Judo Grand Prix Samsun 2014

Samsun, Mar 29, 2014: The Judo Grand Prix, Samsun 2014, was hotly-contested on the second day as four gold medals were decided on Saturday at the Samsun Yasar Dogu Sports Arena.

The enthusiastic Turkish crowd enjoyed a great show during the second day of the Judo Grand Prix and cheered the champions as the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s-73kg and -81kg categories were all in action. The event gave also a good opportunity to promote the IJF Academy and to present the pilot project that is under development in Turkey after the first session that was held in Budapest at the end of 2013.

IJF Academy Under Testing in Turkey

Just after the Rio World Championships last year, the IJF launched the concept of IJF academy: a coach education and certification system. The Academy provides professional education in all sectors of Judo. It first starts by focusing on the technical sector, but it also attends to the managerial, specialist segments and other areas where most needed.

As the IJF appreciates that the development and running a national coach education and certification system might be beyond the federation’s resource, the IJF Academy assists National Federations with education and certification for their technical staff.

The IJF Academy’s goals are:

• To get to know essential scientific and academic knowledge

• To familiarize with new environment

• To meet new colleagues

• To propose a flexible online platform for delivery of knowledge

• To address the Federation requirements and help them in meeting today’s professional requirements.

The Semmelweis University Faculty of PE and Sport Sciences (Budapest), who is partner of the IJF in this Academy project is the largest, the most comprehensive and the oldest centre for education and training in sport and physical activity in Hungary with 88 years of history.

The courses are delivered in a blended system, with all the theoretical lessons delivered online and the practical sessions in one or two weekly sessions. During the practical session, the students are assessed on their theoretical and practical knowledge. Three levels are proposed: Level 1: Instructor Certificate / Level 2 Coach Certificate / Level 3 Pro License Diploma.

The very first session of the IJF Academy was held a the end of 2013 and 16 students from Cameroon, Niger, Haiti, Guatemala, Sierra Leon, Armenia, Zambia, Turkey, Pakistan, Kosovo and Hungary gathered together in Budapest on December 2013.

Held in English, this first session was very successful and the IJF decided to develop the concept in different languages in order to increase its potential. Mr. Daniel Lascau, IJF Sports Director, explained: “Turkey has been chosen to be the first country were we are developing the concept of IJF Academy in different languages. We have started to translate all the pedagogical documents. Every week, the participants can already follow the online course and pass the weekly examinations. At the end of the theoretical part, they will all pass the theoretical global examination before entering the final practical session, which will be held in July. Thanks to the great help of the Turkish Judo Federation, we will soon be able to propose the complete course for Turkish coaches and educators. It will increase the development potential of the federation and help to create more clubs. At the same time we can insure that all coaches will have the minimum requirements to develop judo. If this first pilot project is successful, and no doubt that it will be, we will duplicate the idea in other regions of the world.”

The first session of the Academy in Turkey started with 31 students. The courses are coordinated by Mesut KAPAN, former Olympic Coach, who was a student of the English course last December. Designated by the IJF in coordination with the Turkish Judo Federation he plays the role of tutor to all participants. At the end of the course, two diplomas will be awarded: one by the IJF itself and the second by the Semmelweis University, both being internationally recognized.


-63kg: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Winner Doubles in Samsun

The final opposed the African Champion Rizlen ZOUAK (MAR) and the winner of the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER (AUT). After only 20 seconds UNTERWURZACHER scored a first waza-ari with a ko-soto-gari on the edge of the fighting area. After one minute and a half, the Austrian launched again her right handed attack (ko-soto-gari) for yuko, immediately followed on the floor for immobilization and ippon.

Once again, the women’s -63kg weight category was very interesting to follow as great names of the World Judo Tour were present in Samsun. World number one and World champion, Yarden GERBI (ISR), who finished second last week in Tbilisi was trying to step on the top of the podium, but she was stopped on her way to the final by the surprising Austrian, Kathrin UNTERWURZACHER, who scored two waza-ari giving no chance to GERBI, even if the Israeli was also able to score waza-ari with her aerial hip movements. Earlier during the preliminary rounds, UNTERWURZACHER also gave no chance to the American Hannah MARTIN (USA) to reach the semifinal.

In the second half of the table, Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) was the favorite but she lost in the quarterfinal against Szabina GERCSAK (HUN), who then was defeated by Rizlen ZOUAK (MAR), who gave a second medal for the African continent on the occasion of the Grand Prix.

The first bronze medal opposed Hannah MARTIN (USA) and Szabina GERCSAK (HUN). Being a little injured, the American looked diminished. After two minutes, she was thrown for waza-ari and was penalized several times. Literally fighting on one leg, she was again thrown for a second waza-ari, GERCSAK winning the first bronze of the day.

In the second bronze medal fight of the day, Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) was opposed to Yarden GERBI (ISR). GERBI was the first one to score with a o-goshi for yuko, just before TRAJDOS was penalized for blocking her opponent. Keeping putting pressure on the German, the Israeli scored again with o-soto-otoshi for waza-ari but was then penalized three times, before TRAJDOS caught her with a strong geza-gatame (immobilization) for ippon, 12 seconds before the end.

Final Results


2. ZOUAK, Rizlen (MAR)

3. GERCSAK, Szabina (HUN)

3. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)

5. GERBI, Yarden (ISR)

5. MARTIN, Hannah (USA)

7. BELAKHAL, Souad (ALG)


-70kg: Vargas Koch Concludes her Competition Day with Gold

Germany was again present in the final with Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER) against Sally CONWAY (GBR). Penalized three times for passivity and gripping infringements, CONWAY could not find a solution and VARGAS KOCH collected the second gold medal of the day for Germany with a waza-ari scored with o-uchi-gari, at the very end of the final.

