IJF Paris Grand Slam 2018, France – DAY 2 Report


From International Judo Federation:

Gold Medals, Sensational Judo and Fairplay



Japan showed the world that they will not let up in their pursuit of excellence and Tokyo 2020 success as a new-look team at the first Grand Slam of the season rose to the occasion and were the leading act at the Paris Grand Slam 2018.

With a handful of world medallists and young contenders among their delegation Japan also handed opportunities to judoka who were competing outside of their homeland for the first time on the IJF World Judo Tour.

The hosts of the 2019 World Championships and next Olympiad won five gold medals, four silver and three bronze medals to top the medal table ahead of South Korea who rediscovered some form after a below-par year in 2017.

France struck gold on both days in Paris to finish third in the table with an additional one silver and six bronze medals deemed a satisfactory return by the 15,000-strong crowd.

This year’s competition will be remembered for turning highly-touted prospects into bonafide stars after being crowned champions at the Paris tournament which is a stage which welcomes the world but rewards only those who are bold in the face of an intense setting and who conquer the world’s elite.

A Paris Grand Slam title is not only an accolade that will command the respect of everyone in the sport but also will stand out on a resume regardless of all the future accomplishments that a young champion will realise.

The IJF World Judo Tour will now head to Germany for the first edition of the Dusseldorf Grand Slam. The three-day competition from Friday 23 – Sunday 25 February will feature 548 judoka from 72 countries. Olympic champion BAKER Mashu (JPN) will compete for the first time since Rio 2016 while world champion HASHIMOTO Soichi and Olympic gold medallist ONO Shohei will also take part.

Double Olympic and 10-time world champion Teddy RINER (FRA) is currently registered to compete along with Olympic champion Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) and world champions Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA), Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) and ASAHINA Sarah (JPN).

Watch #JudoDüsseldorf2018 live and free at www.ijf.org

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-70kg: Britain’s CONWAY stops world champion ARAI from retaining Paris title

Olympic bronze medallist Sally CONWAY (GBR) recorded one of the finest wins of her career with a riveting performance as the tenacious Briton battled past world champion ARAI Chizuru (JPN) in the final. CONWAY, who won bronze in Paris in 2016, stopped ARAI from retaining her Paris title by escaping from an uchi-mata attempt and trapping the Japanese in a hold down for 20 seconds and ippon.

In the first semi-final ARAI bested three-time Grand Slam winner Kim POLLING (NED) by a waza-ari score after containing her Dutch rival for three minutes and then controlling the final 60 seconds. In the second semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist Marie Eve GAHIE (FRA) was held down by CONWAY who has a tendency for beating top draw French competitors on the biggest stages in the sport.

The first bronze medal was won by GAHIE who defeated The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Sanne VAN DIJKE (NED) by ippon to add to the hosts’ medal haul.

The second bronze medal contest featured POLLING and African Championships winner Assmaa NIANG (MAR) and it was the European judoka who came out victorious by registering two scores without reply. POLLING won her ninth Grand Slam medal by ippon to extend her medal-winning run to four consecutive competitions.

ARAI, Chizuru (JPN) vs CONWAY, Sally (GBR)

Bronze Medal Contests
VAN DIJKE, Sanne (NED) vs GAHIE, Marie Eve (FRA)
POLLING, Kim (NED) vs NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)

Final Results
1. CONWAY, Sally (GBR)
2. ARAI, Chizuru (JPN)
3. GAHIE, Marie Eve (FRA)
5. VAN DIJKE, Sanne (NED)
5. NIANG, Assmaa (MAR)
7. POSVITE, Fanny Estelle (FRA)
7. PEREZ, Maria (PUR)

-78kg: France’s TCHEUMEO laps up a superstar ovation after Paris Grand Slam title number four
Double Olympic medallist Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) won her country’s second gold medal at the first major of the season with victory over world number one Guusje STEENHUIS (NED) in the -78kg final. Defending champion TCHEUMEO, who won the world title here in 2011, looked dangerous from the opening exchange but could only break the resistance of her opponent in golden score. The charismatic French champion has lethal ashi-waza and tapped the legs of STEENHUIS who surprisingly folded and fell onto her back for ippon. STEENHUIS gingerly returned to her feet while TCHEUMEO shared a warm embrace with her familiar foe before dancing her way out of the field of play.

In the first semi-final STEENHUIS edged past World Judo Masters silver medallist Madeleine MALONGA (FRA) by a waza-ari score which was the only time that the scoreboard was called upon. In the second semi-final Tokyo Grand Slam winner HAMADA Shori (JPN) was driven to the tatami by TCHEUMEO for ippon with a thumping osoto-gari with 86 seconds left.

The first bronze medal was claimed by HAMADA who thwarted teammate and former world champion UMEKI Mami (JPN) by ippon in a result which will certainly have consequences in terms of future international selections for the hosts of the next Olympics are required to qualify any judoka for Tokyo 2020.

