-78kg: Unfancied Russian SHMELEVA grinds out first IJF title

Former Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Antonina SHMELEVA (RUS) won her maiden IJF title to send her country top of the medal table in The Hague. Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Sama Hawa CAMARA (FRA) came undone on the ground as the Russian secured a kesa-gatame hold and remained there for 20 seconds and -78kg gold. World number 27 CAMARA won her sixth Grand Prix medal but her wait goes on for an elusive gold medal which will surely be just around the corner for the young and developing French talent. 

In the first semi-final SHMELEVA defeated Glasgow European Open winner Ilona LUCASSEN (NED) by ippon for a place in the -78kg final. In the second semi-final CAMARA blasted her way past Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Samanta SOARES (BRA) with an o-soto-gari for ippon on the edge of the contest area.

The first bronze medal contest was won by SOARES after Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist MA Zhenzhao (CHN) was penalised with her third shido after four minutes of golden score. The scoreless contest ended when the Chinese was passive and the world number 26 from Brazil claimed her third Grand Prix medal.

The second bronze medal was won by LUCASSEN who upstaged 2009 world champion Marhinde VERKERK (NED) by ippon after only 39 seconds. Dutch star VERKERK missed out Grand Prix medal number 11 as world number 78 LUCASSEN won her first at this level by throwing with a seoi-otoshi for the maximum score.

Final CAMARA, Sama Hawa (FRA) vs SHMELEVA, Antonina (RUS)        

Bronze Medal Fights SOARES, Samanta (BRA) vs MA, Zhenzhao (CHN) LUCASSEN, Ilona (NED) vs VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)  

Final Results

1. SHMELEVA, Antonina (RUS) 2. CAMARA, Sama Hawa (FRA)   3. SOARES, Samanta (BRA)    3. LUCASSEN, Ilona (NED)                                          5. MA, Zhenzhao (CHN)                                                           5. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)                     7. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)                    7. STEVENSON, Karen (NED)

+78kg: Gold for Belarus as runner-up MBALLA ATANGANA clinches Cameroon’s first IJF World Judo Tour medal

Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Maryna SLUTSKAYA (BLR) bested African Championships bronze medallist Hortence Vanessa MBALLA ATANGANA (CMR) in the women’s heavyweight final. MBALLA ATANGANA starred in the preliminary rounds but the final was beyond her as the African contender was penalised three times and was disqualified. SLUTSKAYA topped an IJF Grand Prix medal podium for the third time after MBALLA ATANGANA was reprimanded for going out of the area.

In the first semi-final MBALLA ATANGANA saw off Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Anne Fatoumata M BAIRO (FRA) by ippon with a seoi-nage after 14 seconds. In the second semi-final SLUTSKAYA downed her fellow Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Yelyzaveta KALANINA (UKR) by a waza-ari score to move on to the final.

The first bronze medal was awarded to world number two Larisa CERIC (BIH) who won bronze at the World Championships in her last competition. CERIC saw KALANINA receive her third penalty for ducking to avoid the grip of her opponent in golden score and the Ukrainian was disqualified. 

The second bronze medal was won by world number 16 M BAIRO who defeated Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Galyna TARASOVA (UKR) by ippon from a ko-soto-gake. World number 21 TARASOVA was sent over at the halfway point by M BAIRO who is one of a string of Tokyo 2020 hopefuls that France boasts in the +78kg category. The Olympic women’s heavyweight title currently belongs to France and the now retired Emilie ANDEOL (FRA) and the French federation will be aiming for a repeat in Japan in two years time.

Final SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR) vs MBALLA ATANGANA, Hortence Vanessa (CMR)   

Bronze Medal Fights KALANINA, Yelyzaveta (UKR) vs CERIC, Larisa (BIH) M BAIRO, Anne Fatoumata (FRA) vs TARASOVA, Galyna (UKR)

Final Results

1. SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR)   2. MBALLA ATANGANA, Hortence Vanessa (CMR)   3. CERIC, Larisa (BIH)      3. M BAIRO, Anne Fatoumata (FRA)             5. KALANINA, Yelyzaveta (UKR)   5. TARASOVA, Galyna (UKR)                                                               7. ADLINGTON, Sarah (GBR)                   7. MARCHAND, Valentine (FRA)    


MEN -90kg: World number two KUKOLJ defeats world champion for gold

Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB) had the measure of world champion Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP) in the -90kg category as the anticipated and mouthwatering final lived up to its expectations. KUKOLJ needed only 39 seconds to defeat the owner of the red backpatch at -90kg by ippon from a low seoi-otoshi. The two standouts of the category shared a classy moment after their final as you would expect from two men whose etiquette is absolutely exemplary on the tatami. World number two KUKOLJ, who prepared for the last Grand Prix of the year with a camp in Rio de Janeiro training alongside Brazil’s Flavio CANTO and David MOURA, closed the gap on the world number one with two IJF events left in 2018. 

In the first semi-final SHERAZADISHVILI beat world number 37 Peter ZILKA (SVK) by two waza-ari scores without reply to ease into the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final KUKOLJ defeated Agadir Grand Prix bronze medallist Joachim BOTTIEAU (BEL) with an uchi-mata for ippon after the Belgian stalled on the ground and the Serbian brought him up and over for the maximum score.