Silver medallist at the Rio World Championships, last summer and winner of the Rijeka Grand Prix a few weeks later, Laura VARGAS KOCH (GER) was the favorite of the competition in the women’s -70kg. Winning all her preliminary fights by ippon, the German showed an unstoppable power up to the final where she was opposed to the British athlete Sally CONWAY who defeated Yarden MAYERSOHN (ISR), Barbara TIMO (BRA) and Assmaa NIANG (MAR) to win her ticket to the podium.

Winner of the Düsseldorf 2014 Grand Prix, Assmaa NIANG (MAR) wanted to demonstrate that her victory was not an accident, and she did pretty well, when she eliminated the World Champion and Olympic Bronze medallist from France, Gévrise EMANE, who looked a little bit tired after a long training camp in Brazil over the past weeks.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Lior WILDIKAN (ISR) and Assmaa NIANG (MAR. NIANG was the first to score a yuko with a hip movement in the hedge of the fighting area. An other incredible hip movement from NIANG offered her a waza-ari and immediately after a third o-goshi for a second waza-ari and a new medal for the Moroccan at that level of competition after her victory in Düsseldorf earlier this year.

In the second bronze medal contest, the victory was decided between the two French, Gevrise EMANE (FRA) and Margaux PINOT (FRA). Apparently really tired, EMANE was not capable of raising the rhythm and was penalized more than PINOT, who finally won the medal.

Final Results


2. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)

3. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)

3. PINOT, Margaux (FRA)

5. EMANE, Gevrise (FRA)


7. BAKACAK, Sukran (TUR)

7. TIMO, Barbara (BRA)


-73kg: Golden Score Gives the Victory to Voelk from Germany

The final opposed Christopher VOELK (GER) and Rustam ORUJOV (AZE). The five minutes were not enough to decide the winner and both athletes entered the Golden score still uncertain about the final results, when VOELK launched an unexpected tsuri-goshi for a superb ippon.

In the men’s -73kg, the bronze medallist of last week’s Tbilisi Grand Prix Zebeda REKHVIASHVILI (GEO), was the favorite of the competition but he was immediately defeated by the finalist of the day in the first half of the draw, the German Christopher VOELK. After this first win VOELK eliminated Yertugan TORENOV (KAZ) and the Olympic silver medallist Miklos UNGVARI (HUN) by penalties.

The second half of the draw was dominated by Rustam ORUJOV (AZE), winner of last year’s Baku Grand Slam. In the semifinal he reduced the chance of the Turkish fighter, Hasan VANLIOGLU (TUR), to enter the final and ensure a news medal for the local delegation.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Volodymyr SOROKA (UKR) and Hasan VANLIOGLU (TUR). After 50 seconds of fight, VANLIOGLU launched the first strong attack with a powerful ko-soto-gari for waza-ari, confirmed by the video refereeing. That is the exact moment when the public started to cheer for its local fighter. But it was also the time that SOROKA chose to score waza-ari with tani-otoshi. Despite the high rhythm, the Ukrainian was penalized two times, and VANLIOGLU could keep this little difference to win the second bronze medal for Turkey during the competition.

The second bronze medal bout saw Tommy MACIAS (SWE) and Miklos UNGVARI (HUN), fight for a place on the podium. After three minutes, only penalties were visible on the scoreboard, but during a short ground working session, UNGVARI, found a tiny opportunity to catch MACIAS with an immobilization for ippon.

Final Results

1. VOELK, Christopher (GER)

2. ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)

3. UNGVARI, Miklos (HUN)


5. MACIAS, Tommy (SWE)

5. SOROKA, Volodymyr (UKR)

7. BOTTIEAU, Jean Yves (BEL)

7. TORENOV, Yertugan (KAZ)

-81kg: Third Gold Medal of the Day for Germany

The last final of the day was 100% German with Alexander WIECZERZAK (GER) and Sven MARESCH (GER) fighting for gold. The two athletes perfectly knowing one another were not able to score anything and the difference was made by the penalties, with the gold medal going to Sven MARESCH.

After a first win against Dagvasuren NYAMSUREN (MGL), the Brazilian Victor PENALBER thought he was on his way to a good result, but this was not the idea of Alexander WIECZERZAK (GER) who threw him for ippon. Before defeating the top seeded athlete of the category, WIECZERZAK won against Ilker GULDUREN (TUR) and after he gave no chance to Attila UNGVARI (HUN) and Joachim BOTTIEAU (BEL).

Top seeded in the Pool C, Travis STEVENS (USA), silver medallist last week in Tbilisi, couldn’t repeat his performance. In the semifinal, he was eliminated by Murat KHABACHIROV (RUS), before losing again in the repechage against Valeriu DUMINICA (MDA). The second half of the table was dominated by the second German of the Category, Sven MARESCH, who joined his teammate WIECZERZAK for a 100% German final.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Attila UNGVARI (HUN) and Murat KHABACHIROV (RUS). After the five minutes and a difference in the number of penalties, the Hungarian could join his brother Miklos UNGVARI on the medal table.

The second and last bronze medal fight of the day opposed Valeriu DUMINICA (MDA) and Joachim BOTTIEAU (BEL) and went to Moldova, DUMINICA winning by penalties.

Final Results

1. MARESCH, Sven (GER)

2. WIECZERZAK, Alexander (GER)

3. DUMINICA, Valeriu (MDA)

3. UNGVARI, Attila (HUN)

5. BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)


7. MAGOMEDOV, Sirazhudin (RUS)

7. STEVENS, Travis (USA). —- Photos © IJF Media by Tamas Zahonyi

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