From International Judo Federation:
JAPAN CLINCH 12 OUT OF 14 GOLD MEDALS IN TOKYO
Women: -70kg | -78kg | +78kg
Men: -81kg | -90kg | -100kg | +100kg
The Tokyo Grand Slam 2017 concluded on Sunday with the hosts winning five out of the seven available gold medals on the final day at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
Judo’s founding nation excelled on both days of the fifth and final Grand Slam of 2017 as only Mongolia and South Korea could overcome the fortress of Tokyo to win gold.
The penultimate event of the season came to a thrilling finale as the women’s -70kg, -78kg and +78g categories and men’s -81kg, -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories were all contested in Japan’s capital city.
Ahead of the final block the IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER and IJF Head Refereeing Director Mr. Juan CARLOS BARCOS answered questions from the media on a variety of subjects.
Mr. Marius VIZER said: “We have taken the consultation of many members of the media, and we are one of the few sports to do that, when it comes to the topic of the rules. We do not have new rules coming out in 2018 but rather minor changes in order to grow our sport by making it easier to understand to the media, spectators, sponsors and all of our partners.
“These changes will be effective from 1 January 2018 and will help us to continue to show the values of sport which I believe is the key to developing judo to make an impact in societies.
“The Tokyo Grand Slam 2017 has been a wonderful competition with great organisation and we are all excited about the first Mixed Team Event at the 2020 Olympic Games. I would like to thank our media partners Hakuhodo who we have a strong collaboration with and are helping us to reach new audiences and are a big part of strategy.”
Mr. Juan CARLOS BARCOS also fielded questions regarding the rule changes.
“We are conscious of the image we present of our sport and we want to create the conditions to allow judoka to be spectacular and to entertain fans and attract new ones. We are commited to not only retaining but also developing the educational dimension of our sport and the IJF Executive Committee and all commissions were involved in deciding the rule changes.
“We had input from all areas including the Kodokan and the All Japan Judo Federation and we are convinced that we are moving in the right direction and will have the best judo tournament ever at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”
The IJF World Judo Tour now heads for St. Petersburg, Russia for the final event of the year as the invite-only World Judo Masters closes out the season on 16-17 December. The top 16 judoka in each weight category will be invited to compete in two weeks time with everything to fight for.
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-70kg: ONO Yoko ousts world champion ARAI in domestic battle
World champion ARAI Chizuru (JPN) suffered defeat for the first time in 2017 and against a teammate as ONO Yoko (JPN) ruled the -70kg category. ARAI, 24, has won the Paris Grand Slam, Dusseldorf Grand Prix, All Japan Championships and World Championships this year but did not look comfortable against her familiar domestic rival ONO who seized her opportunity with both hands to stake her claim for major selections in the New Year. A third shido for passivity against ARAI sent ONO to the top of the medal podium as Japan registered another one-two.
In the first semi-final world silver medallist Maria PEREZ (PUR) lost out to ARAI in a rematch of the -70kg Worlds final. ARAI held down PEREZ on the ground with a mune-gatame hold for ippon. In the second semi-final ONO defeated 19-year-old IJF World Judo Tour debutant TANAKA Shiho (JPN) when the newcomer was disqualified after being penalised for the third time.
The first bronze medal contest saw TANAKA defeat Marie Eve GAHIE (FRA) by ippon to bolster Japan’s medal tally yet further.
The second bronze medal contest featured Fanny Estelle POSVITE (FRA) and PEREZ and it was the latter who sealed a place on the podium on shidos in golden score when the Frenchwoman was penalised for a second time.
