Mexican medal rush on day one as the five gold medals all go to different countries in Cancun

The inaugural Cancun Grand Prix opened on Friday as the stars of judo from the host continent of Pan America made their presence felt in Mexico with only one more stop on the IJF World Judo Tour before August’s 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships.     

Mexico’s first ever Grand Prix is the penultimate event before the annual showpiece in Budapest, Hungary, as the IJF World Judo Tour moves on from North American to visit the Chinese city of Hohhot in Inner Mongolia next for a Grand Prix from 30 June – 2 July.  

Day one of #JudoCancun2017 at the Poliforum Benito Juarez, however, launched with the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and the men’s -60kg and -66kg divisions in action.   Before the first day of Grand Prix action got underway, the IJF President Marius VIZER (below) held his latest Twitter Question and Answer session as judoka, coaches, fans, media and national federation’s were among those who sent in their questions and feedback. 



Hosts Mexico had an unforgettable day as they won their first IJF World Judo Tour gold medal and never looked back as the medals flowed.

Mexico had won only one Grand Prix medal before today, a bronze medal from +78kg judoka Vanessa ZAMBOTTI, at the Havana Grand Prix last year but registered in all three medal columns today to finish the opening day second in medal table with a record-breaking haul of one gold, one silver and one bronze medal which was only second to Brazil.

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, reflected on a fantastic opening day of judo and Mexico’s astounding success.

“This is a very important step for Mexican judo and sport here in Cancun. Mexico is a country with great economic and sporting capabilities and has enormous potential in judo. This success today is a testament to the IJF Training Centre in Mexico City which has been supported by the IJF and the Mexican Government and is led by the Mexican Judo Federation and its President and IJF Vice President Mr. Manuel LARRANAGA. The passion and dedication of Mr. LARRANAGA and his team has made these results possible and I hope this marks a new chapter for the Mexican Judo Federation with a new and exciting generation of judoka.

“The Mexican crowd showed their understanding and passion for judo and produced an excellent atmosphere which I am sure will reach another level on Saturday and Sunday.

“Also, today, the five gold medals went to different countries, which shows the universality of our sport. I commend the efforts of all the teams and judoka today as we all work towards the global growth of our sport.”

On Saturday, the second day of the Cancun Grand Prix, four weight categories will be engaged in action as the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories and the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories will all be contested.


-48kg: CHIBANA strikes first for Brazil with a narrow win over Mexico’s CARRILLO  
Former Grand Slam silver medallist Gabriela CHIBANA (BRA) narrowly defeated Pan American Championships silver medallist Edna CARRILLO (MEX) in the first final of the Cancun Grand Prix 2017. The 25-year-old Mexican judoka, who was already assured of attaining Mexico’s best result on the IJF circuit, slipped to defeat after 23 seconds of golden score as CHIBANA countered the home judoka for a match-winning waza-ari score. CHIBANA, 23, who won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2012 before the event earned Grand Slam status, marginally outworked her opponent and needed the victory to keep pace with her country’s rich crop of -48kg judoka.

In the first semi-final London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) surprisingly fell to CHIBANA who prevailed in golden score. With one shido against the Hungarian and no scores after four minutes, added time was required and after 30 seconds CSERNOVICZKI was penalised for a false attack to hand the contest to her young Brazilian opponent.

The second semi-final between CARRILLO and 23-year-old Pan American Championships bronze medallist Katelyn BOUYSSOU (USA) was also settled in golden score as both judoka finished regulation time with two penalties apiece and a stalemate on the scoreboard. After a further 25 seconds the home judoka produced a match-winning waza-ari score from an osoto-gari.

The first bronze medal contest was won by 2010 Youth Olympic Games winner BOUYSSOU who trapped former Wollongong Oceania Open bronze medallist Kimberley RENICKS (GBR) in osaekomi for 20 seconds. Neither judoka had won a Grand Prix medal before and that changed after three and a half minutes as BOUYSSOU opened the scoring with a ko-uchi-gari and added a waza-ari from osaekomi before the 29-year-old Scot RENICKS slipped out only to fall back into it moments later and this time there was no escape.

