IJF News - 3 May, 2015

Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 - Croatia


-78kg | +78kg | -90kg | -100kg | +100kg 


The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 came to a riveting conclusion as the heavyweights fought for IJF silverware at the Dom Sportova Arena on Sunday.


Croatian fans saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals.


IJF Hall of Famer Robert VAN DE WALLE (BEL) was among the honoured guests in Zagreb. The Moscow 1980 Olympic champion and Seoul 1988 Olympic bronze medallist was inducted into the IJF Hall of Fame in 2013.



VAN DE WALLE, who is now an IJF ambassador and has led IJF development projects in Africa, said: “The event has been well organised and has attracted the top level of athletes.


“Athletes are not just here for Olympic qualifications points, it is important to put together good performances on a regular basis and to use such events as a stepping stone to world and Olympic medals.”


The Belgian hero praised the level of professionalism of the sport and how competitive every nation has become. 


“If I go back 20 years, the sport has come such a long way and it’s amazing to see. We can all be proud of the place judo has in the world and the IJF is a great example to Federation’s in other sports.


“There’s been such good players here in Zagreb that I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The level is so high that it is not always possible to win by a big technique but judo fans know and understand this.”


Judo Club Duga Resa member Mateo HOLJEVAC, 11, was one of the youngsters training with members of the Croatian national team in the Judo Park within the venue. Mateo has Down's syndrome and has been training in judo for three years after doctor’s suggested to his family that he could benefit from practicing judo.  



Mateo HOLJEVAC holds down his favourite judoka and European bronze medallist Barbara MATIC (CRO)


The youngster, who has been joined at the club by his year 8-year-old brother Luka, has won national age group medals and on the international stage in Slovenia and Italy.  


Mateo’s coach Ivan BUCAN hailed the development his budding fighter has made since he has been practicing the Olympic sport.


“At first Mateo had aggressive behaviour and found it difficult to concentrate,” said BUCAN.


“Through judo he has managed to do something that no specialists would have been able to achieve with him. He has worked so hard and now competes regularly against children in fully integrated competitions.


“Mateo is now able to do things that most of us take for granted such as riding a bike and he has made a lot of progress in school and socially with other children. We hope Mateo will be able to compete at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles in July.”


The 11-year-old, who showed off his skills on the tatami against European bronze medallist Barbara MATIC (CRO), said: “I really enjoy judo, it is my favourite activity.


“I like Barbara MATIC (CRO), she is my favourite judoka, but I am going to be better than her.”



Members of Judo Club Duga Resa with Barbara MATIC (CRO)


The World Judo Tour continues next week in Azerbaijan capital city of Baku which will host the first Grand Slam of the year from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 May as 390 judoka from 50 nations will be in action. 


Full results: http://www.ippon.org/gp_cro2015.php



-78kg: VELENSEK victory doubles Slovenia's gold medal column     

Dusseldorf Grand Prix silver medallist Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) doubled her country’s gold medal haul in Zagreb with victory against Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Victoriia TURKS (UKR) in the -78kg final. With 75 seconds gone, TURKS was on the ground but left her arm exposed in the air and the standing VELENSEK – who lived up to her top seed status - caught it and sat back onto the tatami to lock on the juji-gatame and the Ukrainian immediately submitted. 



In the first semi-final VELENSEK defeated Tashkent Grand Prix winner Daria POGORZELEC (POL). The Slovenian fighter needed golden score to break the deadlock against Pole POGORZELEC after a four minute stalemate in regular time. Two further minutes were required to produce the first and match-winning score as VELENSEK took full advantage of a weak uchi-mata effort by blocking the attack and dragging her opponent down onto her side for the score. In the second semi-final TURKS was too strong for Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist JOO Abigel (HUN) who finished second in Zagreb in 2014. The -78kg rivals traded waza-ari scores before TURKS produced a second which settled the contest and sent JOO into the bronze medal contest.


The first bronze medal was won by JOO as Hungary were prominent once again in the final block. The 24-year-old defeated Junior World Championships bronze medallist Ana Laura PORTUONDO ISASI (CAN) in just 53 seconds as she surged into action from the outset. PORTUONDO ISASI, 19, who defeated Youth Olympic champion Brigita MATIC (CRO) and world number nine Madeleine MALONGA (FRA) in the preliminaries, was countered for an ouchi-gari and JOO added a second waza-ari by holding her opponent down with a kesa-gatame for 15 seconds. The second bronze medal contest was won by beaten semi-finalist POGORZELEC against Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Guusje STEENHUIS (NED). POGORZELEC, who finished in fifth-place at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix, produced the biggest smile of the weekend after she was awarded the contest having scored a waza-ari from an ippon seoi-nage with 30 seconds remaining.                


VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO) vs TURKS, Victoriia (UKR)                                                                                                                             

Bronze Medal Fights

JOO, Abigel (HUN) vs PORTUONDO ISASI, Ana Laura (CAN)                   
POGORZELEC, Daria (POL) vs STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)                                                          



 Final Results

1. VELENSEK, Anamari (SLO)                             
2. TURKS, Victoriia (UKR)  
3. JOO, Abigel (HUN)   
3. POGORZELEC, Daria (POL)                                          
5. PORTUONDO ISASI, Ana Laura (CAN)                        
5. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)                                                             
7. ZIECH, Maike (GER)                        
7. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)                                                                                     


+78kg: Golden showing from Turkey's KAYA  

Former Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Belkis Zehra KAYA (TUR) showed true quality to stand on top of the podium in the women’s heavyweight category. World number 40 KAYA was unstoppable as she won all four contests by ippon including the final against 2014 Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Tessie SAVELKOULS (NED) with a harai-makikomi earning ippon. 



In the first semi-final KAYA humbled compatriot and Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix silver medallist Gulsah KOCATURK (TUR). The contest was won on the ground as KAYA employed kansetsu-waza to leave KOCATURK no option but to submit. In the second semi-final SAVELKOULS bested Tallin European Open bronze medallist Santa PAKENYTE (LTU). SAVELKOULS had the advantage as PAKENYTE was penalised twice for going out of the area and scored a waza-ari before wrapping up the win with a kami-shiho-gatame from which the Lithuanian elected to submit.


The first bronze medal was won by number one seed Franziska KONITZ (GER) who showed her consistency as she graced one more IJF medal podium by taking down PAKENYTE with a forceful ouchi-gari for ippon after 25 seconds. The classy German directed her opponent back towards to centre of the tatami and could then focus her attentions on watching her teammate in the next contest. The second bronze medal was also destined for Germany as Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Jasmin KUELBS (GER) conquered KOCATURK as she maintained her tate-shiho-gatame hold for 15 seconds after opening the scoring with a waza-ari. 



KAYA, Belkis Zehra (TUR) vs SAVELKOULS, Tessie (NED)                                                                  


Bronze Medal Fights
PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU) vs KONITZ, Franziska (GER)                      
KOCATURK, Gulsah (TUR) vs KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)                                                                                 



Final Results 

1. KAYA, Belkis Zehra (TUR)                                                           
2. SAVELKOULS, Tessie (NED)                    
3. KONITZ, Franziska (GER)                                                    
3. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)                                                            
5. PAKENYTE, Santa (LTU)                                             
5. KOCATURK, Gulsah (TUR)                                                      
7. ODKHUU, Javzmaa (MGL)      
7. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)  



-90kg: TOTH goes unbeaten for high-flying Hungary 

World silver medallist TOTH Krisztian (HUN) was the leading man in the -90kg category as he saw off former Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Aaron HILDEBRAND (GER) to celebrate his birthday in style. TOTH, who turned 21 on Friday, had the measure of world number 67 who will leap up the rankings now at a crucial time in the Olympic cycle. Hungarian starlet TOTH took a commanding lead with a waza-ari score and never looked in danger as he maintained his advantage for the remaining two minutes and lapped up a huge ovation from the travelling Hungarian fans.  



In the first semi-final TOTH ended the notable run of Junior World Championships silver medallist Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP). The Spaniard tried to pick TOTH up but the Hungarian took control and landed on top of his rival for a waza-ari after three minutes. TOTH didn’t leave any doubts as he finished the contest by winning by ippon. In the second semi-final HILDEBRAND dismissed world number 11 Guillaume ELMONT (NED). Both judoka were penalised after 90 seconds for not taking a grip and a minute later the German judoka secured his spot in the final by ippon.


The first bronze medal was awarded to ELMONT who left it until the last five seconds to decide the contest against former Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner Marcus NYMAN (SWE). Both judoka were penalised for their reluctance to engage and the fate of the medal looked set to be decided in golden score. ELMONT had other ideas and scored a yuko with five seconds left with a morote-seoi-nage. The second bronze medal was won by Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Joakim DVARBY (SWE) in an enthralling spectacle against SHERAZADISHVILI. DVARBY went ahead by holding his taller opponent down with a yoko-shiho-gatame for 11 seconds. Junior ace SHERAZADISHVILI equalised with a yuko of his own as he looked to be shaping up for an uchi-mata attack but adjusted his body and sent DVARBY down with an ouchi-gari. DVARBY settled it with a second yuko as teenager SHERAZADISHVILI will have to wait for this first Grand Prix medal. 