ONO, Yoko (JPN) vs ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
TANAKA, Shiho (JPN) vs GAHIE, Marie Eve (FRA)
POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA) vs PEREZ, Maria (PUR)
1. ONO, Yoko (JPN)
2. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)
3. TANAKA, Shiho (JPN)
3. PEREZ, Maria (PUR)
5. GAHIE, Marie Eve (FRA)
5. POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)
7. NIIZOE, Saki (JPN)
7. VAN DIJKE, Sanne (NED)
-78kg: Highly-impressive HAMADA steps up to claim maiden Grand Slam title
Asian Championships winner HAMADA Shori (JPN) won her first Grand Slam gold medal in a category where Japan have had mixed success and several judoka can lay claim to being their the hosts’ best option at -78kg. HAMADA is the latest judoka to cast their name forward as the fighter to call on at this weight as the 27-year-old, who has been infrequently exposed to the IJF World Judo Tour, won all five of her contests by ippon including the final against world number two Guusje STEENHUIS (NED). HAMADA struck first with a waza-ari from a tsubame gaeshi and tapped out her Dutch opponent with shime-waza for a home gold medal.
In the first semi-final HAMADA tapped out double Olympic medallist and former world champion Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) just from osaekomi as her kami-shiho-gatame hold was applied so tightly. In the second semi-final STEENHUIS bested former world champion UMEKI Mami (JPN) with alarming ease by ippon.
The first bronze medal was claimed by SATO Ruika (JPN) who won her 11th Grand Slam medal win a win over teammate UMEKI by ippon with 13 seconds left on the clock.
The second bronze medal contest featured TCHEUMEO against her colleague Madeleine MALONGA (FRA) and the younger judoka committed three errors to receive hansoku-make as her older and wiser teammate was vastly superior.
STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED) vs HAMADA, Shori (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
SATO, Ruika (JPN) vs UMEKI, Mami (JPN)
TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA) vs MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)
1. HAMADA, Shori (JPN)
2. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
3. SATO, Ruika (JPN)
3. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
5. UMEKI, Mami (JPN)
5. MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)
7. APOTEKAR, Klara (SLO)
7. PARK, Yujin (KOR)
+78kg: Perfectionist ASAHINA rues manner of her victory but keeps winning
Openweight world champion ASAHINA Sarah (JPN) won her home Grand Slam for the second year in a row to extend her lead at the helm of the +78kg rankings. ASAHINA, 21, won Grand Slam gold medal number four by outmanoeuvring 17-year-old Junior world champion SONE Akira (JPN) who conceded three shidos. The world number one was unhappy with her lack of ippon judo in the final but already has a tight grasp on the category both domestically and internationally and is only going to become stronger with more experience. World number 20 SONE could still compete at the junior level but after a silver at the Tokyo Grand Slam, has shown that she has outgrown that stage and is already a dependable member of her country’s senior setup.
In the first semi-final ASAHINA threw three-time Grand Slam winner INAMORI Nami (JPN) with a last-ditch harai-makikomi with one second left for a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final SONE proved too strong for world bronze medallist KIM Minjeong (KOR) as the Japanese teen held down her opponent with a mune-gatame for 20 seconds.
The first bronze medal was claimed by KIM who overwhelmed Zagreb Grand Prize bronze medallist Anne Fatoumata M BAIRO (FRA). KIM built up an unassailable lead with three waza-ari scores before holding down the French judoka for ippon as South Korea fought back on the last day of the Tokyo Grand Slam.
The second bronze medal contest was won by double world silver medallist Maria Suelen ALTHEMAN (BRA) who edged past home judoka INAMORI by a waza-ari score.
ASAHINA, Sarah (JPN) vs SONE, Akira (JPN) .
Bronze Medal Fights
KIM, Minjeong (KOR) vs M BAIRO, Anne Fatoumata (FRA)
INAMORI, Nami (JPN) vs ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA)
1. ASAHINA, Sarah (JPN)
2. SONE, Akira (JPN)
3. KIM, Minjeong (KOR)
3. ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA)
5. M BAIRO, Anne Fatoumata (FRA)
5. INAMORI, Nami (JPN)
7. JIANG, Yanan (CHN)
7. JABLONSKYTE, Sandra (LTU)
-81kg: OTGONBAATAR on top for Mongolia to close in on the leading pack
World number seven OTGONBAATAR Uuganbaatar (MGL) closed the gap at the summit of the -81kg weight category with a typically tenacious performance which was full of heart and skill. Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist OTGONBAATAR was able to break the Japanese monopoly on the top spot on the medal podium despite not facing any Japanese judoka as he beat two South Korean’s, a fellow Mongolian and a Brazilian in a vigorous but rewarding day’s work. OTGONBAATAR defeated former Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist LEE Sungho (KOR) in the final with an juji-gatame. LEE looked like a seasoned IJF World Judo Tour competitor but was making his Grand Slam debut and the 25-year-old will be an athlete to look for out next year.
