The Paris Grand Slam 2018, one of France’s blue ribbon sporting events, marked a new chapter for the sport as a new generation of champions emerged at the theatre of judo which is the AccorHotels Arena on Saturday.
Judo’s first Grand Slam of the new season produced an exhilarating opening day as celebrated stars faced a new flurry of young contenders with a clear passing of the guard in several categories.
Teenagers Daria BILODID (UKR) and ABE Uta (JPN), who are both just 17, won the -48kg and -52kg categories respectively with star-making performances while a string of countries were able to make history.
Canada celebrated their first gold medal at the Paris tournament with a sensational day from Christa DEGUCHI (-57kg) while Akil GJAKOVA (-73kg) became Kosovo’s first male winner on the IJF World Judo Tour and both wins were as stylish as they were historic.
French superstar Clarisse AGBEGNENOU signed autographers for her fans after winning at home
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 Paris ready to chase Grand Slam gold. World Masters winner Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO) and Olympic champion Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) will both campaign at +100kg while France will look to Olympic bronze medallist Cyrille MARET at -100kg and double -78kg Olympic medallist Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) among their revered team.
IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER will hold a live Twitter Q&A session on Sunday evening, his first of the year, immediately following the conclusion of the competition in Paris. Submit your question to the IJF President by using the hashtag #AskVizeron Twitter.
-48kg: Teen starlet BILODID wins the Paris tournament on her Grand Slam debut
European champion Daria BILODID (UKR) won the Paris tournament at her first attempt as the Grand Slam newcomer came away with gold at the first major of the season. World number nine BILODID, 17, has only once left an international event without a medal (World Championships 2017) and defeated Hohhot Grand Prix winner KANG Yujeong (KOR) with her trademark sankaku-gatame hold down having trailed to a waza-ari from an ippon seoi-nage.
In the first semi-final former World Judo Masters bronze medallist Julia FIGUEROA (ESP) lost to KANG by ippon in 40 seconds. In the second semi-final world champion TONAKI Funa (JPN) was stunned by BILODID by ippon after just 65 seconds with a sublime ouchi-gari.
The first bronze medal contest saw TONAKI fall to former world champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) after 90 seconds of golden score. MUNKHBAT, who became Mongolia’s first female world champion in 2013, defeated the reigning world champion - who left the mat multiple times to receive treatment for a cut lip - by ippon.
The second bronze medal contest opposed Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Maryna CHERNIAK (UKR) and FIGUEROA and there was nothing to separate them in regulation time. After 44 seconds of added time, CHERNIAK prevailed with a waza-ari score to achieve one of the best results of her career.
KANG, Yujeong (KOR) vs. BILODID, Daria (UKR)
Bronze Medal Contests
MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs. TONAKI, Funa (JPN)
CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR) vs. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
1. BILODID, Daria (UKR)
2. KANG, Yujeong (KOR)
3. CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)
3. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
5. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
5. TONAKI, Funa (JPN)
7. MENZ, Katharina (GER)
7. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)
-52kg: Junior world champion ABE Uta, 17, aces Paris test for Japan
Tokyo Grand Slam winner ABE Uta (JPN) won gold in her first international Grand Slam assignment as the ABE family are ready to dominate the sport with older brother ABE Hifumi already the world champion and a five-time Grand Slam winner at just 20 years of age. ABE Uta, who is unbeaten since 2016, bested World Judo Masters silver medallist Amandine BUCHARD (FRA) in the -52kg final and was unfazed by the challenge of opposing a French judoka in a one-of-a-kind setting that is the Bercy. ABE won her fourth event in a row after BUCHARD tired quickly in golden score and was penalised for passivity for the third time. Japan’s teenage prodigy set the tone for her day by throwing Eleudis VALENTIM (BRA) after just nine seconds in her opening contest with a sumptuous sode-tsurikomi-goshi.
