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4th February 2012.
Judo Grand Slam, Paris 2012 - DAY 1
Media Commission
Today was the first day of competition, at the Judo Grand Slam, Paris 2012. Women's -48, -52, -57 and -63kg and Men's -60, -66 and -73kg were concerned. The final results are: Japan : 3 Gold / Uzbekistan, France, Protugal and Mogolia: 1 gold.
Women's -48kg: Gold for FUKUMI
The first final of the day was not a surprise as the two top seeded athletes met for the title: FUKUMI, Tomoko (JPN) vs. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA). But even if the young Brazilian was decided not to let the gold medal go, she couldn't find the solution against FUKUMI, who became the first winner of the 2011 edition of the Judo Grand Slam, Paris 2012.

The first semi-final of the day opposed the favorite FUKUMI Tomoko (JPN) and the 21 year-old, MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL), silver medallist in Baku last year on the occasion of the Judo Grand Prix. The second semi-final of the day opposed the Brazilian Sarah MENEZES and the eternal Alina DUMITRU (ROU), who could not do anything against the dynamism of the young Brazilian.

During the preliminaries, FUKUMI Tomoko (JPN - Number 2 in the WRL) could only win with two Yuko against Valentina MOSCAT (ITA). In the quarter-final, she was opposed to the young Korean, JEONG Bo-Kyeong, winner of two bronze medals at the last Judo Grand Slam, Tokyo 2011, and at the Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2011. 

Eva CSERNOVICZKI (HUN) loves Paris. Last year, she was already finalist of the 2011 edition of the Judo Grand Slam and she won a bronze medal on the occasion of the World Judo Championships. Her opponent in the the quarter final was MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL - WRL 17), which created the surprise by defeating World number 8, Paula PARETO (ARG).

The number 3 at the World Ranking List from Brazil, Sarah MENEZES had an easy early fight against Ann SHIRAISHI (USA), winning by ippon. Her second fight was more difficult, the Brazilian winning with a simple yuko. In her quarter final, she had to face the second Korean athlete engaged in the light weight category and number 15th in the WRL, CHUNG Jung-Yeon.

In the lower part of the draw, the current Olympic Champion and World 5th, Alina DUMITRU (ROU) won her two first fights by ippon, spending a little more than 2 minutes on the tatami. The last competitor to be qualified for the quarter final, was the French Laetitia PAYET, who successively defeated Philomène BATA (CMR) and Nataliya KONDRATYEVA (RUS), although the Russian (WRL 11)  is better ranked than the French. 

Final Results
1. FUKUMI, Tomoko (JPN)
2. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)
3. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
3. DUMITRU, Alina (ROU)
5. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)
5. CHUNG, Jung-Yeon (KOR)
5. PAYET, Laetitia (FRA)

Men's -60kg: Quick-fix Victory for Sobirov
When the two fighters entered the mat for the final of the men's -60kg, the public was expecting spectacular judo from both sides, but may be not that spectacular and that quick! Within a few seconds, the Korean KIM Won Jin (KOR) launched a powerful attack, decided to be as quick as possible against Sobirov. which was immediately countered by Rishod SOBIROV, who scored one of the most impressive ippon of the day. 

In the first semi-final, the Parisian public was happy to see again Rishod SOBIROV, who was designated 'the best male judoka today', last August, during the 60th birthday of the IJF. He was opposed to JANG Jin-Min (KOR). In the second semi-final, KIM Won Jin (KOR) was opposed to the 23 year-old Georgian, Amiran PAPINASHVILI, winner of the Judo Grand Prix, Baku 2011.

With no surprise, World number one, Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) qualified for the quarter finals were he faced Robert MSHVIDOBADZE from Russia. In the Pool B, the only seeded athlete to enter the quarter finals was Tobias ENGLMAIER (GER), Jin-Min JANG (KOR) being the second competitor to be qualified.

In the Pool C, it was again a Korean competitor, KIM Wom Jin, who created the surprise, by wining against World Number 4, Georgii ZANTARAIA (UKR). Hovhannes DAVTYAN (ARM) defeated the French Issam NOUR to enter the quarter final. In the last Pool, the hierarchy was respected as Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO - WRL 6) and Ilgar MUSHKIYEV (AZE) were qualified, MUSHKIYEV defeating the Olympic Silver Medallist from Austria, Ludwig PAISCHER.

Final Results
1. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
2. KIM, Won Jin (KOR)
3. JANG, Jin-Min (KOR)
5. ENGLMAIER, Tobias (GER)
5. DAVTYAN, Hovhannes (ARM)

Women's -52kg: Nishida is Number One
The final of the women's -52kg opposed the World number one Yuka NISHIDA (JPN) and MUNKHBAATAR Bundmaa (MGL). During most of the fight, the two competitors didn't seem to be able to create the efficient opportunity to score. But before the minute, Nishida attacked with a o-uchi-gari, combined with a ko-uchi-gari and scored  a first waza-ari. The Mongolian had the take risks and once again NISHIDA took the advantage to score for a ippon. With this victory, the Japanese confirms her World ranking position.

