZ)
- TSUJIOKA, Keiji (JPN)
- SULEYMANOV, Kamran (AZE)
- ADIL, Marlen (KAZ)
- SAGYNALIEV, Chyngyzkhan (KGZ)
- BAYRAMOV, Turan (AZE)
- ZAIZAGALIYEV, Nursultan (KAZ)
- BAKHBAKHASHVILI, Daviti (GEO)
- BALARJISHVILI, Georgios (CYP)
-52kg: The time has come for a family story. Veronica Toniolo is number one in her category. She is Italian and trained by her father, Raffaele, since the age of two!!!
Both went to Almaty with clear ideas, win and respect judo values. This is what Raffaele teaches, much more than any technique on tatami.
For him, the main thing is to respect the opponent, the referees, oneself. It is those values that forge the champions of tomorrow and, for Veronica’s father, this is non-negotiable.
Toniolo faced the Russian Liliia Nugaeva, a young but old acquaintance of the cadet circuit. Before the fight the daughter received the last advice from the father.
“Nugaeva is left-handed and doesn’t like to fight right-handed people. You have to move because you are physically stronger and try to execute a tai-otoshi because it will be your best weapon today”.
But Nugaeva was ready. It was a physical contest, as always in the category of cadets, but also tactical. They know each other well.
So good that they reached the golden score, the Russian with two shidos and one to the Italian.
What nobody had expected was to witness such a long contest.
The error occurred after ten minutes and forty-six seconds of golden score. Almost fifteen minutes of match. Exhausted, the Russian went out of the mat and collected her third shido.
She lost a marathon final where both proved to have very advanced tactical knowledge.
As for the battles for bronze, the Russian Mariam Amkhadova defeated the Spanish Ariane Torro Soler with a waza-ari forty seconds from the end.
In the second fight the Dutchwoman Elin Henninger, also by waza-ari, won the American Marisol Torro.
TONIOLO Veronica (ITA) vs NUGAEVA Liliia (RUS)
BRONZE MEDAL CONTESTS
TORO SOLER Ariane (ESP) vs AMKHADOVA Mariam (RUS)
HENNINGER Elin (NED) vs TORRO Marisol (USA)
FINAL RESULTSTONIOLO, Veronica (ITA)
NUGAEVA, Liliia (RUS)
AMKHADOVA, Mariam (RUS)
HENNINGER, Elin (NED)
TORO SOLER, Ariane (ESP)
TORRO, Marisol (USA)
OTGONJARGAL, Sarantuya (MGL)
PASCA, Alexandra (ROU)
-66kg: There was one remaining final, perhaps the most uncertain on paper.
The Russian and world number two, Abrek Naguchev against the Ukrainian and twelfth in the world, Rostyslav Berezhnyi. Naguchev was the clear favorite after having reached the final without just disheveled.
He was in his best form at the right time and in the right place. In front, the Ukrainian had left Mongolian Lkhagvasuren in the gutter, Russian and fifth favorite Shabikhanov and the Colombian and ninth in the world, Mejía.
The Ukrainian was the surprise of the day and was also fit. That was the preview.
In the final, the Russian barely took a minute to get a waza-ari. He didn’t want there to be uncertainty but to impose his status.
The Ukrainian never endangered Naguchev, who won the title in the easiest match of the day.
With the bronze medal won by Tilegen Tynarbay against the Greek Michail Tsoutlasvili, Kazakhstan continues its harvest of medals at home. At the moment they have four, one of gold.
The last medal of the day flew to Brazil. The Japanese Fukuda Yamato and the Brazilian Matheus Pereira were two of the most spectacular judoka of the day.
A battle full of agility between two cats was expected, but they sealed a fight marked by shidos. To that game, the Brazilian was better.
NAGUCHEV Abrek (RUS) vs BEREZHNYI Rostyslav (UKR)
BRONZE MEDAL CONTESTS
TYNARBAY Tilegen (KAZ) vs TSOUTLASVILI Michail (GRE)
FUKUDA Yamato (JAP) vs PEREIRA Matheus (BRA)
NAGUCHEV, Abrek (RUS)
BEREZHNYI, Rostyslav (UKR)
PEREIRA, Matheus (BRA)
TYNARBAY, Tilegen (KAZ)
FUKUDA, Yamato (JPN)
TSOUTLASVILI, Michail (GRE)
KONTHOUJAM, Bishal Singh (IND)
MEJIA, Mateo (COL)
There are seventeen countries with a medal, including Japan, Italy and Kazakhstan, with four medals each.
The world championship reaches its equator under the sign of ippon. The second day offered a better quality judo, less shidos and very few golden scores.
If the trend persists this Friday with the following categories, it will be necessary to prepare fireworks and superlatives. —- IJF