The first day of the JUDO GRAND PRIX DÜSSELDORF 2012 offered very spectacular fights with many ippon. The majority of the favorites won the Gold medals, but some surprises occurred. The Champions of the first seven categories are: Charline VAN SNICK (Belgium), JANG Jin-Min (Korea), HASHIMOTO Yuki (Japan), Alim GADANOV (Russia), MATSUMOTO Kaori (Japan), WANG Ki-Chun (Korea) and YOUNG Da-Woon (Korea).

Women’s -48 kg. Category: The Favorite Van Snick Won the Gold; The Gold medalist of the JUDO GRAND PRIX DÜSSELDORF 2012, at Women’s -48 kg. Category is Charline VAN SNICK (Belgium). In a close final, the athletes tested each other to the maximum. In the end, the most experienced judoka, Charline VAN SNICK (BEL)– the 4th on the IJF World Ranking List (WRL)won after kata-ashi-dori (grapping of the leg), in the second minute, against the Junior World Champion ENDO Hiromi (Japan).


Despite the absence of the three best judoka in the world, very good athletes came to Düsseldorf. Among them – Charline VAN SNICK, winner of the last Grand Prix of the 2011 season in Qingdao, or Paula PARETO (ARG – WRL 6), winner of the Judo World Cup in Apia, last November. Alina DUMITRU (ROU – WRL 5), the defending Olympic champion, lost in the first round (Golden Score) against the young Japanese judoka ENDO Hiromi.

In the first semifinal, Charline VAN SNICK (Belgium) confirmed her sportive value winning by ippon against MESTRE ALVAREZ Dayaris (Cuba). In the second semifinal, the more experienced French judoka, PAYET Laetitia was defeated (ippon) by ENDO Hiromi, after a spectacular throw. Semifinals: Charline VAN SNICK (Belgium) won by ippon against MESTRE ALVAREZ Dayaris (Cuba);  ENDO Hiromi(Japan) won by ippon against PAYET Laetitia (France).

Men’s -60 kg. Category: Grand Prix for Korea; The winner of the Gold medal of the JUDO GRAND PRIX DÜSSELDORF 2012 at the Men’s -60 kg. Category is JANG Jin-Min(Korea). In a very tight final, with many attacks and counterattacks, JANG Jin-Min(Korea) succeeded, in the 3 rd minute, a yuko for sumi-gaeshi (sacrifice technique) and scored again in the last 40 seconds with uchi-mata against GANBAT Boldbaatar (Mongolia). Many surprises at this category. All the favorites – Hirofumi YAMAMOTO (JPN – WRL 3), winner of the Tokyo Grand Slam last December, Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO – WRL 6), who obtained a beautiful bronze medal in Paris in early February, CHOI Gwang-Hyeon (KOR WRL 8) or Sofiane MILOUS (FRA – WRL 9)- lost in preliminaries.

Women’s -52 kg. Category: Japanese Judo Has a Golden Future; The champion at Women’s -52 kg. Category at the JUDO GRAND PRIX DÜSSELDORF 2012 is the Japanese judoka HASHIMOTO Yuki. In a very tight final, HASHIMOTO Yuki (Japan), winner of the Bucharest World Cup, won, by ippon, after 4 minutes, with a leg technique osoto-gari against the Russian judoka Natalia KUZIUTINA. Bundmaa MUNKHBAATAR (MGL – WRL 3) was the favorite and the top seeded athlete in the absence of the two Japanese, who share the top two places in the world ranking list.

Besides the Mongol judoka, were qualified in the semis Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS – WRL 9) and Yanet BERMOY ACOSTA (CUB – WRL 11), the World Champion of 2005, in Cairo. The others favorites, Soraya HADDAD (ALG – WRL 4), winner of the Grand Prix of Amsterdam in 2011, Erika MIRANDA (BRA – WRL 6), who won in Rio last year, Ana CARRASCOSA (ESP – WRL 7) who, at the age of 32, bronze at the Paris Grand Slam, lost in the first rounds.

Men’s -66 kg. Category: Russian Victory; The winner of the Gold medal of the JUDO GRAND PRIX DÜSSELDORF 2012 at the Men’s -66 kg. Category is Alim GADANOV (Russia). The final offered a very tense fight, but unfortunately, not very spectacular. The favorites, seeded No. 1, the Mongol judoka, KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar (WRL 2) and Alim GADANOV (RUS – WRL 4) were present in the last contest of the category.

(Another favorite, the French judoka, David LAROSE (FRA – WRL 10), the recent winner of the Judo Grand Slam, Paris 2012, less than two weeks ago, lost in preliminaries rounds). Finally, in the Golden Score, the Russian judoka, Alim GADANOV won after a counterattack with ura-nage.

Women’s -57 kg. Category: Japanese Final; The Gold medalist of the JUDO GRAND PRIX DÜSSELDORF 2012, at Women’s -57 kg. Category is MATSUMOTO Kaori (Japan). A Japanese Final. The world number one, MATSUMOTO Kaori (JPN – WRL 1), present on the German tatami, to insure an Olympic qualification that already seems acquired, fought in the last act against her young dojo mate , YAMAMOTO Anzu, and won after a tight fight.

The other favorites, the speedy winner of the last Grand Slam in Paris, Telma MONTEIRO (POR – WRL 3), Rafaela SILVA (BRA – WRL 4), Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU – WRL 5, Sun KIM (KOR – WRL 8) and the reigning Olympic champion, Giulia QUINTAVALLE (ITA – WRL 9) lost in the preliminaries.

Men’s -73 kg. Category: Second Gold for Korea; The Gold medalist of the JUDO GRAND PRIX DÜSSELDORF 2012, at Men’s -73 kg. Category is WANG Ki-Chun (Korea). In the last contest, WANG Ki-Chun (Korea), the 2nd on the IJF WRL, won the final after a spectacular osoto-gari (major outer reaping) against SAINJARGAL Nyam-Ochir (Mongolia), the 6-th on the IJF WRL. Despite the absence of world number one, Riki NAKAYA (JPN – WRL 1), the level was particularly strong this year.

Thus, the Masters champion in Almaty last January, WANG Ki-Chun (KOR), the vice-world champion, Dex ELMONT (NED – WRL 3), Ugo LEGRAND (FRA – WRL 11) and SAINJARGAL Nyam-Och (Mongolia), were qualified in semis. The first semifinal was won by the Mongolian judoka SAINJARGAL Nyam-Ochir without fight. The Dutch champion Dex ELMONT could not be present because he was injured. In the other semifinal, Ugo LEGRAND (France) was defeated by WANG Ki-Chun (Korea).

Women’s -63 kg. Category: Agbegnenou Was Very Close; The winner of Women -63 kg. Category, at the JUDO GRAND PRIX DÜSSELDORF 2012 is YOUNG Da-Woon (Korea). The final, offered a very tense contest. YOUNG Da-Woon (Korea) won after two shido against AGBEGNENOU Clarisse (France). In the absence of Gévrise EMANE (FRA – WRL 2) and Yoshie UENO (JPN – WRL 1), Urska ZOLNIR (SLO – WRL 3), hoped to get closer to the top ranking, but she lost in the very first fight.

The other contenders Miki TANAKA (JPN – WRL 5), Alice SCHLESSINGER (ISR – 8), Lili XU (CHN – WRL 6) and Claudia MALZAHN (GER – WRL 9) lost in preliminaries. Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA – 11), who is back after having failed to make the weight at the Masters and therefore missed the grand Slam of Paris, made a very good competition up to the final, where she lost in a real tight fight. —- IJF

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