The first semi-final of the category opposed the leader of the world ranking list, NISHIDA Yuka from Japan, and Ana CARRASCOSA (ESP), who defeated Majlinda KELMENDI in the quarter final. The second semi-final opposed Bundmaa MUNKHBAATAR, winner of the Judo Grand Prix, Qingdao 2011, and Yanet BERMOY ACOSTA (CUB).

The World number one, NISHIDA Yuka, was awaited in Paris. After a first win against the Korean KIM Mi-Ri, she defeated Jaana SUNDBERG, from Finland, to enter the quarter finals, where she had to face Laura GOMEZ (ESP). The spanish fighter eliminated Sarah SYLVA (MRI) and Julia ROSSO from France, who early during the competition won to the world number 11 Ilse HEYLEN (BEL).

In the Pool B, World number 5, competing under the IJF colors, Majlinda KELMENDI, without any surprise, defeated Oritia GONZALES (ARG) and Romy TARANGUL from Germany. To access the semi-final, she was opposed to Ana CARRASCOSA (ESP), who won her two first combats against Kitty BRAVIK (NED) and He Hongmei (CHN).

In the Pool C, MUNKHBAATAR Bundmaa (MGL - World number 3), was logically qualified for the quarter final, where she met Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS). 

In the lower part of the draw, Soraya HADDAD, who recently obtained a bronze medal at the World Judo Masters, in Almaty, was again in good shape, as well as the world champion from 2005 (Cairo), Yanet BERMOY ACOSTA from Cuba. 

Final Results
1. NISHIDA, Yuka (JPN)
5. GOMEZ, Laura (ESP)
5. KELMENDI, Majlinda (IJF)
5. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)
5. HADDAD, Soraya (ALG) 

Men's -66kg: Decision for Larose
If the Men's -60kg final was really short, the final of the men's -66kg was exactly the opposite. After the 5 minutes of regular time and the 3 extra minutes of Golden Score, the winner still had to be designated by the referees, who gave the final decision to David Larose from France, under the hurrays of the French public. The first Marseillaise  could be played in the stadium.

In the first semi-final, the top seeded athlete of the day, KHASHBAATAR Tsagaanbaatar was opposed to Jun-Ho CHO (KOR). In the second semi-final, Sergey LIM (KAZ) was opposed to the French, David LAROSE. 

World number 3 and top seeded athlete, Tsagaanbaatar KHASHBAATAR (MGL), qualified without any problem for the quarter final, where he was opposed to the Polish, Tomasz KOWALSKI.

In the Pool B, World number 9, Jun-Ho CHO (KOR) also had no difficulties to enter the last eight fighters of the competition the surprise coming from Golan POLLACK (ISR) who beat World number 11, Sugoi URIARTE (ESP). In that Pool, Loïc KORVAL (FRA) disappeared quickly, beaten by Mikhail PULYAEV (RUS).

In the Pool C, Leandro CUNHA, from Brazil, was not in a good day. During the preliminaries, he was eliminated by Sergey LIM (KAZ), who entered the quarter finals, against Colin OATES from Great Britain. 

The last quarter final opposed Kamal KHAN-MAGOMEDOV (MGL) and the French David LAROSE, who won a bronze medal here in Paris last year. 

Final Results
1. LAROSE, David (FRA)
2. CHO, Jun-Ho (KOR)
3. KHASHBAATAR, Tsagaanbaatar (MGL)
3. LIM, Sergey (KAZ)
5. KOWALSKI, Tomasz (POL)
5. POLLACK, Golan (ISR)
5. OATES, Colin (GBR)

Women's -57kg: Warrior Monteiro in Gold!
Telma MONTEIRO (POR) is a 'warrior' and even if she showed a lot a respect to her opponent SATO Aiko (JPN) after the final, she also showed an outstanding determination to win the title here in Paris. 7 seconds! That is exactly the time that was necessary to the Portuguese to engage a tremendous o-ochi-gari that propelled SATO on her back for ippon. Monteiro could let her joy explode.

In the first semi-final, number 2 in the World Ranking List, Aiko SATO (JPN), was opposed to the winner of last year edition of the tournament, Automne PAVIA (FRA), who woke up the whole public during her quarter final when she beat the German Miryam ROPER, only a few seconds before the end of the fight. But this year, PAVIA was not able to enter the final for a second win in a row. The second semi-final opposed Telma MONTEIRO (POR) and Marti MALLOY (USA).

In the Pool A, SATO Aiko, the World number 2 from Japan, defeated by ippon the world Champion from Rotterdam 2009, the French, Morgane RIBOUT. In the quarter final, she was opposed to Irina ZABLUDINA (RUS) who took the advantage over Kifayat GASIMOVA (AZE). 

Winner of the last year edition of the Judo Grand Slam in Paris, Automne PAVIA (FRA), was still present in the last eight fighters of the day. During the preliminaries, she eliminated Concepcion BELLORIN (ESP) and Joliane MELANCON (CAN). In the quarter final, she fought against Miryam ROPER from Germany.