TOTH, Krisztian (HUN) vs HILDEBRAND, Aaron (GER)                                                                         

Bronze Medal Fights

ELMONT, Guillaume (NED) vs NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)                      
SHERAZADISHVILI, Nikoloz (ESP) vs DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)                                                                                                   


Final Results

1. TOTH, Krisztian (HUN)   
2. HILDEBRAND, Aaron (GER)                        
3. ELMONT, Guillaume (NED)
3. DVARBY, Joakim (SWE)                                                          
5. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)                                                                  
5. SHERAZADISHVILI, Nikoloz (ESP)                                                   
7. LKHAGVASUREN, Otgonbaatar (MGL)                     
7. GERASIMENKO, Dmitri (SRB)                                                                            


-100kg: Perfect PETERS prevails for Germany   

Olympic bronze medallist Dimitri PETERS (GER) was undefeated in Zagreb on Sunday as Sofia European Open winner Michael KORREL (NED) tasted defeat in the -100kg final. KORREL, 21, who was contesting his first Grand Prix final, gifted a golden chance to his renowned opponent as he appeared unaware of the imminent danger when his inaction on the ground led to PETERS seizing his arm and a juji-gatame settled it. 



In the first semi-final world bronze medallist Ivan REMARENCO (UAE) faced KORREL who overpowered his vastly more experienced opponent on the ground in osaekomi after leading with a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final world number six Dimitri PETERS (GER) reversed the result of his Samsun semi-final against world number three Karl-Richard FREY (GER) to book a place in the gold medal contest. A yuko, the only score of a tight contest, was the difference and the competition between the two for the one spot at Rio 2016 is growing with every event.


The first bronze medal was won by world champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) against FREY. KRPALEK, who had suffered a surprise quarter-final defeat to REMARENCO, made sure his final outing in Croatia counted as he planted the German after a split second power struggle as a tani-otoshi set him off balance. FREY, who in the build-up spoke of his desire to face KRPALEK in Zagreb, had to settle for fifth-place while the power illustrated by the Czech champion won a nod of approval from IJF Hall of Famer Robert VAN DE WALLE. The second bronze medal was won by Rome European Open bronze medallist Jorge FONSECA (POR) who convincingly defeated REMARENCO to earn back-to-back Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medals. FONSECA, 22, won the second Grand Prix medal of his career with a waza-ari and yuko going unanswered as the Portuguese fighter scored twice with sode-tsurikomi-goshi and will be counting down the days to next year’s return to Croatia’s capital city. 



KORREL, Michael (NED) vs PETERS, Dimitri (GER)                                                                                                 


Bronze Medal Fights

FREY, Karl-Richard (GER) vs KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
REMARENCO, Ivan (UAE) vs FONSECA, Jorge (POR)                                                                                                                          


Final Result

1. PETERS, Dimitri (GER)                                                           
2. KORREL, Michael (NED)                      
3. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)                                          
3. FONSECA, Jorge (POR)                                                                                 
5. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER)   
5. REMARENCO, Ivan (UAE)                        
7. CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN)                       
7. WOJCIK, Jakub (POL)                                                                   

+100kg: Ukranian youngster strikes gold    

Junior World Championships bronze medallist Iakiv KHAMMO (UKR) celebrated his first Grand Prix gold medal and his arrival on the senior stage in Croatia as Sofia European Open winner Vladut SIMIONESCU (ROU) took silver. SIMIONESCU, who won bronze in Zagreb last year, went one better in 2015 while KHAMMO confirmed his potential to be a force on the World Judo Tour stage. The Ukrainian sent his Romanian challenger off balance with ashi-waza and drove him backwards with pure strength for the maximum score having led by a waza-ari.  



In the first semi-final Buenos Aires Pan American Open winner Matjaz CERAJ (SLO) lost out to KHAMMO who was sharper and stronger than this opponent who succumb to a mune-gatame which trapped him for 20 seconds and ippon. In the second semi-final SIMIONESCU held down Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Andrey VOLKOV (RUS) to guarantee a second medal for Romania.


The first bronze medal went to top seed Roy MEYER (NED) who was unable to score but offered more in an entertaining contest against VOLKOV. MEYER was penalised once while VOLKOV was penalised twice. The second bronze medal went to CERAJ who beat Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist BOR Barna (HUN). The Hungarian inadvertently poked his opponent in the eye and after a short pause the action resumed. Both judoka were penalised with a shido for passivity and the contest was still scoreless with 90 seconds remaining on the clock. CERAJ came through with 15 seconds left as he threw for ippon with a harai-makikomi.            



KHAMMO, Iakiv (UKR) vs SIMIONESCU, Vladut (ROU)                                                                                                                       

Bronze Medal Fights

VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS) vs MEYER, Roy (NED)          
CERAJ, Matjaz (SLO) vs BOR, Barna (HUN)                                                                                                              



Final Result

1. KHAMMO, Iakiv (UKR)                                                       
2. SIMIONESCU, Vladut (ROU)                                                
3. MEYER, Roy (NED)                                                           
3. CERAJ, Matjaz (SLO)     
5. VOLKOV, Andrey (RUS)                                                          
5. BOR, Barna (HUN)                    
7. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER)              
7. ALLERSTORFER, Daniel (AUT)                                                        

IJF Media & Communications Department
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager  

Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director  

Photos © IJF Media by T. Zahonyi  



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