The World Judo Masters 2018, the invite-only season finale, saw Olympic and world champions battle it out at the Guangzhou Arena in China as seven winners were crowned on day one.

The last stop for the IJF World Judo Tour this season started with an exhilarating opening day as celebrated stars faced a new and vibrant generation of young contenders at one of the most prestigious events in the sport.  

Japan finished day one in top spot with three gold medals as MARUYAMA Joshiro (-66kg), TSUNODA Natsumi (-52kg) and YOSHIDA Tsukasa (-57kg) all went unbeaten. Kosovo, Russia, France and Azerbaijan also tasted victory in Guangzhou in a scintillating day of unpredictable and compelling judo.  

#JudoMasters2018 officially opened

The opening ceremony took place ahead of the medal contests on day one as the crowd were treated to a 3D Projection Show and a lion dance in South Cantonese style before the parade of the flags of the 53 competing nations.   Following the Chinese anthem and the IJF anthem, the stage was set for the opening speeches.

Ms. XIAN Dongmei, China Judo Association President, said: “Dear distinguished guests, dear IJF President, Mr. Marius L. VIZER, dear friends, good afternoon to you all. Let me express my sincere welcome and best wishes to all the athletes from all over the world. I wish that all our judoka can show judo’s core principles and maximum efficiency with minimum effort. I hope the event is a complete success, good luck to everyone.”

Mr. XU Jianping, Leader of Guangdong Sports Bureau, said: “Dear Mr. VIZER, it is a great honour to host this World Judo Masters event here and I welcome you all to China. Guangdong is a very welcoming region and I hope you all have a pleasant stay and can leave with good memories. I wish that the World Judo Masters will be a great event and good luck to everyone.”

Mr. TIAN Wenxi, President of Guangzhou Wyan Culture & Media Co.,Ltd, said: “President VIZER, President XIAN, athletes, good evening to you all. Today I am very happy to welcome you all to Guangzhou for this World Judo Masters competition. Sport offers many things to us and we hope to host more major sport events in the near future. Thank you for giving us this opportunity and I wish everyone a successful competition.”

Mr. Marius L. VIZER, IJF President, said: “Dear Ms. XIAN, CJA President, dear Mr. TIAN, dear Mr. XU, dear Mr. MA, dear all, it’s a great pleasure to organise the World Judo Masters 2018 here in Guangzhou. I wish everyone success and good luck in the competition. Best wishes for judo in China and thank to all our partners and media representatives who help to spread judo throughout the world.”

On Sunday the heavyweight elite will take to the tatami with the seven remaining weight categories to be determined as a field of champions are in China ready to launch their bid for World Judo Masters gold. World champion Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO) and Olympic champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) will both campaign at +100kg while -78kg world champion HAMADA Shori (JPN) and Cuban heavyweight legend Idalys ORTIZ (CUB) are both potential show stealers.


-48kg: Kosovo’s KRASNIQI defeats Japan’s KONDO for gold in 15 seconds The Hague Grand Prix bronze medallist Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) won a career-best World Judo Masters title over Olympic bronze medallist and former world champion KONDO Ami (JPN). KRASNIQI countered her opponent with an osoto-otoshi after just 15 seconds for an emphatic ippon and a stunning first final in China.

In the first semi-final former world champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) had to tap out to KONDO in golden score. In the second semi-final Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Marusa STANGAR (SLO) fell to in-form KRASNIQI by the maximum score.

The first bronze medal contest saw world number 16 STANGAR outlast Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Milica NIKOLIC (SRB) after five minutes of golden score. STANGAR secured the osaekomi and her Serbian rival elected to tap out in the opening contest of the final block on day one.       The second bronze medal contest opposed MUNKHBAT and European champion Irina DOLGOVA (RUS). Europe defeated Asia as DOLGOVA prevailed by a waza-ari score from a strong ashi-waza attack. The world number five earned her third medal at the World Judo Masters and ends her year on a high with a world title challenge expected from the ne-waza maestro in 2019.

