IJF News - 27 March, 2015

Samsun Judo Grand Prix 2015 - Turkey


-48kg | -52kg | -57kg | -60kg | -66kg 




184 athletes competed on the tatami at the ‘Yasar Dogu Sports Arena’ in Samsun, Turkey on the occasion of the opening day of the Samsun Grand Prix 2015. After three fantastic days of judo in Tbilisi last weekend, all judoka came to Turkey to win some more important points for the Olympic qualification. Thus, on day one the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories kicked off the action.


Just before the start of the final block, which saw the best 30 players of the day, competing for medals, the President of the Turkish Judo Federation, Mr. Fatih Uysal, explained to the IJF what this Grand Prix represents for his country: “This is the third time that we organise the Grand Prix in Samsun and every year we increase the level. This year we have put a lot of efforts on the preparation of the hall, the transportation and the catering. The number of participants (judoka and countries) has increased a lot compared to the last editions of the event and I am confident that next year the level will be even stronger knowing that we will come closer to the Olympic Games. The Turkish government and local authorities from the Province and city of Samsun were very supportive throughout the process of organising the Grand Prix. We have been working hand in hand for many years.



Such a big event is very positive for Turkey. It is a good promotion of our country and it helps to demonstrate our hospitality. Having 499 athletes representing 68 delegations is very important. I do hope that all of them will go back home with a very good image of Turkey. For us the priority is that the IJF is confident in our capacity to host a Grand Prix of such a level. I would like to thank all participants, referees, officials, spectators and media who attend the event.


This year, we also put a lot of effort on the promotion. For more than three weeks, nobody could miss the information about the Grand Prix. Throughout the city of Samsun, there are advertising boards. Public relations campaigns were conducted throughout the city and the province to attract as much people as possible to watch judo, live in the venue or on TV.

Today, Turkish judo is growing. We had some very good results in the past and today we are building the next generation of champions. We are strong in some categories. For those top athletes, the idea is to meet the best judo players in the world. As the organising country, we can have up to four athletes per weight category. We use the full quota, to also give the chance to young judoka to discover what the world top level means. The Olympic Games are coming closer and I hope that our team will be very strong in Rio 2016.“


Mr. Mehmet Yilmaz, general coordinator of the organizing committee, gave some more details about the organization: “This event offers the opportunity to all the Turkish staff to get some experience. After three editions of the Grand Prix, we really start to have an experienced team made of technicians from the Federation and from the local people. They are 60 people from the federation working in the hall and also 60 people from the region involved to run the event. We have been working for three months to deliver the best event possible and especially the last week which has been very busy for everybody.“




Official draw: http://www.ippon.org/gp_tur2015.php
Live stream on Ippon TV: http://www.ippon.tv
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ijudo
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/IntJudoFed

IJF President on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mariusvizer
Official event hash tag: #JudoSamsun2015
Judobase: http://www.judobase.org 
Instagram: http://instagram.com/judogallery
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/judo





-48kg: PARETO Unchallenged in Samsun

The first surprise of the day came from the early defeat of world number one, MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL), eliminated in the first round by the Polish judoka, Ewa KONIECZNY, whose best result to date was a bronze medal in Rijeka in 2013. KONIECZNY was then defeated by the future finalist Nathalia BRIGIDA (BRA). In the final the Brazilian faced, world number four and silver medallist of the last World Championships in Russia, Paula PARETO (ARG). In the same half of the draw as the world silver medallist, the current Olympic champion, Sarah MENEZES, could not do better than to qualify for the bronze final after having been beaten by Monica UNGUREANU (ROU) in the preliminary rounds.


BRIGIDA was penalized with a first shido when she stepped outside of the fighting area after a few seconds. Just before the first minute, Pareto who looked dominated by the long arms of BRIGIDA, engaged a right handed drop-sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for a beautiful waza-ari. A few strategic penalties later, the Argentinian could finally let her joy explode, confirming that she is one of the best judoka in the world in this weight category.



After her win against the Olympic champion MENEZES, Monica UNGUREANU, winner of the Qingdao Grand Prix in 2014, conceded the victory in the semi-finals and then was opposed to the double African champion, Taciana LIMA (GBS), for a place on the podium. After one minute and fifteen seconds, the scoreboard was already showing three yuko, one for UNGUREANU and two for LIMA, who twice scored with a beautiful o-uchi-gari, one in the middle of the tatami, the other on the edge of the fighting area. LIMA was then penalised twice with shidos for false attacks. Only twenty seconds were remaining when she was penalised again getting very close to the disqualification, but the athlete from Guinea Bissau could maintain her advantage to win a beautiful bronze medal.


