From International Judo Federation:
Judo mourns the passing of Pan American trailblazer
While judo’s elite have been consumed by the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam in Russia, the judo family has been in mourning after the passing of judo legend Luis Guardia, at the age of 85 in his long-time home city of Miami, USA. Mr. Luis GUARDIA was one of the founding members of the Pan American Judo Confederation in 1952 and on the occasion of the 65th anniversary gala of the International Judo Federation, last August in Budapest, he received from the IJF President, Mr. Marius VIZER, a Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1978, Luis GUARDIA left his home country of Cuba and started his new life in Miami, Florida, where he was still based and where he kept developing judo. Starting the sport in Cuba in the 50’s was very challenging, but Luis GUARDIA had many successes and was recognised for his knowledge as well as his incredible kindness. He helped to spread the judo values on the international scene and was deeply attached to the educational dimension of judo.
Mr. GUARDIA, who had already received the IJF Gold Medal and Diploma for his contribution in the development of Pan-American Judo, from IJF Head Sport Director Mr. Vladimir BARTA in 2012, said on the occasion of the IJF Gala: “I am moved by receiving this award, on this special occasion for judo and the IJF, to be on stage and honoured is something very special and I can’t help but feel emotional.”
Everybody feels really emotional today as Mr. GUARDIA, who was a 9th dan, passed away. In July 2017, the IJF had the privilege to meet the great man in Miami for a special interview, which was part of the Judo Legends series.
IJF President Marius VIZER said: “The judo family has lost a big personality, a great judoka and a great man. We send our deepest condolences to Luis’ family and friends from the whole judo community.”
The entire judo community presents its deepest condolences to his wife, Hilda, and his son, Luis, to all his relatives and friends, from Cuba and the United States as well as from the whole world.
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FINAL RESULTS WOMEN
-70kg: Brazil’s PORTELA wins again in Russia to become the new world number one
World number two Maria PORTELA (BRA) powered to victory in Russia to take over the world number one spot at -70kg for the first time in her career which is thriving of late. PORTELA, 30, won on the Grand Slam stage before in Moscow, Russia, in 2012 and is something of a Russia specialist having won the Masters in St. Petersburg in December. The Brazilian powerhouse held down Grand Slam debutant Taisia KIREEVA (RUS) for 20 seconds for ippon to complete her dramatic rise to the summit of the weight category.
In the first semi-final PORTELA threw Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist GERCSAK Szabina (HUN) for ippon with a beautiful de-ashi barai. In the second semi-final KIREEVA tapped out 19-year-old Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist TANAKA Shiho (JPN) with a juji-gatame to guarantee a place on the medal podium at home.
The first bronze medal was won by Zagreb Grand Prix winner Barbara TIMO (BRA) who outscored TANAKA with a waza-ari which was the only time the scorebard was called upon. TIMO had graced a Grand Slam podium once before back in 2016 in Abu Dhabi with the same colour medal and now will now hope to be called on for the remaining two Grand Slams in 2018.
The second bronze medal contest was won by World Judo Masters silver medallist Barbara MATIC (CRO) who thwarted GERCSAK by the maximum score from a seoi-nage after 59 seconds.
KIREEVA, Taisia (RUS) vs PORTELA, Maria (BRA)
Bronze Medal Fights
TANAKA, Shiho (JPN) vs TIMO, Barbara (BRA)
MATIC, Barbara (CRO) vs GERCSAK, Szabina (HUN)
1. PORTELA, Maria (BRA)
2. KIREEVA, Taisia (RUS)
3. TIMO, Barbara (BRA)
3. MATIC, Barbara (CRO)
5. TANAKA, Shiho (JPN)
5. GERCSAK, Szabina (HUN)
7. YEATSBROWN, Katiejemima (GBR)
7. MALTSEVA, Valentina (RUS)
-78kg: Japan’s TAKAYAMA, Tyumen gold medallist in 2016, now wins in Ekaterinburg
Former Tyumen Grand Slam winner TAKAYAMA Rika (JPN) won Grand Slam gold on Russian soil for the second time with a convincing display at -78kg. TAKAYAMA has never left a senior international event without a medal dating back to 2015 and protected that record by adding gold today with the dismissal of The Hague Grand Prix bronze medallist Luise MALZAHN (GER) in the final. The Japanese judoka fired ahead with a waza-ari from an uchi-mata before submitting one-time Grand Slam winner MALZAHN with kansetsu-waza for ippon.