Final KONDO, Ami (JPN) vs KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)        Bronze Medal Fights STANGAR, Marusa (SLO) vs NIKOLIC, Milica (SRB)                               MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)

Final Results

1. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)                            2. KONDO, Ami (JPN)     3. STANGAR, Marusa (SLO)                                 3. DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)                       5. NIKOLIC, Milica (SRB)                                           5. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)                         7. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP) 7. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)      

-52kg: Japan’s number three TSUNODA clinches Guangzhou gold   Osaka Grand Slam silver medallist TSUNODA Natsumi (JPN) defeated world bronze medallist Amandine BUCHARD (FRA) to win the -52kg title in China. TSUNODA, who in the domestic pecking order is behind world champion ABE Uta and world silver medallist SHISHIME Ai (JPN), turned BUCHARD over and onto her back with a sumi-gaeshi. France’s BUCHARD matched her result from 2017 while TSUNODA jumped from seventh to first and remains in the shuffle for her country on the road to Tokyo 2020.

In the first semi-final BUCHARD benefited from an error-strewn display from The Hague Grand Prix winner Charline VAN SNICK (BEL) who received hansoku-make after being reprimanded three times. In the second semi-final European champion Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS) narrowly lost out to TSUNODA by a waza-ari score which was the only time the scoreboard was called into action. The first bronze medal contest opposed Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Gili COHEN (ISR) and KUZIUTINA. Russia’s inspirational KUZIUTINA, who is by far the most accomplished member of her country’s women’s team, submitted her opponent with a juji-gatame for ippon and her fourth World Judo Masters medal.             

In the second bronze medal contest VAN SNICK subdued Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Evelyne TSCHOPP (SUI) with shime-waza. Eight-time Grand Prix winner VAN SNICK opened her World Judo Masters medal account with a highly valuable bronze to strengthen her position inside the world’s top 10 and will be one of the judoka to pay attention to at -52kg in 2019.    Final TSUNODA, Natsumi (JPN) vs BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA)         Bronze Medal Fights COHEN, Gili (ISR) vs KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)                            VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL) vs TSCHOPP, Evelyne (SUI)    

Final Results

1. TSUNODA, Natsumi (JPN)                           2. BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA)              3. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)                                                                           3. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)   5. COHEN, Gili (ISR)   5. TSCHOPP, Evelyne (SUI)                                                                      7. PEREZ BOX, Ana (ESP)           7. PRIMO, Gefen (ISR)    

-57kg: World champion YOSHIDA captures first Masters title   World champion YOSHIDA Tsukasa (JPN) added the World Judo Masters crown to her honours reel for 2018 with a clinical performance in China. Six-time Grand Slam winner YOSHIDA, who took silver a year ago in Russia, defeated Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Nora GJAKOVA (KOS) in the -57kg final in a battle between the all-conquering world number one and the accomplished world number three. YOSHIDA extended her head-to-head record over her adversary from Kosovo to 3-0 after breaking the deadlock with a uchi-mata at the halfway point. Kosovo were denied a day one double by YOSHIDA who bounced back after finishing in fifth-place at her home Grand Slam in November.

In the first semi-final YOSHIDA defeated world silver medallist Nekoda SMYTHE-DAVIS (GBR) by ippon in a rematch of the World Championships final from Baku 2018. In the second semi-final Osaka Grand Slam winner Jessica KLIMKAIT (CAN) was dispatched by GJAKOVA by ippon in golden score.

The first bronze medal was won by Masters newcomer KLIMKAIT who defeated Olympic champion Rafaela SILVA (BRA). The high-flying Canadian outfought her heralded Brazilian opponent who was disqualified after being reprimanded with her third shido for passivity.  