ABE (in white judogi) throws for ippon after nine seconds v Eleudis VALENTIM (BRA) in her first contest
In the first semi-final world silver medallist TSUNODA Natsumi (JPN) lost out to BUCHARD after the former received her third shido after two and half minutes of golden score. In the second semi-final ABE surged past London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Charline VAN SNICK (BEL) with two ouchi-gari techniques which earned a waza-ari and then ippon.
The first bronze medal contest opposed former Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Astride GNETO (FRA) and the vastly more experienced VAN SNICK of Belgium. GNETO had the crowd behind her and VAN SNICK was far from her best as she accumulated three shidos in a shot-shy performance to gift the bronze medal to her young opponent.
In the second bronze medal contest The Hague Grand Prix winner Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) defeated TSUNODA by a waza-ari score to make a medal-winning start for the high-flying Kosovo team.
BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA) vs. ABE, Uta (JPN)
Bronze Medal Contests
GNETO, Astride (FRA) vs. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS) vs. TSUNODA, Natsumi (JPN)
1. ABE, Uta (JPN)
2. BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA)
3. GNETO, Astride (FRA)
3. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
5. TSUNODA, Natsumi (JPN)
5. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
7. DELGADO, Angelica (USA)
7. ESTEVES, Mariana (POR)
-57kg: DEGUCHI beats former teammate to win Canada’s first Paris Grand Slam gold
Portugal European Open winner Christa DEGUCHI (CAN) came back to haunt her former charges as the former Junior World Championships silver medallist for Japan won in the colours of Canada today against world silver medallist and top seed YOSHIDA Tsukasa (JPN). DEGUCHI, 22, won gold last weekend with five ippons from her five contests to capture her first title for Canada having officially switched from Japan in 2017. The former domestic rivals met for the first time in an international setting in Paris and it was DEGUCHI who claimed the best result of her career by breaking the resistance of YOSHIDA on two occasions with a waza-ari being added to the scoreboard on each occasion. Both judoka are aiming for a place in Tokyo 2020, something which would be impossible if they were representing the same country, and they could very well meet again on the Olympic stage in Japan.
In the first semi-final world bronze medallist Nekoda SMYTHE-DAVIS (GBR) came undone in the closing seconds against YOSHIDA who threw spectacularly with an o-guruma for ippon with 13 seconds left on the clock. In the second semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist Helene RECEVEAUX (FRA) was shocked by DEGUCHI by ippon. The Canadian judoka broke the deadlock with a waza-ari and trapped her French rival on the ground to seal a place in the final in just 26 seconds.
The first bronze medal was won by Junior World Championships bronze medallist KIM Jisu (KOR) who defeated French hope RECEVEAUX to win her first Grand Slam medal. The 17-year-old was the stronger fighter in golden score and took the contest and a place on the podium after four minutes of added time with a waza-ari score.
The second bronze medal was won by SMYTHE-DAVIS who bested Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Timna NELSON LEVY (ISR) by ippon as the Londoner earned her first medal in Paris.
YOSHIDA, Tsukasa (JPN) vs. DEGUCHI, Christa (CAN)
Bronze Medal Contests
RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA) vs. KIM, Jisu (KOR)
NELSON LEVY, Timna (ISR) vs. SMYTHE-DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)
1. DEGUCHI, Christa (CAN)
2. YOSHIDA, Tsukasa (JPN)
3. KIM, Jisu (KOR)
3. SMYTHE-DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)
5. NELSON LEVY, Timna (ISR)
5. RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA)
7. BERGSTRA, Margriet (NED)
7. MONTEIRO, Telma (POR)
-63kg: Fourth Paris Grand Slam title for France’s world champion AGBEGNENOU
World champion Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) ruled at her home Grand Slam for the fourth time to provide the hosts with a dream ending to the first day of competition in Paris. AGBEGNENOU, 25, who has long been one of the most consistent judoka in the sport, dominated Tokyo Grand Slam winner and World Judo Masters winner TASHIRO Miku (JPN) who had won their last meeting in December. French favourite AGBEGNENOU extended her head-to-head lead over her Japanese adversary to 7:1 as the chants of ‘Clarisse, Clarisse’ echoed around the atmospheric Bercy. Title number four for the Olympic silver medallist came by ippon with 74 seconds left on the clock and the hosts’ first gold medallist at the first Grand Slam of the season raised both of her hands to encourage the home crowd to raise their levels and they responded with a mutual appreciation and affection to conclude day one with home delight.
