Today was the fist day of competition at the Judo Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi 2012. 5 categories were concerned: the women's -48, -52 and -57kg and the men's -60 and -66kg.
This year's Grand Prix is the first main IJF event since the London Olympic Games and it 'opens' a new Olympic cycle, which will end in four years with the Rio Olympics. As the IJF President, Marius L. Vizer, explained yesterday during the official draw: "if we are still using the rules that have been applying over the past years, we have entered into the process of discussing the future of judo. Based on the experience that has been gained during all the event of the World Judo Tour, we recently organized an important meeting with the best judo experts in the world (cf. http://www.intjudo.eu/News/cikk2291) to discuss about the technical aspects of our sport. Based on their proposals, we are going to elaborate a project that will be discussed in Salvador on the occasion of the upcoming Team World Championship, and we will start to implement the decisions next January. Our aim is to adapt and correct the technical rules if it is necessary." Nevertheless, a new generation of athletes, who are already getting ready for Rio 2016, is present in Abu Dhabi and the numerous public as well as the highest authorities of the Country that were here today, in the beautiful venue of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), had the pleasure to discover spectacular and impressive judo.
President Vizer and HH Sheikh HAZZAE BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN
Chairman Abu Dhabi Sports Council, today during the final block of the competition.
-48kg Category: As in London with Menezes, Brazil takes the First Gold of the Competition with Chibana
Brazil’s Gabriella Chibana gave a solid performance to take the gold medal. Amelie Rosseneu BEL took silver as she continued her fine form on return from knee surgery. There were bronze medals for Taciana Lima BRA and a promising performance from Mongolian youngster Galbadrakh Otgontsetseg in her first Grand Prix outing.
1. Gabriela Chibana BRA
2. Amelie Rosseneu BEL
3. Galbadrakh Otgontsetseg MGL
3. Taciana Lima BRA
-52kg Category: After her defeat in London, Kelmendi is Back and Takes Gold for Kosovo
Majlinda Kelmendi KOS retained her Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title in the -52kg category in convincing style. The 21 year old from Kosovo fought a measured and careful final contest defeating Brazil’s Erika Miranda to take the gold medal. Kelmendi had earlier thrown Cammi Kaichi USA and then Ilse Heylen BEL in the semi-final both with uchi mata for ippon. Never under any real pressure throughout the day, Kelmendi looked comfortable and confident as she continued her medal winning ways since her surprise defeat at the hands of Christianne Legentil MRI in London during the Olympic Games.
1. Majlinda Kelmendi KOS
2. Erika Miranda BRA
3. Ilse Heylen BEL
3. Eleudis Valemtim BRA
-57kg Category: World Junior Champion from 2010, Recevaux from France, Takes the Lead of Today's Category
Helene Receveaux put on a fine display to win gold defeating Austria’s Sabrina Filzmoser, Brazil’s Katelyn Quadros and Austria’s Tina Zeltner the latter by ippon with uchi mata in the final.
1. Helene Receveaux FRA
2. Tina Zeltner AUT
3. Nora Gjakova KOS
3. Katelyn Quadros BRA
-60kg Category: World Number 4, Mudranov, Confirms the Good Health of Russian Judo
Beslan Mudranov RUS and Amiran Papinashvili GEO, two of the top ranked fighters in the world, squared-off in the final of the -60kg. It was the explosive Russian who threw the Georgian with a powerful ura nage for ippon who took the gold medal.
1. Beslan Mudranov RUS
2. Amiran Papinashvili GEO
3. Dashdava Amartuvshin MGL
3. Diego Santos BRA
-66kg category: World Number One Out, Surprise with Number 51, Shikhalizada, in Gold
The big match of the day saw Rishod Sobirov UZB world number one at -60kg, stepping up a category to compete at -66kg and clashing with Alim Gadanov RUS world number one at -66kg. It was Sobirov who came out on top before losing in the final to Nijat Shikhalizada AZE.
1. Nijat Shikhalizada AZE
2. Rishod Sobirov UZB
3. Kodera Masahi JPN
3. Maeno Shogo JPN