The second bronze medal was won by Osaka Grand Slam silver medallist TAMAOKI Momo (JPN) against SMYTHE-DAVIS. Masters tyro TAMAOKI opened the scoring with a waza-ari from a tani-otoshi and sealed her win with osaekomi from a yoko-shiho-gatame. Final GJAKOVA, Nora (KOS) vs YOSHIDA, Tsukasa (JPN)    Bronze Medal Fights KLIMKAIT, Jessica (CAN) vs SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)                    SMYTHE-DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR) vs TAMAOKI, Momo (JPN)

Final Results

1. YOSHIDA, Tsukasa (JPN)                                         2. GJAKOVA, Nora (KOS)     3. KLIMKAIT, Jessica (CAN)        3. TAMAOKI, Momo (JPN)                                    5. SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)                     5. SMYTHE-DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)                                    7. LU, Tongjuan (CHN)     7. DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)  

-63kg: Untouchable world champion AGBEGNENOU stars for France World champion Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) defeated Osaka Grand Slam silver medallist NABEKURA Nami (JPN) to win her first Masters title in the last contest on day one of the season-ending competition in China. NABEKURA put up a credible effort as she forced the contest into golden score before failing with an ambitious sumi-gaeshi as AGBEGNENOU landed on top and applied a pin for 20 seconds and ippon.

In the first semi-final world champion AGBEGNENOU submitted world silver medallist TASHIRO Miku (JPN) with shime-waza. The French fighter powered past TASHIRO in a rematch of the World Championships final having led by a osoto-makikomi before wrapping up a comprehensive win on the ground.

In the second semi-final Olympic champion Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) fell to NABEKURA after three minutes of golden score. The Japanese judoka scored a waza-ari with a sumi-gaeshi to guarantee a place on the medal podium. In the first bronze medal contest TRSTENJAK prevailed against Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Juul FRANSSEN (NED) who was given her marching orders for a shido for passivity which was her third penality. Slovenian star TRSTENJAK was surprisingly making her first appearance at the Masters and unsurprisingly made it count as she came away with a hard-fought bronze medal to retain second place on the World Ranking List.                    The second bronze medal contest saw TASHIRO score twice without reply against former European Games winner Martyna TRAJDOS (GER). Japan’s number one held down TRAJDOS with osaekomi-waza for 12 seconds to open the scoring and then threw with an ouchi-gari for a second and match-winning waza-ari score.        Final AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA) vs NABEKURA, Nami (JPN)            Bronze Medal Fights FRANSSEN, Juul (NED) vs TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                    TASHIRO, Miku (JPN) vs TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)

Final Results

1. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)                               2. NABEKURA, Nami (JPN)                                                                             3. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)                                              3. TASHIRO, Miku (JPN)                                           5. FRANSSEN, Juul (NED)     5. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)                 7. BALDORJ, Mungunchimeg (MGL)   7. LESKI, Andreja (SLO)  


-60kg: Russia’s world silver medallist MSHVIDOBADZE wins first World Judo Masters title World silver medallist Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS) won Masters gold with a pulsating victory over Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO). World number three PAPINASHVILI, who won bronze at the Masters in 2013, lost to Russia’s world number four after going all out for the win in golden score with a bold pick up attempt that was swiftly countered with ashi-waza for a match-winning waza-ari score.

In the first semi-final PAPINASHVILI defeated former world silver medallist DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) by ippon to advance to the men’s -60kg final. In the second semi-final MSHVIDOBADZE bested former world champion Yeldos SMETOV (KAZ) who was disqualified after picking up this third shido for being passive.

The first bronze medal contest was won by SMETOV against European champion Islam YASHUEV (RUS). The Kazakh held down his Russian rival in osaekomi and YASHUEV tapped out to concede the contest and gift a first World Judo Masters medal to the popular SMETOV who acknowledged his supporters in the crowd after the contest with a wave.        

The second bronze medal contest saw DASHDAVAA catch Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Eric TAKABATAKE (BRA) with a buzzer-beating waza-ari score from a ouchi-gari. The contest looked destined for golden score but DASHDAVAA had other ideas and produced the only score in the very last second to win his third World Judo Masters bronze medal. Final MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS) vs PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)          Bronze Medal Fights SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ) vs YASHUEV, Islam (RUS)                                DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL) vs TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)

Final Results

1. MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)      2. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)                                                                    3. SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)     3. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)   5. YASHUEV, Islam (RUS)                                                                5. TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)                          7. OGUZOV, Albert (RUS)    7. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)   

-66kg: Magical MARUYAMA marks Masters debut with golden display Osaka Grand Slam winner MARUYAMA Joshiro (JPN) won the biggest accolade of his flourishing career as he brushed aside The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Baruch SHMAILOV (ISR) in the -66kg final. World number five SHMAILOV, who won bronze a year ago, was upstaged by Masters debutant MARUYAMA who came into the competition on the back of beating two-time world champion ABE Hifumi (JPN) to win the Osaka Grand Slam in November. The Tenri University judoka scored a waza-ari with his trademark uchi-mata and wrapped up a brilliant performance with a sode-tsurikomi-goshi with one minute left on the clock.