The second bronze medal contest saw MALONGA submit Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist Karen STEVENSON (NED) with shime-waza to guarantee two French being on the -78kg medal podium.


Bronze Medal Contests
HAMADA, Shori (JPN) vs UMEKI, Mami (JPN)
MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA) vs STEVENSON, Karen (NED)

Final Results
1. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
2. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)
3. HAMADA, Shori (JPN)
3. MALONGA, Madeleine (FRA)
5. UMEKI, Mami (JPN)
7. TURCHYN, Anastasiya (UKR)
7. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)

+78kg: KIM tightens her grip of world number one position
The final of the day in women’s +78 opposed world number one and top seed KIM Minjeong (KOR) and the new Chinese heavyweight WANG Yan (CHN). After 25 seconds both athletes were penalised with a first shido for passivity. Thirty seconds later they were again penalised with a shido. Under the threat of a disqualification, KIM and WANG stared to be more active, but not enough to score, so they had to enter the golden score. After one minute and ten seconds, finally the Chinese was penalised for the third time for a cross grip and was disqualified offering the victory to KIM.

In the first semi-final 37-year-old former GB World Cup silver medallist Eva BISSENI (FRA) lost out to KIM after 90 seconds of golden score as the visiting judoka caught the home judoka with a ouchi-gari for a waza-ari.

In the second semi-final WANG threw Junior world champion SONE Akira (JPN) for a waza-ari and held down her teenage opponent for a second and match-winning waza-ari.

SONE Akira (JPN) scored two waza-ari against Jasmin KUELBS (GER) to win the first bronze medal match.

Veteran Eva BISSENI (FRA) could not trouble Iryna KINDZERSKA (AZE) and was immobilised for ippon in the second bronze medal contest.

WANG, Yan (CHN) vs KIM, Minjeong (KOR)

Bronze Medal Contests
KUELBS, Jasmin (GER) vs SONE, Akira (JPN)

Final Results
1. KIM, Minjeong (KOR)
2. WANG, Yan (CHN)
3. SONE, Akira (JPN)
5. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)
7. SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR)
7. WEISS, Carolin (GER)


-81kg: Japanese teenager wins his first Grand Slam title
Asian Championships winner FUJIWARA Sotaro (JPN) struck in the -81kg category as the 19-year-old won his first major honour on the IJF World Judo Tour in only his second Grand Slam appearance and first outside of Japan. While his opponent, world number 57 LEE, was the aggressor from the outset the Japanese newcomer settled into his rhythm and threw with a left-sided uchi-mata for ippon.

In the first semi-final London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Antoine VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) was thrown with a tai-otoshi for ippon after 93 seconds of added time by FUJIWARA. In the second semi-final LEE launched former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix silver medallist Jaromir MUSIL (CZE) with a picturesque ippon seoi-nage for the maximum score.

The first bronze medal was clinched by 2017 Paris Grand Slam winner Frank DE WIT (NED) who achieved back-to-back podiums in the French capital by throwing MUSIL with an osoto-gari for ippon with only six seconds left on the clock.

The second bronze medal was won by former European bronze medallist Nugzari TATALASHVILI (GEO) who shaded VALOIS-FORTIER by a waza-ari in golden score to earn his best result in his new category since moving up from -73kg in 2017.

LEE, Seungsu (KOR) vs FUJIWARA, Sotaro (JPN)

Bronze Medal Contests
MUSIL, Jaromir (CZE) vs DE WIT, Frank (NED)

Final Results
1. FUJIWARA, Sotaro (JPN)
2. LEE, Seungsu (KOR)
3. DE WIT, Frank (NED)
5. MUSIL, Jaromir (CZE)
7. PENALBER, Victor (BRA)
7. IVANOV, Ivaylo (BUL)

-90kg: Dream debut in Paris for Japanese tyro MUKAI

Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist MUKAI Shoichiro (JPN) won a majestic gold medal on his first IJF World Judo Tour competition on international soil with an irresistible showing in the -90kg category. MUKAI, 22, needed only 15 seconds to defeat double and reigning World Judo Masters winner Beka GVINIASHVILI (GEO) as the Rio 2016 Olympian, who is the same age but vastly more experienced at the top level, was caught with his ippon seoi-nage which steered the Japanese flag to the rafters once again in the AccorHotels Arena.

MUKAI put his hands to his face and could not believe what he had achieved, having dreamt about this day for years, while GVINIASHVILI, who missed a golden opportunity for a second Grand Slam title was clearly in pain but it was mostly his pride that was hurt. Instead of celebrating winning one of the most coveted titles in the sport, MUKAI rushed over to help the injured GVINIASHVILI off the tatami towards his coach which the teeming crowd recognised with applause and a standing ovation.