The second bronze medal was won by CSERNOVICZKI who did it the hard way as she came from behind to beat IJF World Judo Tour debutant Larissa PIMENTA (BRA). Cadet Pan American Championships winner PIMENTA, 18, dropped down to throw for a waza-ari just 15 seconds before her Hungarian opponent levelled the score with an osoto-otoshi and then claimed her fifth Grand Prix medal by ippon with an irresistible ouchi-gari in the final minute. 

CARRILLO, Edna (MEX) vs CHIBANA, Gabriela (BRA)                        

Bronze Medal Fights
BOUYSSOU, Katelyn (USA) vs RENICKS, Kimberley (GBR)                                                 
PIMENTA, Larissa (BRA) vs CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)          

Final Results
1. CHIBANA, Gabriela (BRA)                                                                           
2. CARRILLO, Edna (MEX)                                                
3. BOUYSSOU, Katelyn (USA)  
3. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)                                                                          
5. RENICKS, Kimberley (GBR)                                                                                                   
5. PIMENTA, Larissa (BRA)                                                     
7. CANO, Lesly (PER)     
7. STANGAR, Marusa (SLO)             

-52kg: Mexico celebrates first IJF Grand Prix gold after riveting final  
Pan American Championships silver medallist Luz OLVERA (MEX) was the hero for Mexico as she won her country’s first IJF Grand Prix gold medal. The world number 38 from Mexico defeated the world number 35 from Brazil, Sarah MENEZES, to secure Mexico’s best ever result in judo as the home judoka was lifted by the fervent home support to deliver a thrilling performance which was full of heart. MENEZES, 27, who moved up from -48kg to -52kg in February, has fifth and seventh-place finishes to show from three outings at Grand Slams this year in Paris, Baku and Ekaterinburg, and has gradually made up ground to settle into life in her new category. Chants of ‘Mexico, Mexico’, rang out around the venue as the contest moved into golden score and London 2012 Olympic champion at -48kg MENEZES was penalised for a third time for a false attack to receive hansoku-make and OLVERA lapped up the loudest ovation of the tournament so far as Cancun celebrated a defining moment for Mexican judo.

In the first semi-final Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Angelica DELGADO (USA) was outlasted by OLVERA who threw the American with a determined uchi-mata after two and a half minutes of golden score for a waza-ari. In the second semi-final Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) – who was preparing for the competition on the beaches of Cancun with her uchi-komi bands – lost out to MENEZES by a waza-ari which came from a seoi-nage.

The first bronze medal was clinched by GIUFFRIDA in her first IJF competition since the Olympic Games. The Italian judoka beat Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Anja STANGAR (SLO) as she outmanoeuvred her Slovenian opponent to throw with a ko-soto-gari for ippon with just one second left on the clock. A sixth Grand Prix medal for GIUFFRIDA gives the Rome-based judoka the platform to push on and stake her claim for a first World Championships medal in August.       

The second bronze medal was won by world number 10 DELGADO who recovered from her semi-final defeat to make her top seed status count with a victory over Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Tena SIKIC. DELGADO, whose sole previous appearance on a Grand Prix podium came in her opponent’s homeland last year, won her second Grand Prix bronze medal by a waza-ari score to win USA’s second medal on day one in Mexico.                               