In the first semi-final TASHIRO outlasted Olympic champion Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) in golden score to defeat the owner of the gold backpatch by ippon in the third minute of golden score. In the second semi-final AGBEGNENOU powered past European Games winner Martyna TRAJDOS (GER) by ippon with a osoto-gari.
In the first bronze medal contest TRAJDOS emerged triumphant after Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Lucy RENSHALL (GBR) was penalised for the third and final time for passivity in golden score to miss out on a place on the medal podium.
The second bronze medal contest saw TRSTENJAK book a place on the podium at the expense of World Judo Masters silver medallist NABEKURA Nami (JPN) who received her third shido for passivity in golden score to receive hansoku-make.
TASHIRO, Miku (JPN) vs. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)
Bronze Medal Contests
RENSHALL, Lucy (GBR) vs. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)
NABEKURA, Nami (JPN) vs. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)
1. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)
2. TASHIRO, Miku (JPN)
3. TRAJDOS, Martyna (GER)
3. TRSTENJAK, Tina (SLO)
5. NABEKURA, Nami (JPN)
5. RENSHALL, Lucy (GBR)
7. BALDORJ, Mungunchimeg (MGL)
7. FRANSSEN, Juul (NED)
-60kg: SHISHIME repeats 2016 victory in the French capital
SHISHIME Toru (JPN) won the Paris Grand Slam for the second time in his career after conquering World Judo Masters bronze medallist Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) in the first men’s final of the 2018 instalment of this renowned competition. SHISHIME was coached by former world silver medallist KANAMARU Yusuke who is currently on a one-year sabbatical in Cardiff with the Welsh Judo Association. KANAMARU, who coached ONO Shohei (JPN) to Olympic and world gold, had his suit on from the morning as he showed his confidence in his latest charges. SHISHIME went ahead with a hopping ouchi-gari for a waza-ari score and utilised the same technique for a second waza-ari to take the -60kg title.
In the first semi-final SHISHIME defeated Zagreb Grand Prix winner and 10-time Grand Slam medallist Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) in golden score when the latter received a direct hansoku-make for a dangerous action as he attempted ouchi-gari from the wrong side. In the second semi-final LUTFILLAEV beat Cancun Grand Prix silver medallist Phelipe PELIM (BRA) by ippon with a magical piece of ashi-waza from a secondary attack.
The first bronze medal contest was won by former European bronze medallist Ashley MCKENZIE who threw PELIM with a textbook low left-sided tai-otoshi after just 21 seconds.
The second bronze medal contest saw Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Cedric REVOL (FRA) receive the plaudits and admiration of the crowd as his would be opponent, PAPINASHVILI of Georgia, was directly disqualified in his previous contest and therefore was unable to take to the tatami.
SHISHIME, Toru (JPN) vs. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
Bronze Medal Contests
MCKENZIE, Ashley (GBR) vs. PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)
REVOL, Cedric (FRA) vs. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
1. SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)
2. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
3. MCKENZIE, Ashley (GBR)
3. REVOL, Cedric (FRA)
5. PAPINASHVILI, Amiran (GEO)
5. PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)
7. CHKHVIMIANI, Lukhumi (GEO)
7. VERGNES, Richard (FRA)
-66kg: Olympic silver medallist AN wins second Grand Slam title
Olympic silver medallist AN Baul (KOR) followed up on his bronze medal from December’s Tokyo Grand Slam by topping the podium at the first Grand Slam of 2018. Former world champion AN, 23, squared off against Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist MARUYAMA Joshiro (JPN) in the -66kg final with the Asian rivals tied in their head-to-head series 1:1 before today. MARUYAMA is a protégé of Japanese great HOSOKAWA Shinji at Tenri University with his older brother MARUYAMA Goki who campaigns in the -81kg category. As HOSOKAWA looked on from the crowd, there was little of note in the regulation time as both judoka were tentative and aware of their respective skillsets. A third shido for passivity against the Japanese sent AN to the gold medal position on the podium at a Grand Slam and for the first time since Abu Dhabi’s own Grand Slam in 2015.