In the first semi-final GVINIASHVILI convincingly defeated World Judo Masters bronze medallist NAGASAWA Kenta (JPN) by ippon with 71 seconds left after the Georgian had been leading by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final MUKAI advanced to the final after former world champion GWAK Donghan (KOR) withdrew during their semi-final from after being inadvertently hit in the eye during a gripping exchange.

The first bronze medal was won by Junior world bronze medallist Eduard TRIPPEL (GER) as GWAK could not compete having sustained a concussion in his previous contest.

The second bronze medal went to European silver medallist Axel CLERGET (FRA) who armlocked NAGASAWA for ippon after 54 seconds. The Frenchman brilliantly worked from his back on the ground to set up the juji-gatame to bring the crowd out of their seats as they could finally celebrate a men’s team medal on day two.

MUKAI, Shoichiro (JPN) vs GVINIASHVILI, Beka (GEO)

Bronze Medal Contests
GWAK, Donghan (KOR) vs TRIPPEL, Eduard (GER)

Final Results
1. MUKAI, Shoichiro (JPN)
3. TRIPPEL, Eduard (GER)
3. CLERGET, Axel (FRA)
5. GWAK, Donghan (KOR)
5. NAGASAWA, Kenta (JPN)
7. KEITA, Ibrahim (FRA)

-100kg: World number one KORREL takes gold in Paris

World number one Michael KORREL (NED) won gold in Paris for the first time after his fellow finalist Tokyo Grand Slam winner CHO Guham (KOR) was ruled out by a knee injury. KORREL starred during the preliminaries with some eye-catching ippons and was on top form while CHO had also had his moments as he was once again the spoiler against the hosts’ -100kg favourite.

In the first semi-final KORREL defeated former Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Zlatko KUMRIC (CRO) by ippon with a precise ko-uchi-gari. In the second semi-final Olympic bronze medallist Cyrille MARET (FRA) was emphatically dispatched by CHO after two minutes of golden score with a beautiful low left-sided ippon seoi-nage which silenced the crowd.

MARET was not in his rhythm during the bronze medal contest against PALTCHIK (ISR) as both judoka failed to threaten the scorebard and golden score was required. This was the time MARET chose to finally score and to release the energy he had held back during the day. After a long accolade, the Frenchman warmly thanked the public that supported him throughout the competition.

In the other bronze medal contest, LIPARTELIANI, who was eliminated in quarter final by MARET, defeated KUMRIC after a terrific match which was settled by a waza-ari in favour of the Georgian.

CHO, Guham (KOR) vs KORREL, Michael (NED)

Bronze Medal Contests
PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR) vs MARET, Cyrille (FRA)

Final Results
1. KORREL, Michael (NED)
2. CHO, Guham (KOR)
3. MARET, Cyrille (FRA)
5. KUMRIC, Zlatko (CRO)
5. PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR)
7. PACEK, Martin (SWE)
7. SVIRYD, Mikita (BLR)

+100kg: KAGEURA concludes Japanese success in Paris

The last final of the weekend opposed KAGEURA Kokoro (JPN) and KIM Sungmin (KOR). In less than a minute both athletes were penalised with two shidos each and had no other choice than to attack, which they did but 1:52 were necessary for the Japanese to score a beautiful ko-uchi-gari for ippon. It is the first gold medal for KAGEURA in a Grand Slam and the fifth gold for Japan here in Paris.

In the first semi-final World Judo Masters winner Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO) was disqualified against KAGEURA making contact with the face of his opponent with his knee while trying to adjust his position on the ground. In the second semi-final Olympic champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) was beaten by Asian Championships winner KIM Sungmin (KOR) by a waza-ari from a ura-nage.

In the first bronze medal contest Roy MEYER (NED) faced the -100kg Olympic Champion, Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) who moved up to the heavyweight category after the last Olympic Games. While nothing was scored during the regulatory time, KRPALEK scored first in the golden score but the action was cancelled by the video refereeing jury. A few seconds later, MEYER engaged a uchi-mata that was countered by the Olympic champion.

The second and last bronze medal contest saw former Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Aliaksandr VAKHAVIAK (BLR) take the final place on the men’s heavyweight podium as TUSHISHVILI was restricted from competing due to being directly disqualified in his previous contest.

KIM, Sungmin (KOR) vs KAGEURA, Kokoro (JPN)

Bronze Medal Contests
KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE) vs MEYER, Roy (NED)

Final Results
1. KAGEURA, Kokoro (JPN)
2. KIM, Sungmin (KOR)
3. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
3. VAKHAVIAK, Aliaksandr (BLR)
5. MEYER, Roy (NED)
7. SARNACKI, Maciej (POL)
7. TAYEB, Mohammed Amine (ALG)

Photos ©  IJF Media by Gabriela Sabau, Marina Mayorova