MENEZES, Sarah (BRA) vs OLVERA, Luz (MEX)                                    

Bronze Medal Fights
GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA) vs STANGAR, Anja (SLO)                                             
SIKIC, Tena (CRO) vs DELGADO, Angelica (USA)

Final Results
1. OLVERA, Luz (MEX)                                                                             
2. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)  
3. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)                                                
3. DELGADO, Angelica (USA)
5. STANGAR, Anja (SLO)                                                           
5. SIKIC, Tena (CRO)                                                
7. JIMENEZ, Kristine (PAN)                                
7. GAMARRA CARBAJAL, Brillith (PER)                                          

-57kg: MALLOY completes Grand Prix hat-trick ahead of Worlds challenge  
Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Miryam ROPER (PAN) made history last time out when she won Panama’s first ever IJF World Judo Tour medal but had to settle for silver in Cancun after she could not contest the final against long-time rival Marti MALLOY (USA) due to a knee injury sustained during her warm-up. ROPER, 34, lost to MALLOY for bronze at the Pan American Championships this year on her Panama debut and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and former world silver medallist MALLOY also ended up with the win this time around in Pan America. A third Grand Prix gold for MALLOY puts her on the brink of a title tilt at the World Championships while ROPER is equipped to mount the same challenge in Budapest.

In the first semi-final ROPER gave Bucharest European Open bronze medallist Jaione EQUISOAIN (ESP) all sorts of problems with her probing ashi-waza and opened the scoring with a waza-ari from a ko-soto-gake. ROPER then showed off her ne-waza as she pounced on her opponent to tap out the Spaniard on the ground and move into the final. In the second semi-final evergreen veteran Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) went the distance with MALLOY as they could not be separated after a tenacious four minute battle. Only 12 seconds of golden score was required as MALLOY scored a waza-ari with a ko-uchi-gari as her Austrian foe almost countered with a ura-nage but the back of FILZMOSER touched the mat first and the American moved forward into the final.

The first bronze medal was won by FILZMOSER who held down five-time Grand Prix medallist Viola WAECHTER (GER) for 20 seconds with a ushiro-kesa-gatame for ippon. The wily Austrian, 37, subdued her 30-year-old German opponent on the ground in trademark fashion and now looks set for one more appearance at the World Championships.

The second bronze medal was won by former Pan American Championships bronze medallist Anailys DORVIGNY (CUB) after four minutes of golden score against former Almaty Grand Prix silver medallist EQUISOAIN. The Spanish judoka led with a waza-ari from a ushiro-kesa-gatame hold but DORVIGNY fought back in the closing seconds to force golden score. EQUISOAIN was penalised for a false attack in the fifth minute of added time to hand the bronze medal to the Cuban judoka. 

MALLOY, Marti (USA) vs ROPER, Miryam (PAN)                    

Bronze Medal Fights
FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT) vs WAECHTER, Viola (GER)           
DORVIGNY, Anailys (CUB) vs EQUISOAIN, Jaione (ESP)

Final Results 
1. MALLOY, Marti (USA)  
2. ROPER, Miryam (PAN)                                                                  
3. FILZMOSER, Sabrina (AUT)                             
3. DORVIGNY, Anailys (CUB)
5. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)                                                                   
5. EQUISOAIN, Jaione (ESP)   
7. FULGENTES, Amelia (USA)    
7. ROGIC, Jovana (SRB)                         


-60kg: Flying Spaniard GARRIGOS grabs first Grand Prix gold   
European Championships bronze medallist Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) won his first Grand Prix gold medal on day one in Mexico with a speedy win over three-time Grand Prix bronze medallist Phelipe PELIM (BRA). The 22-year-old has now topped the IJF medal podium at Grand Slam and Grand Prix events and is poised for a serious medal challenge at the World Championships this year. GARRIGOS shocked PELIM as he worked with great energy on the ground in the opening ne-waza exchange and forced the world number 23 from Brazil to submit to a hadaka-jime strangle after only 33 seconds.

In the first semi-final GARRIGOS pinned down Bucharest European Open winner Daniel BEN DAVID (ISR) with a tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds to earn ippon. In the second semi-final PELIM squared off against former European Championships bronze medallist Ashley MCKENZIE (GBR) and saw off the Londoner with a single waza-ari score in a close contest.

