Saint Petersburg, Oct 22, 2013: Today we have reached the fourth day of the 2013 World Combat Games. So far, the competitions have definitely been spectacular. Today, Aikido, Boxing, Kendo and Savate were the stars of the show.
In an escalating level of complexity, Aikido demonstrations ended with the three Shihan teachers Ulf Evenås, Christian Tissier and Tsuruzo Miyamoto. Semifinals in Boxing ran through the afternoon until the evening and secured places in the finals which will take place on Thursday. In Kendo, the finals were a great win for Japan and France secured 6 out of 8 gold medals in today’s Savate finals.
On Wednesday, in addition to competitions in Kickboxing, Muaythai, Taekwondo and Wrestling, The International Forum “Martial Arts and Combat Sports in Society” will take place in the Saint Petersburg’s Constantine Palace. The Forum is part of the framework of the Cultural Programme. Keynotes by Mr Wilfried Lemke, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace and by Mr Joel Bouzou, President of Peace and Sport as well as International and Russian Officials will be followed by panel discussions featuring expert speakers.
Two days of Kendo tournament are over. Competitions among the highest dan participants confirmed once again the power of the Japanese kendokas.
Gold medals of Mika Shimokawa and Kazuo Furukawa added to yesterday’s gold of Yoko Sakuma. Shimokawa beat her compatriot Sachie Miyazaki in the Women’s Individual final. Bronze went Emi Anderson from the USA and Kyung Wha Back from Korea.
Mika Simokawa expressed her joy about the victory: “I am so happy that, I have participated in this tournament! I have the sixth dan, I’ve been practicing Kendo since my childhood and I love it. Important for me was not the strength of the rivals, but the fact that Japanese martial arts culture is spreading and all the kendokas who have come here are promoting this wonderful martial art.”
In the men’s competitions, bronze went to Dong Chul Park and Yong Chun Park (Korea). But the final belong to the Japanese: Kazuo Furukawa beat Katsuhiko Tani in the fight for gold.
The taste of victory is not something new to Furukawa: “I competed at the first Games in Beijing and won them, too. Am I going to win next Games as well? (laughing) I am not too young, but why not?”
Most kendokas confess, that the competitions and victories are not the most important for them. What matters much more is the experience they get and the power of spirit they increase. So there were no losers, like in most of other martial arts: all the kendokas were very satisfied with their participation at the WCG.
Women boxing – England’s Marshall is stronger than the Russian soldier
The best ladies fought for the final places in the evening session of the boxing competition where the semi-finals have been held at the Yubileiny Sports Complex. After the high quality of boxing in the quarter-finals the best women athletes could raise the level of the boxing tournament where England’s top favourite Savannah Marshall advanced to the gold medal contest.
The most anticipated contest of the female semi-finals was held between England’s actual AIBA World Champion Savannah Marshall and Russia’s AIBA Youth World Champion 20-year-old Iaroslava Iakushina at the Sportaccord World Combat Games. Middleweight’s (75 kg) top favourite Savannah Marshall tried to keep her punches longer against the southpaw Russian boxer. Hartlepool’s pride dominated the second part of the contest, kept the strict tactic and her efforts resulted a place in the final of the middleweight class.
London 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Marlen Esparza is one of the most experienced US female fighter while the same comment is also known for Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova who also competed in the London Games last year. Petrova had some effective jabs and hooks in the end of the first round in their bout but Esparza raised the rhythm of her attacks from the third minutes and tried to reduce the distance between them. The US star controlled the third and the final round which resulted for her a close victory over the European rival.
Russia’s veteran Olesya Gladkova has been there at the first edition of the European Women’s Championships in St. Amand-les-Eaux, France when the female part of our sport was born. The 34-year-old flyweight (51 kg) boxer has been selected to represent the Russian delegation once again and following her opening victory on home soil she fought for the final against China’s thirteen years younger Si Haijuan. The first round was a real tactical opening where both of the athletes checked the skills of the opponent. Following that the Chinese ringside asked their boxer to change the fighting distance in the second frame but Gladkova answered this in the third two minutes and advanced to the final of the competition.
6 gold medals for France
Six finals in men’s Savate Combat were held today. Four gold medals were won by French fighters. In Women’s Assault, 2 more gold medals went to France.
In men’s 60 kg category, Jonatan Bonnet beat Ukranian Viktor Slavinskyi on score 5:0. “I am very very happy to win. Now I will prepare for Savate world championships and I hope will win there too,” Jonathan shared his joy after his final fight.
Laurent Crescense (65 kg), Georgy Fernante (70 kg) and Tony Ancelin (75 kg) won their finals against Boris Essere (Congo), Goran Borovic (Serbia) and Teddy Aoue (Congo) respectively.
“I knew my opponent’s style and I knew that he was going to put pressure upon me and be very active. So my strategy was to stop him and beat him with his own weapon. I am very tired now because the level at the Games is very high and I did my best in every fight,” Tony Ancelin said after his victorious fight.
Le Duigou, savate’s ambassador: ‘Children and education are the most important for us’.
Gilles Le Duigou, the vice-president of the Fédération Internationale de Savate and savate’s ambassador at the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games, proposed his three children to practice the ‘boxe française’. “Savate is great for teaching them the value of respect,” he said during the last day of savate competitions in Saint Petersburg. “Respect for the teacher, for the adversary, for the materials and so on,” he completed.
“Children and education are definitely the most important for the Fédération International de Savate,” he underlined. Mr Le Duigou, an icon not only of savate, but also of kickboxing (he is a former full-contact world champion), is willing to do his very best in order to reach savate’s goals. “We are patient and we still want to go further. The first step was taking part in these SportAccord World Combat games, the second one is to attain the Olympic recognition.”
Aikido Swords and Daggers!
Today at the St-Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, the masters of spiritual energy are demonstrating aikido techniques using weapons – swords and daggers.
Matches between teams of different countries are taking place. Aikidokas from Sweden and France shared with us some experiences from the life of an aikidoka.
Sten Freudin, team Sweden:
– I started practicing aikido because of a friend. He told me it was very interesting. We both were 6 then, and now I am 24. Since then my life is bound to this combat. In my club, they can practice it from three years old, so I was not the youngest.
I like it here in Russia, it’s a very hospitable country. Team Sweden is quite a strong team, since this lineup was participating in the Games in Beijing. I was chosen by additional qualifications.
Helene, team France:
– We came to St. Petersburg with the family. My husband and I were on the mat together in previous demonstrations.
Henriette Flader, team France:
– My husband also practices aikido, but here he has to babysit Helene’s child. —- Sportaccord