In the first semi-final TAKAYAMA controlled Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Beata PACUT (POL) from start to finish for a smooth passage into the final. In the second semi-final MALZAHN defeated Warsaw European Open bronze medallist Stessie BASTAREAUD (FRA) by a waza-ari in golden score.
The first bronze medal was claimed by world champion Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) who did just enough to defeat BASTAREAUD by a waza-ari. AGUIAR, whose form has been erratic since becoming a two-time world champion in 2017, countered a ko-uchi-gari attempt from the world number 87 with a ko-soto-gake for a waza-ari. Despite the result, AGUIAR is falling short of her best in 2018 and will need to find something more to defend her title in Baku in September.
The second bronze medal contest featured 2017 Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Anna Maria WAGNER (GER) and beaten semi-finalist PACUT. WAGNER repeated her 2017 result by throwing her Polish rival with a beautiful uchi-mata for ippon after two minutes.
TAKAYAMA, Rika (JPN) vs MALZAHN, Luise (GER)
Bronze Medal Fights
AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA) vs BASTAREAUD, Stessie (FRA)
PACUT, Beata (POL) vs WAGNER, Anna Maria (GER)
1. TAKAYAMA, Rika (JPN)
2. MALZAHN, Luise (GER)
3. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)
3. WAGNER, Anna Maria (GER)
5. BASTAREAUD, Stessie (FRA)
5. PACUT, Beata (POL)
7. AMANGELDIYEVA, Albina (KAZ)
7. NIKIFOROVA, Niurguiana (RUS)
+78kg: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s CERIC backs up top seed billing
World Judo Masters bronze medallist Larisa CERIC (BIH) won all three of her contests by the maximum score in Ekaterinburg to come away with her first Grand Slam title. CERIC defeated double world silver medallist Maria Suelen ALTHEMAN (BRA) in a final which failed to ignite as both judoka showed a lack of attacking intent. The fate of the gold medal was determined by shidos as the scoreless final was brought to an early conclusion when the Brazilian was penalised for passivity for the third time.
In the first semi-final CERIC bested European bronze medallist Carolin WEISS (GER) by the maximum score to move into the final. In the second semi-final ALTHEMAN (BRA) saw off Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist Beatriz SOUZA (BRA) by ippon with a ura-nage.
The first bronze medal was claimed by SOUZA as four-time Grand Prix bronze medallist Ksenia CHIBISOVA (RUS) failed to impress under the bright lights of a Grand Slam. Brazil’s SOUZA scored twice without reply to book a place on the podium alongside her teammate.
The second bronze medal contest was won by WEISS who countered Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Anzhela GASPARIAN (RUS) for ippon to win her fourth Grand Slam medal.
CERIC, Larisa (BIH) vs ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA)
Bronze Medal Fights
CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS) vs SOUZA, Beatriz (BRA)
WEISS, Carolin (GER) vs GASPARIAN, Anzhela (RUS)
1. CERIC, Larisa (BIH)
2. ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA)
3. SOUZA, Beatriz (BRA)
3. WEISS, Carolin (GER)
5. CHIBISOVA, Ksenia (RUS)
5. GASPARIAN, Anzhela (RUS)
7. ARTOSHINA, Olga (RUS)
7. SHEKEROVA, Mariia (RUS)
FINAL RESULTS MEN
-81kg: Paris Grand Slam gold medallist wins battle of Japanese youngsters
Paris Grand Slam winner FUJIWARA Sotaro (JPN) won his second Grand Slam gold medal in as many months as he defeated compatriot SASAKI Takeshi (JPN) in the -81kg final, the first on day two. SASAKI, 21, only made his senior debut for his country in December at the Tokyo Grand Slam and then fought in Paris before being called upon for his first trip to Russia. Asian Championships winner FUJIWARA, 19, moves into the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career with gold after countering a ko-uchi-gari from his older teammate for ippon.