The first bronze medal was won by MCKENZIE in a thoroughly entertaining contest against 21-year-old Buenos Aires Pan American Open winner Adonis DIAZ (USA). Double Olympian MCKENZIE went ahead after 26 seconds with a waza-ari from a seoi-nage before DIAZ restored parity with a ouchi-gari effort. After a string of speculative efforts from the young American - who was fighting for a Grand Prix medal for the first time - including a yoko-tomoe-nage attempt, MCKENZIE added a second waza-ari and wrapped up a commanding performance with a morote-seoi-nage for ippon.

The second bronze medal was won by 19-year-old IJF World Judo Tour rookie Jorre VERSTRAETEN (BEL) who graced a medal podium at this level for the first time after rallying in golden score against 21-year-old BEN DAVID. VERSTRAETEN struck Grand Prix silverware for the first time with a wonderful combination as a right-sided ashi-waza attack was immediately followed by a left-sided sutemi-waza movement that sent BEN DAVID over for ippon. 

PELIM, Phelipe (BRA) vs GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)                      

Bronze Medal Fights
MCKENZIE, Ashley (GBR) vs DIAZ, Adonis (USA)                                                
VERSTRAETEN, Jorre (BEL) vs BEN DAVID, Daniel (ISR)         

Final Results 
1. GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)                                                                 
2. PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)                                         
3. MCKENZIE, Ashley (GBR)   
3. VERSTRAETEN, Jorre (BEL)                        
5. DIAZ, Adonis (USA)                                                    
5. BEN DAVID, Daniel (ISR)                                      
7. CALLE, Dilmer (PER)    
7. PATINO VILLAGRA, Michael (PER)    

-66kg: World number four FLICKER ends Grand Prix title wait with the Worlds to come
Baku Grand Slam winner Tal FLICKER (ISR) topped the -66kg category on Friday with a convincing win against Bucharest European Open silver medallist Alberto GAITERO MARTIN (ESP) in the final. The world number four, who won his first Grand Slam in March in Baku, finally clinched Grand Prix gold with a resounding win by ippon as he held down his Spanish opponent for 20 seconds having already produced two waza-ari scores. FLICKER is one of Israel’s leading medal hopes for the Worlds this year and based on this evidence has all the tools to trouble anyone at this weight and will likely start in Budapest from a seeded position.

In the first semi-final FLICKER defeated Pan American Championships bronze medallist Juan POSTIGOS (PER) by a waza-ari while in the second semi-final Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Baruch SHMAILOV (ISR) was denied by a golden score waza-ari from GAITERO MARTIN.

The first bronze medal was won by former Pan American Championships winner Nabor CASTILLO (MEX) in the contest immediately following the gold medal win of OLVERA. CASTILLO defeated SHMAILOV who was disqualified for attempting a bridge to try to avoid giving away a score. The London 2012 Olympian became Mexico’s first male judoka to win Grand Prix honours with a career-best performance as the volume continued to rise inside the Poliforum Benito Juarez as the home fans were now being spoiled.

The second bronze medal went to POSTIGOS who registered two waza-ari scores without reply against Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Andraz JEREB (SLO) to show the strength of Pan American judo by winning Peru’s first IJF World Judo Tour medal.     


Bronze Medal Fights
SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR) vs CASTILLO, Nabor (MEX)                                                
JEREB, Andraz (SLO) vs POSTIGOS, Juan (PER)   

Final Result 
1. FLICKER, Tal (ISR)                                               
2. GAITERO MARTIN, Alberto (ESP)  
3. CASTILLO, Nabor (MEX)                                                 
3. POSTIGOS, Juan (PER)       
5. SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR)      
5. JEREB, Andraz (SLO)        
7. WYNS, Senne (BEL)                                             
7. BURNS, Nathon (IRL)                                            


10.00 Preliminaries on two mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg

11:00 Preliminaries on two mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location: PoliForum Benito Juarez 

See also