In the first semi-final LEE overpowered world number one Frank DE WIT (NED) to win by a waza-ari score in a one-sided contest. In the second semi-final OTGONBAATAR defeated eight-time Grand Prix medallist NYAMSUREN Dagvasuren (MGL) in golden score when the latter picked up a second shido after three minutes of added time.
The first bronze medal was clinched by NYAMSUREN when former Junior European Championships silver medallist Anri EGUTIDZE (POR) launched a tame ashi-waza attack and the Mongolian used his upper body to drive his opponent over onto his back, albeit without any speed, for a contest-winning waza-ari score.
The second bronze medal was won by DE WIT who beat Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Jonathan ALLARDON (FRA) by ippon with a yoko-tomoe-nage wirth 17 seconds left in the contest.
OTGONBAATAR, Uuganbaatar (MGL) vs LEE, Sungho (KOR)
Bronze Medal Fights
NYAMSUREN, Dagvasuren (MGL) vs EGUTIDZE, Anri (POR)
ALLARDON, Jonathan (FRA) vs DE WIT, Frank (NED)
1. OTGONBAATAR, Uuganbaatar (MGL)
2. LEE, Sungho (KOR)
3. NYAMSUREN, Dagvasuren (MGL)
3. DE WIT, Frank (NED)
5. EGUTIDZE, Anri (POR)
5. ALLARDON, Jonathan (FRA)
7. ZOLOEV, Vladimir (KGZ)
7. SANTOS, Eduardo Yudi (BRA)
-90kg: NAGASAWA wins home Grand Slam for the first time
Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner NAGASAWA Kenta (JPN) won an all-Japanese final to win his second Grand Slam of the season. World number 17 NAGASAWA conquered Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist KOBAYASHI Yusuke (JPN) in the final with an uchi-mata after 30 seconds which had the crowd salivating. The Japanese winner left an impression on everyone in attendance Olympic champion BAKER Mashu (JPN) who is plotting his comeback for early 2018. KOBAYASHI, 24, secured the best result of his career with silver and the -90kg category will be an intriguing affair for the Japanese next year with rising judoka and a returning champion all in the mix.
In the first semi-final former Rio Grand Slam bronze medallist Eduardo BETTONI (BRA) lost to NAGASAWA by three scores. NAGASAWA held down the Brazilian for ippon having led by two waza-ari scores. In the second semi-final KOBAYASHI defeated world number 25 David KLAMMERT (CZE) by ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by 21-year-old Asian Championships bronze medallist MUKAI Shoichiro (JPN) who outfought KLAMMERT to claim a narrow win by a waza-ari score.
The second bronze medal went to world bronze medallist Ushangi MARGIANI (GEO) who came from behind to pin down BETTONI for ippon with a powerful kesa-gatame hold.
KOBAYASHI, Yusuke (JPN) vs NAGASAWA, Kenta (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
MUKAI, Shoichiro (JPN) vs KLAMMERT, David (CZE)
BETTONI, Eduardo (BRA) vs MARGIANI, Ushangi (GEO)
1. NAGASAWA, Kenta (JPN)
2. KOBAYASHI, Yusuke (JPN)
3. MUKAI, Shoichiro (JPN)
3. MARGIANI, Ushangi (GEO)
5. KLAMMERT, David (CZE)
5. BETTONI, Eduardo (BRA)
7. BURT, Zachary (CAN)
7. KRIEBER GAGNON, Louis (CAN)
-100kg: CHO Guham wins in Tokyo for the second time in first outing of 2017
Two-time Grand Prix winner CHO Guham (KOR) marked his return to competition by winning the Tokyo Grand Slam for the second time as he found a solution to the Japanese conundrum. CHO, 25, had not fought since the Rio 2016 Olympics but is always committed to the cause for his country and could never let something like a lack of match readiness hold him back from taking honours back to South Korea. World number one Michael KORREL (NED) opposed the 2014 Tokyo Grand Slam winner and struggled with the shorter frame and greater ferocity of CHO and was penalised for passivity after three minutes of golden score to the immense satisfaction of the delegation from South Korea.