In the first semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Antonio ESPOSITO (ITA) narrowly lost out to FUJIWARA by a slender waza-ari score. In the second semi-final Saeid MOLLAEI (IRI) was stunned by SASAKI after 31 seconds by ippon from an uchi-mata.
The first bronze medal was clinched by MOLLAEI who dismissed familiar opponent and world number one Frank DE WIT (NED) with a ko-soto-gake for ippon.
The second bronze medal was won by 2017 Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Zebeda REKHVIASHVILI (GEO) who repeated the same feat in 2018 by catapulting ESPOSITO through the air in just 15 seconds for ippon with a stunning seoi-otoshi.
SASAKI, Takeshi (JPN) vs FUJIWARA, Sotaro (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
MOLLAEI, Saeid (IRI) vs DE WIT, Frank (NED)
ESPOSITO, Antonio (ITA) vs REKHVIASHVILI, Zebeda (GEO)
1. FUJIWARA, Sotaro (JPN)
2. SASAKI, Takeshi (JPN)
3. MOLLAEI, Saeid (IRI)
3. REKHVIASHVILI, Zebeda (GEO)
5. DE WIT, Frank (NED)
5. ESPOSITO, Antonio (ITA)
7. CSOKNYAI, Laszlo (HUN)
7. KHABACHIROV, Murat (RUS)
-90kg: World number one KUKOLJ completes Grand Slam hat-trick
World number one Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB) started his season with gold on Sunday to tighten his grip of the -90kg category. The Serbian judoka scored twice without reply against unexpected finalist and Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Yahor VARAPAYEU (BLR). KUKOLJ, 26, held down his 21-year-old opponent, who earned his first Grand Slam medal, for 10 seconds for a match-winning second waza-ari score and looks ready to defend his European Championships title in April.
In the first semi-final KUKOLJ pinned Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist David KLAMMERT (CZE) to win by waza-ari-awasette-ippon. In the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Nicholas MUNGAI (ITA) was second best against VARAPAYEU who sealed a place in the final by a waza-ari score which was the only score of the contest.
The first bronze medal was won by MUNGAI who celebrated his first result at this level by conquering Oberwart European Open silver medallist Mihail MARCHITAN (UAE) by a waza-ari score. MARCHITAN, who was aiming to finally deliver Grand Slam honours at the 18th attempt, was caught with ashi-waza from the Italian who picked up where his teammates left of on day one as the European nation’s presence was again felt in Ekaterinburg.
The second bronze medal went to Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist GANTULGA Altanbagana (MGL) who beat KLAMMERT by waza-ari-awasette-ippon. The pick of the scores was the second waza-ari, a lightning quick modified kata-guruma, to add to Mongolia’s medal tally on the last day in Ekaterinburg.
KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB) vs VARAPAYEU, Yahor (BLR)
Bronze Medal Fights
MARCHITAN, Mihail (UAE) vs MUNGAI, Nicholas (ITA)
KLAMMERT, David (CZE) vs GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)
1. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)
2. VARAPAYEU, Yahor (BLR)
3. MUNGAI, Nicholas (ITA)
3. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)
5. MARCHITAN, Mihail (UAE)
5. KLAMMERT, David (CZE)
7. KHAMKHOEV, Izmayl (RUS)
7. CHORIEV, Dilshod (UZB)
-100kg: Russia right to elect contender ILYASOV who earns best male result at home
Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Niyaz ILYASOV (RUS) launched his 2018 season with a home gold medal and his maiden Grand Slam title. ILYASOV, 22, repaid the faith team supremo Ezio GAMBA showed in the former Junior World Championships winner by marching to the -100kg gold medal by dispatching some of the most experienced judoka in the category. Two waza-ari scores for the Russian drove him past Openweight World silver medallist Toma NIKIFOROV (BEL) in the final to double his country’s gold medal return after the opening day success of Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS) at -52kg.