For the second bronze medal, a misfiring Sarah MENEZES was opposed to the local athlete, Dilara LOKMANHEKIM (TUR), who until the semi-final, where she was defeated by PARETO, had achieved victories throughout the preliminary rounds in front of her public. After a first strong attempt, MENEZES tried to escape the counterattack of her opponent but was penalised for a false attack with a shido, giving the smallest advantage to LOKMANHEKIM, but enough to generate and audible approval from the home fans. A little later the Turkish athlete was penalised for passivity to restore parity. A little more than one minute was remaining, when MENEZES and LOKMANHEKIM launched several simultaneous attacks, which ended with osaekomi just outside of the competition area in favour of the Brazilian. However, MENEZES, was able to maintain the grip only for seven seconds and not long enough to score. The fight seemed to end with this tight score when one second before the final gong, MENEZES launched a last false attack for a shido, offering the victory to LOKMANHEKIM for a first medal for the home delegation.


BRIGIDA, Nathalia (BRA) vs. PARETO, Paula (ARG)


Bronze Medal Fights
LIMA, Taciana (GBS) vs. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)



Final Results
1. PARETO, Paula (ARG)
2. BRIGIDA, Nathalia (BRA)
3. LIMA, Taciana (GBS)
5. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)
5. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)
7. ERDENETSOGT, Gerelmaa (MGL)



-52kg: KRASNIQI in the Shadow of KELMENDI

Winner of the last Grand Prix, one week ago in Tbilisi, Jaana SUNDBERG (FIN) came to Turkey full of confidence but she was quickly defeated by Larisa FLORIAN (ROU) in the preliminary rounds. This was the perfect scenario for the experienced Ilse HEYLEN (BEL) to enter for the second time in a row (after Tbilisi last weekend) into the final of a major international event. In the final she faced the Kosovan, Distria KRASNIQI, who demonstrated throughout the competition that double world champion Majlinda KELMENDI is not the only top level athlete of the country to be able to reach World Judo Tour podiums.



Having exactly the double of age of her opponent, Ilse HEYLEN remains one of the toughest athletes of the category. Never tired of winning medals at the international level, the Belgian shows that when the desire to win still exists everything is possible. But today, Distria KRASNIQI proved with her young age that she also represents the future generation of champions, after having thrown HEYLEN with a o-soto-gari for waza-ari.


Distria KRASNIQI said: “I feel really happy. Everything went perfectly well today. I know that Majlinda Kelmendi is already to world number one in the category and I am not here to challenge her. She is the best. But it’s good to have some opposition.“


The first bronze medal fight saw Agata PERENC (POL) and Kelly EDWARDS (GBR) fighting for a medal. The medal went to Agata PERENC (POL) who scored a waza-ari with a strong arai-akikomi. Jaana SUNDBERG (FIN) and Gili COHEN (ISR) having been defeated in the early rounds, the next favourite to enter the final block was ADIYASAMBUU Tsolmon (MGL).


In the second bronze medal fight, she was opposed to Lisa KEARNEY (IRL), world number 30 and only owner of continental open medals so far. After 35 seconds, both athletes were penalised with a shido for passivity. ADIYASAMBUU was penalised a second time for a false attack, giving a small advantage to the Irish fighter. Even if several more penalties were distributed on both sides, Lisa KEARNEY, who had already one foot on the podium, could finally totally step on it.


HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL) vs. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)


Bronze Medal Fights
PERENC, Agata (POL) vs. EDWARDS, Kelly (GBR)



Final Results
1. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
2. HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL)
3. KEARNEY, Lisa (IRL)
3. PERENC, Agata (POL)
5. EDWARDS, Kelly (GBR)
7. FLORIAN, Larisa (ROU)
7. TSCHOPP, Evelyne (SUI)


-57kg: WAECHTER in for Gold in Turkey

As the top seeded athlete of the category, Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT), was eliminated during the first rounds, the last female final of the day opposed the bronze medallist of the last world championships in Chelyabinsk, Sanne VERHAGEN (NED) and Viola WAECHTER (GER), who was not among the favourites at the beginning of the day.


Taller than her opponent, WAECHTER produced a first attempt to score with a uchi-mata, but as VERHAGEN was reacting backwards, the German combined with an extraordinary o-soto-gari for a clear ippon.


Viola WAECHTER said: “Technically and mentally speaking I was on the top all day long. It was hard, tough and very long, but I remained focus throughout the day. I am happy that I could score with different technic and even in ne-waza. I concluded the day with a fantastic movement. This is good. Tomorrow I’m going back home and then we are leaving for a two-week-training-camp in Japan.“


The first bronze medal fight opposed the second German athlete of the category, Johanna MUELLER (GER) and the silver medallist of the last Olympic Games Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU), who was defeated by WAECHTER in the semi-final. But while one German was destined for gold, this time CAPRIORIU did not release the pressure to score a yuko with a tomo-nage, before controlling the rest of the fight for a place on the podium.


In the second bronze medal contest, the bronze medallist of the last year Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix, Tina ZELTNER (AUT) faced Nekoda SMYTHE DAVIS (GBR), who also obtained a bronze medal last year on the occasion of a World Judo Tour event, but that was in Astana, where the upcoming World Championships are going to be held in August 2015. An incredible scenario was offered to the public by both athletes, Tina ZELTNER leading with a yuko and a waza-ari before Nekoda SMYTHE DAVIS came back to finally win the medal.