In the first semi-final Asian Games bronze medallist Yeldos ZHUMAKANOV (KAZ) was caught after three minutes of golden score with a ko-uchi-gake for a waza-ari by MARUYAMA. In the second semi-final Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Daniel CARGNIN (BRA) lost out to SHMAILOV after the Brazilian was disqualified for a third shido.

In the first bronze medal contest The Hague Grand Prix winner Vazha MARGVELASHVILI (GEO) reigned supreme against CARGNIN. MARGVELASHVILI repeated his 2017 bronze medal win by seeing off his young Brazilian rival after two and a half minutes of golden score. The scoreboard was tied at a waza-ari apiece at the end of regulation time and world number two MARGVELASHVILI had the final say as he scored his second waza-ari with a osoto-gari.

The second bronze medal went to three-time Grand Slam bronze medallist DOVDON Altansukh (MGL) who held down ZHUMAKANOV with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon. ZHUMAKANOV, who noticeably limped onto the mat with a heavily taped right foot, was powerless as he was consigned to defeat by his Mongolian opponent.     Final MARUYAMA, Joshiro (JPN) vs SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR)          Bronze Medal Fights MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO) vs CARGNIN, Daniel (BRA)                     ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ) vs DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)

Final Results

1. MARUYAMA, Joshiro (JPN)                           2. SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR)                                                  3. MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO)                                                             3. DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)  5. CARGNIN, Daniel (BRA)                            5. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)                                           7. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL)                          7. GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO)     

-73kg: Azeri ace ORUJOV back to his best with first gold medal in 2018 Olympic silver medallist Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) won his first IJF World Judo Tour title since September 2017 with a polished performance in China. Two-time Masters bronze medallist ORUJOV defeated 2017 Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Arthur MARGELIDON (CAN) in the -73kg final after 16 seconds of added time with a waza-ari score. ORUJOV, who had won their one previous contest back in 2014 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, went unbeaten in Guangzhou to win Azerbaijan’s first medal at the World Judo Masters 2018 with their four remaining judoka set to compete on day two.

In the first semi-final MARGELIDON tapped out 2016 World Judo Masters silver medallist GANBAATAR Odbayar (MGL) with shime-waza to guarantee a career-best result. In the second semi-final ORUJOV defeated world champion AN Changrim (KOR) by a waza-ari score from sutemi-waza which was the only score in an exciting contest.

The first bronze medal was won by AN who beat Osaka Grand Slam bronze medallist Tommy MACIAS (SWE) after three minutes of golden score. AN recovered from his semi-final slip up to salvage a bronze medal in his first outing as the world champion and in the red backpatch. The South Korean judoka utilised te-waza to produce a waza-ari score to earn his first medal at judo’s invite-only event.

The second and last male bronze medal contest saw London 2012 Olympic champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) pin down GANBAATAR for 20 seconds and ippon. SHAVDATUASHVILI kept control of the head of GANBAATAR and freed his legs from those of the Mongolian to apply the osaekomi-waza for the maximum score.     Final MARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN) vs ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)   Bronze Medal Fights MACIAS, Tommy (SWE) vs AN, Changrim (KOR) GANBAATAR, Odbayar (MGL) vs SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO)  

Final Results

1. ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)   2. MARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN) 3. AN, Changrim (KOR)                                                             3. SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO)                               5. MACIAS, Tommy (SWE)                                                             5. GANBAATAR, Odbayar (MGL)                                                          7. HASHIMOTO, Soichi (JPN)                           7. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS)

PROGRAMME Sunday 16 December  Preliminary rounds - 11:30 Final Block - 17:00

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