South Korea's AN Baul (in white judogi) throws NURILLAEV (UZB) for ippon in the -66kg third round
In the first semi-final AN put Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist ISODA Norihito (JPN) under pressure from the outset and the Japanese picked up three shidos in regulation time to receive hansoku-make as the South Korean progressed into the final. In the second semi-final MARUYAMA bested 2016 Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Kilian LE BLOUCH (FRA) when the Frenchman was penalised for the third time in golden score.
In the first bronze medal contest LE BLOUCH lost out to European Games bronze medallist Sebastian SEIDL (GER) by a waza-ari score after 35 seconds of golden score.
The second bronze medal went to ISODA who defeated African champion Houd ZOURDANI (ALG) by ippon at the halfway mark. ISODA has now won two Grand Slam bronze medals back-to-back and will jump up the rankings from his modest position of 65thin the world at the start of play in Paris.
AN, Baul (KOR) vs. MARUYAMA, Joshiro (JPN)
Bronze Medal Contests
SEIDL, Sebastian (GER) vs. LE BLOUCH, Kilian (FRA)
ZOURDANI, Houd (ALG) vs. ISODA, Norihito (JPN)
1. AN, Baul (KOR)
2. MARUYAMA, Joshiro (JPN)
3. ISODA, Norihito (JPN)
3. SEIDL, Sebastian (GER)
5. LE BLOUCH, Kilian (FRA)
5. ZOURDANI, Houd (ALG)
7. CRISOSTOMO, Joao (POR)
7. WU, Zhiqiang (CHN)
-73kg: GJAKOVA becomes Kosovo’s first male IJF World Judo Tour winner
Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist Akil GJAKOVA (KOS) made history for his country for the second successive event to maintain his imperious start to 2018. GJAKOVA, 22, whose older sister Nora GJAKOVA lost out in the second round of the -57kg category today, became the first male judoka from Kosovo to win a Grand Prix medal in January and went to the next level today as he accomplished the feat on the Grand Slam stage. London 2012 Olympic champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) was left perplexed after GJAKOVA registered the only score of the contest (waza-ari) for a momentous victory on one of the biggest stages in the sport.
Kosovo's GJAKOVA (in white judogi) throws HSAN (TUN) for ippon in round two
In the first semi-final double world bronze medallist AN Changrim (KOR) fell to SHAVDATUASHVILI by ippon with a ko-soto-gari. In the second semi-final GJAKOVA profited from an error-strewn display by TSEND-OCHIR Tsogtbaatar (MGL) who received hansoku-make after a third shido.
The first bronze medal was won by Rio 2016 Olympian TSEND-OCHIR who produced his best result in his new weight category with a modified kata-guruma earning a match-winning waza-ari score after 44 seconds of golden score.
The second and last male bronze medal contest saw AN add to his country’s growing medal haul by dismissing Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Arthur MARGELIDON (CAN) by ippon with a driving left-sided ko-uchi-gari.
SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) vs. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS)
Bronze Medal Contests
WANDTKE, Igor (GER) vs. TSEND-OCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL)
MARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN) vs. AN, Changrim (KOR)
1. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS)
2. SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO)
3. AN, Changrim (KOR)
3. TSEND-OCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL)
5. MARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN)
5. WANDTKE, Igor (GER)
7. BUTBUL, Tohar (ISR)
7. MACIAS, Tommy (SWE)
Sunday 11 February
Preliminary rounds - 10:00
Final Block - 17:00