Bronze Medal Fights
MUELLER, Johanna (GER) vs. CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU)



Final Results
1. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)
2. VERHAGEN, Sanne (NED)
3. CAPRIORIU, Corina (ROU)
5. MUELLER, Johanna (GER)
5. ZELTNER, Tina (AUT)
7. GJAKOVA, Nora (KOS)
7. PODOLAK, Arleta (POL)




-60kg: Second Gold in a Row for LUTFILLAEV (UZB)

World number 10 and winner of the Tbilisi Grand Prix last weekend, Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) qualified again for the final after his victories against Aibek IMASHEV (KAZ), Mehman SADIGOV (AZE), Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO) and Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS). In the final, he was opposed to Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE), who was the second top seeded athlete of the category.


The first dangerous attack came from the Azeri side, with a drop-shoulder movement, but for no score. More active than LUTFILLAEV, SAFAROV seemed to have a little advantage despite the shido he got at the start of the final. But totally missing his control on one of his attempts to score, LUTFILLAEV was perfectly counterattacked with a o-soto-gari for waza-ari. The Uzbek then scored a yuko with a modified kata-guruma but this was not enough to come back, Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV earning a first gold medal for Uzbekistan on the occasion of the 2015 edition of the Grand Prix.


Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV: “I felt good all day long, as last week in Tbilisi. It is a good series for me and for Uzbekistan. I am happy that Rishod also got the gold today.“



For the first bronze medal fight, Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO) faced Diyorbek UROZBOEV (UZB), finalist of the last Tashkent Grand Prix. CHKHVIMIANI was penalised with a first shido just before the second minute. A little later, being less active than his opponent, the Georgian was again penalised for passivity and things looked really complicated when he received his third penalty for stepping outside of the competition area. Putting pressure on UROZBOEV, CHKHVIMIANI forced his opponent into receiving two shidos, which was still not enough for victory, but this pressure finally paid off as the Georgian counterattacked a very last time for yuko a few seconds before the final gong, giving him the victory and the bronze medal.


In the second bronze medal contest, the 19-year-old TSENDOCHIR Tsogtbaatar (MGL) and Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS), bronze medallist last year in Qingdao and Samsun, were opposed for a place on the podium. Exactly at the halfway point of the match, the Mongolian fighter had a small advantage of one shido and despite his young age looked more active than his opponent, perfectly controlling him and launching opportunistic attacks to finally win the match and step on the podium. It’s probably not the last time that the name of TSENDOCHIR Tsogtbaatar will echo in a judo venue.


LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB) vs. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)


Bronze Medal Fights

CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO) vs. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
TSENDOCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL) vs. MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)



Final Results
1. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
2. SAFAROV, Orkhan (AZE)
3. TSENDOCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL)
5. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
7. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)



-66kg: SOBIROV Back on the Top of the Category

The last male final of the day opposed the top seeded athlete of the category DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg from Mongolia and former World and World Masters champion Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) who after an early defeat last week in Georgia showed that he was still a great fighter.


After the first minute of the fight only penalties were distributed and it looked like the final will continue on the same rhythm, DAVAADORJ controlling all attacks from SOBIROV, and the Uzbek being penalised for false attacks or for stepping outside of the competition area but suddenly the former world champion launched a majestic uchi-mata for waza-ari, before DAVAADORJ caught him on the floor with an immobilisation but for no score.


Rishod Sobirov said: “Last weekend was a bad day for me, today is a good one. I feel good to be on the top of the podium again. Now we can really prepare the next challenges and especially the Astana World Championships.“



Having three penalties against him made the situation a little more complicated for SOBIROV but he beautifully concluded the fight with a counterattack for ippon. The first bronze medal contest opposed the bronze medallist of the 2014 Zagreb Grand Prix, Adrian GOMBOC (SLO) and the winner of the Asian Open in Taipei, Sergiu OLEINIC (POR), who after a period of observation, applied an unstoppable strangulation technique for ippon, giving no chance for GOMBOC to escape.


Tristan PEIKRISHVILI (GEO) and Abdula ABDULZHALILOV (RUS) concluded the series of bronze medal fights of the day. ABDULZHALILOV scored the first with a counterattack (ura-nage) for yuko. After he was penalised with a shido for a defensive position, ABDULZHALILOV scored again but this time for waza-ari. Only ippon was missing but not for long as the Russian launched an incredibly powerful o-soto-otoshi.


DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL) vs. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)


Bronze Medal Fights
GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO) vs. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)


Final Results
1. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
2. DAVAADORJ, Tumurkhuleg (MGL)
3. OLEINIC, Sergiu (POR)
5. GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO)
7. CHIBANA, Charles (BRA)





9:30 Preliminaries on three mats

16:00 Opening Ceremony

17:00 Final block on one mat


Women: -63kg, -70kg

Men: -73kg, -81kg



9:30 Preliminaries on three mats
17:00 Final block on one mat


Women: -78kg, +78kg

Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg


Location: Yasar Dogu Sports Arena, Samsun, Turkey

IJF Media & Communications Department

Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director

Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager


Photos ©  IJF Media by T. Zahonyi



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