The first bronze medal was won by Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Jesper SMINK (NED) who beat BOTTIEAU in a derby contest to open the final block. Home fighter SMINK prevailed by a waza-ari score from an ippon-seoi-nage in the ideal start to the medal portion of the day for the Netherlands.  

The second bronze medal went to ZILKA who reached an IJF medal podium for the first time at the expense of Agadir Grand Prix bronze medallist Quedjau NHABALI (UKR). ZILKA threw for a waza-ari score and moved into osaekomi as he held down his Ukrainian opponent for 10 seconds to wrap up the best result of his career.   

Final KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB) vs SHERAZADISHVILI, Nikoloz (ESP)    

Bronze Medal Fights BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL) vs SMINK, Jesper (NED)     ZILKA, Peter (SVK) vs NHABALI, Quedjau (UKR)  

Final Results

1. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)    2. SHERAZADISHVILI, Nikoloz (ESP)    3. SMINK, Jesper (NED)       3. ZILKA, Peter (SVK)                                              5. BOTTIEAU, Joachim (BEL)                           5. NHABALI, Quedjau (UKR)                                                         7. VAN T END, Noel (NED)                    7. TCHRIKISHVILI, Avtandili (GEO)   

-100kg: Israel’s PALTCHIK wins back-to-back IJF gold medals to close in on top spot

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Peter PALTCHIK (ISR) took -100kg gold to extend his winning run to nine consecutive contests on the IJF World Judo Tour. PALTCHIK has excelled this year and moved closer to the leading judoka in the category with a blistering display on Sunday. World number 36 SVIRYD claimed his first IJF medal despite going over after 89 seconds of golden score from a seoi-nage before both men shared a lengthy embrace.

In the first semi-final Pan American Championships gold medallist Leonardo GONCALVES (BRA) lost out to SVIRYD by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final Paris Grand Slam winner Michael KORREL (NED) was rolled over by PALTCHIK for a waza-ari score to deny the Netherlands a place in the -100kg final.

The first bronze medal was won by KORREL after World Judo Masters bronze medallist CIRJENICS Miklos (HUN) managed to pick up three penalties after just two minutes. CIRJENICS stepped out to receive his final penalty after an insipid display as Dutchman KORREL looked shocked at the manner of his victory.                                                          

The second bronze medal went to GONCALVES who shaded Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Rafael BUZACARINI (BRA) by a single waza-ari score in a domestic duel which keeps the younger judoka in pole position for Tokyo 2020. World number 34 BUZACARINI was on the receiving end of a ura-nage from world number 26 GONCALVES which was the only score in the contest.

Final PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR) vs SVIRYD, Mikita (BLR)      

Bronze Medal Fights KORREL, Michael (NED) vs CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN) BUZACARINI, Rafael (BRA) vs GONCALVES, Leonardo (BRA)

Final Results

1. PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR)   2. SVIRYD, Mikita (BLR) 3. KORREL, Michael (NED)    3. GONCALVES, Leonardo (BRA)                                                 5. CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN)                                                                5. BUZACARINI, Rafael (BRA)                                                        7. LIPARTELIANI, Varlam (GEO)                    7. ZANKISHIEV, Kazbek (RUS)   

+100kg: Ukraine’s KHAMMO back to his best with first IJF title since 2016  

Former World Championships bronze medallist Yakiv KHAMMO (UKR) ruled the men’s heavyweight category as he defeated world number 39 Vladut SIMIONESCU (ROU) in the last contest of The Hague Grand Prix 2018. KHAMMO won his third Grand Prix title and his first IJF gold since the Baku Grand Slam in 2016 as Ukraine added the heaviest title of the competition to the lightest title of the competition with the +100kg and +48kg gold medals set to find a new home in Ukraine. KHAMMO floored his Romanian rival with a forceful o-uchi-gari for the maximum score.

In the first semi-final world number 173 Vincenzo D ARCO (ITA) fell to a buzzer-beating uchi-mata from SIMIONESCU which earned a waza-ari score to send the Romanian into the final. In the second semi-final KHAMMO threw Glasgow European Open winner Jur SPIJKERS (NED) with an o-soto-gari for ippon.

The first bronze medal was won by four-time Grand Slam medallist Maciej SARNACKI (POL) who thwarted SPIJKERS with a majestic sasae-tsurikomi-ashi for ippon. SARNACKI, who took silver last year, scored after 56 seconds to block the hosts’ first medal opportunity in the +100kg category.       

The second bronze medal went to 2017 winner Roy MEYER (NED) who bombarded D ARCO with attacks which led to the Italian picking up three penalties. It was one-way traffic from MEYER, who finished seventh at the Rio 2016 Olympics, as the Italian was off the pace and was penalised for passivity for the final time before clutching his injured right hand.

Final KHAMMO, Yakiv (UKR) vs SIMIONESCU, Vladut (ROU)  

Bronze Medal Fights SPIJKERS, Jur (NED) vs SARNACKI, Maciej (POL) MEYER, Roy (NED) vs D ARCO, Vincenzo (ITA)   

Final Results

1. KHAMMO, Yakiv (UKR)                                               2. SIMIONESCU, Vladut (ROU) 3. SARNACKI, Maciej (POL)                                                              3. MEYER, Roy (NED                                           5. SPIJKERS, Jur (NED)   5. D ARCO, Vincenzo (ITA)                                                         7. KOLESNYK, Andrii (UKR)                  7. MIKHAYLIN, Alexander (RUS) 

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