In the Pool C, the finalist of the World Judo Masters, Almaty 2012, confirmed that she is in peak form, by entering the quarter finals, where she was opposed to the local Sarah LOKO, from France, who eliminated the Hungarian Hedwig KARAKAS.

In the pool D, if Hélène RECEVAUX, made a good impression during her first fight (she won against World number 4, Corina CAPRIORIU - ROU), that was not enough. She was defeated by the surprising WANG Hui (CHN). Number 11 in the WRL, Marti MALLOY, was the second fighter to enter the last quarter final of the day in the women's -57kg.

Final Results
1. MONTEIRO, Telma (POR)
2. SATO, Aiko (JPN)
3. PAVIA, Automne (FRANCE)
3. MALLOY, Marti (USA)
5. ROPER, Miryam (GER)
5. LOKO, Sarah (FRA)
5. WANG, Hui (CHN)

Men's -73kg: Gold for Mongolia
Nothing could stop Nyam-Ochir SAINJARGAL (MGL), who, in the absence of the top ranked players of the category, didn't let his change flight away. Fight after fight, he executed brilliant judo movements, ending his festival with a great uchi-mata for a ippon that gave him the ultimate victory. His opponent, Christopher VOELK, who so far had a fantastic journey throughout the championship, was totally armless.

Even if Gilles BONHOMME is already a well known judoka, he was not favorite this morning, when the competition started. But the French took seriously one fight after the other and entered the semi-finals against Christopher VOELK (GER). The second semi-final opposed Zelimkhan OZDOEV (RUS) to Nyam-Ochir SAINJARGAL (MGL).

The first surprise came from the French Gilles BONHOMME, who eliminated the number one seeded competitor, Navruz JURAKOBILOV (UZB), after a first win against Hamza BARHOUMI (TUN). In the quarter final, he was opposed to Odbayar GANBAATAR (MGL), who had eliminated World number 17, Tomasz ADAMIEC (POL). 

The second quarter final opposed Christopher VOELK (GER) and Mirali SHARIPOV (UZB), Benjamin DARBELET (FRA), silver medalist at the Beijing Olympic Games, being beaten by Shohei ONO (JPN) during his first fight.

The French public was counting on Ugo LEGRAND for a new medal in Paris, but LEGRAND, a little bit injured, couldn't make it against Rinat IBRAGIMOV (KAZ). Zelimkhan OZDOEV (RUS), not ranked in the best athletes of the category, was the second competitor to enter the quarter final of the Pool C. 

In the lower part of the draw, World number 10 Nyam-Ochir SAINJARGAL (MGL) and World number 15, Nicholas DELPOPOLO (USA) also qualified for the quarter finals.

Final Results
1. SAINJARGAL, Nyam-Ochir (MGL)
2. VOELK, Christopher ( GER)
3. BONHOMME, Gilles (FRA)
3. OZDOEV, Zelimkhan (RUS)
5. GANBAATAR, Odbayar (MGL)
5. SHARIPOV, Mirali (UZB)
5. DELPOPOLO, Nicholas (USA) 

Women's -63kg: 3rd Gold Medal for Japan
The final of the women's -63kg had a taste of Asian Championship as the Japanese, Miki TANAKA, was opposed to the Korean, Da-Woon JOUNG. Until the last minute, nothing was scored, when TANAKA could immobilize JOUNG and win the last gold medal that was awarded on the occasion of the first day of competition in Paris.

The first semi-final of the women's -63kg opposed Elisabeth WILLEBOORDSE (NED) to Miki TANAKA (JPN). In the second semi-final the Israeli Alice SCHLESINGER was opposed to Da-Woon JOUNG (KOR).

First seeded athlete, Elisabeth WILLEBOORDSE (NED) was present in the quarter finals, where she was opposed to the Croatian, Marijana MISKOVIC.

In the second Pool (B), the surprise came from the French, Maëlle DI CINTO, not ranked in the top athletes of the category, who successively beat Garima CHAUDHARY (IND), Yarden GERBI (ISR - WRL 12) and Marta LABAZINA (RUS - WRL 23). In the quarter final, she was opposed to the Japanes, Miki TANAKA.

If the competition was complicated for the first Israeli fighter (GERBI), is was easier for Alice SCHLESINGER, World number 7, who confirms her position to win the olympic qualification. In the quarter final, she was opposed to ABE Kana, the second Japanese of the category.

In the last quarter of the draw, the fight to enter the semi-final, opposed, World number 10 Munkhzaya TSEDEVSUREN (MGL) to JOUNG Da-Woom (KOR) who eliminated the World number 13, Yaritza ABEL ROJAS (CUB).

Final Results
1. TANAKA, Miki (JPN)
2. JOUNG, Da-Woon (KOR)
3. WILLEBOORDSE, Elisabeth (NED)
5. MISKOVIC, Marijana (CRO)
5. DI CINTIO, Maelle (FRA)
5. ABE, Kana (JPN)
5. TSEDEVSUREN, Munkhzaya (MGL)


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