In the first semi-final KORREL snatched a crucial win over Openweight world silver medallist Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL) by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final CHO defeated Zagreb Grand Prix winner CIRJENICS Miklos (HUN) by two waza-ari scores.
The first bronze medal was won by CIRJENICS who held down 22-year-old Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Laurin BOEHLER (AUT) for 20 seconds and ippon.
The second bronze medal went to NIKIFOROV who absorbed all the power and attacks of Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Jorge FONSECA (POR) before producing the only score of the contest to win by a waza-ari.
CHO, Guham (KOR) vs KORREL, Michael (NED)
Bronze Medal Fights
CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN) vs BOEHLER, Laurin (AUT)
NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL) vs FONSECA, Jorge (POR)
1. CHO, Guham (KOR)
2. KORREL, Michael (NED)
3. CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN)
3. NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL)
5. BOEHLER, Laurin (AUT)
5. FONSECA, Jorge (POR)
7. GALANDI, Philipp (GER)
7. IIDA, Kentaro (JPN)
+100kg: OGAWA wins must-see 14-minute final against returning KRPALEK
Former Qingdao Grand Prix winner OGAWA Yusei (JPN) was the unexpected winner of the last final of the Tokyo Grand Slam 2017 as he defeated -100kg Olympic champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) in a bout for the ages. Their heavyweight duel was literally a thrill-a-minute meeting as both men were devoted to the cause for the four minutes of regulation time and the subsequent and sensational 10 minutes and one second of golden score. OGAWA, 21, is the son of four-time world champion and 1992 Olympic silver medallist OGAWA Naoya, and, while being shorter, has a bulkier frame than the 112 kilos of the Czech Republic hero. KRPALEK was making his return to action after an ankle injury kept him out of the Worlds and despite only being back in the dojo for three weeks was able to force his way into the final with a mixture of lethal sutemi-waza, aggression and will power. In one of the best contests of the entire competition, power was matched with power, and the crowd loved every second as both judoka found seemingly miraculous ways to escape imminent danger and to remain in the gold medal hunt in golden score. After 10 minutes of added time it was KRPALEK who lost out by a shido for passivity but both men came out of the contest with their reputations enhanced and heavyweight judo delivered as the main event attraction on the last day of the Grand Slam.
In the first semi-final Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner KAGEURA Kokoro (JPN) fell to KRPALEK in golden score by ippon from a trademark sumi-gaeshi which remains a rare sight in the +100kg category with the exception of the Czech Republic’s leading man. In the second semi-final OGAWA pinned down veteran KAMIKAWA Daiki (JPN) for ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by world number one David MOURA (BRA) who ended a miserable day for KAMIKAWA – the last judoka to beat Teddy RINER (FRA) – by pinning down the Japanese in osaekomi for ippon.
The second and last bronze medal contest saw KAGEURA eclipse Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Stephan HEGYI (AUT) by a waza-ari score from a ko-uchi-gake which was the only score of the contest.
OGAWA, Yusei (JPN) vs KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
Bronze Medal Fights
KAMIKAWA, Daiki (JPN) vs MOURA, David (BRA)
KAGEURA, Kokoro (JPN) vs HEGYI, Stephan (AUT)
1. OGAWA, Yusei (JPN)
2. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
3. MOURA, David (BRA)
3. KAGEURA, Kokoro (JPN)
5. KAMIKAWA, Daiki (JPN)
5. HEGYI, Stephan (AUT)
7. OJITANI, Takeshi (JPN)
7. SHAKHBAZOV, Ruslan (RUS)
Photos © IJF Media by G. Sabau & M. Mayorova