In the first semi-final Paris Grand Slam winner Michael KORREL (NED) was edged out by NIKIFOROV by a waza-ari score as the top seed slipped down into a bronze medal contest. In the second semi-final two-time Grand Slam silver medallist Alexandre IDDIR (FRA) fell to ILYASOV by ippon in one of the most popular results of the opening session on day two.
The first bronze medal was won by 2017 Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Laurin BOEHLER (AUT) who overpowered IDDIR. BOEHLER lifted up his French opponent, who would have felt like he was airborne for a lifetime, before landing his adversary flat on his back with impact for ippon.
The second bronze medal went to Prague European Open silver medallist Daniel MUKETE (BLR) who came from behind to defeat KORREL. MUKETE initially trailed to a waza-ari from an ashi-waza attack but fought back with a de-ashi-barai for ippon. Belarus’ 20-year-old European u23 Championships winner claimed his first IJF World Judo Tour medal and on this evidence looks destined to make a successful transition to the senior level.
NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL) vs ILYASOV, Niyaz (RUS)
Bronze Medal Fights
BOEHLER, Laurin (AUT) vs IDDIR, Alexandre (FRA)
KORREL, Michael (NED) vs MUKETE, Daniel (BLR)
1. ILYASOV, Niyaz (RUS)
2. NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL)
3. BOEHLER, Laurin (AUT)
3. MUKETE, Daniel (BLR)
5. IDDIR, Alexandre (FRA)
5. KORREL, Michael (NED)
7. BORODAVKO, Jevgenijs (LAT)
7. CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN)
+100kg: OTA arrives on the elite stage for Japan in his first Grand Slam on the road
Japanese youngster OTA Hyoga (JPN) won the last final of the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam 2018 with a narrow win triumph over former European champion Henk GROL (NED) at +100kg. OTA, 20, was pitted against one of the most experienced and most accomplished judoka in the entire competition in two-time Olympic bronze medallist GROL. Unfortunately for the Dutchman has built an unwanted reputation as a nearly man with a host of near misses on the biggest stages in the sport. The 32-year-old, who last fought in the Openweight Worlds in November, has three world silver medals on the major stage and ended with a Grand Slam silver medal after being penalised on three occasions to gift the gold medal to the inexperienced Japanese heavyweight.
In the first semi-final Oberwart European Open winner Onise BUGHADZE (GEO) lost out to OTA after 26 seconds in golden score by a waza-ari. In the second semi-final GROL safely negotiated a tricky tie against double Olympic bronze medallist Rafael SILVA (BRA) as the latter received three shidos and hansoku-make.
The first bronze medal was won by SILVA after Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Ruslan SHAKHBAZOV (RUS) held back and was penalised three times to receive hansoku-make.
The second and last bronze medal contest saw Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Tamerlan BASHAEV (RUS) benefit from the lethargic display of BUGHADZE who picked up three shidos and was disqualified.
OTA, Hyoga (JPN) vs GROL, Henk (NED)
Bronze Medal Fights
SHAKHBAZOV, Ruslan (RUS) vs SILVA, Rafael (BRA)
BUGHADZE, Onise (GEO) vs BASHAEV, Tamerlan (RUS)
1. OTA, Hyoga (JPN)
2. GROL, Henk (NED)
3. SILVA, Rafael (BRA)
3. BASHAEV, Tamerlan (RUS)
5. SHAKHBAZOV, Ruslan (RUS)
5. BUGHADZE, Onise (GEO)
7. SIMIONESCU, Vladut (ROU)
7. BRACHEV, Anton (RUS)
Photos © IJF Media by Marina Mayorova