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European judoka hot the gold pot in Qingdao

16 Nov 2014 14:55

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20141119_UNGUREANU, Monica (7)

European judoka enjoyed a perfect start to the Qingdao Grand Prix taking all five of the gold medals on offer. The first final of the day opposed the silver medallist of the last World Championships in Chelyabinsk, last summer, Paula Pareto (ARG), and the winner of the Zagreb Grand Prix in September, Monica Ungureanu (ROU), who confirmed a good physical condition at the end of this season.

Only 38 seconds were necessary for Monica Ungureanu to launch a left handed ashiwaza technique on the edge of the fighting area for ippon.

For her comeback to the top level, Nishida Yuka (Masters Almaty 2012: 1. place, Grand Slam Paris 2012: 1. place, World Championships Paris 2011: 2. place) from Japan, who is currently ranked at the 127th position in the World Ranking list, proved that she was still an athlete that with plenty to offer on the IJF stage. In the final she was opposed to the bronze medallist of the last World Championships, Natalia Kuziutina (RUS) but due to an injury during her semi-final, Nishida Yuka could not compete and the gold medal went to Natalia Kuziutina.

After the World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Miryam Roper (GER) took a break to come back stronger. This was apparently the case today as she entered the final after having successively defeated LIN Yuanyuan (CHN), Carla Grol (NED) and Sanne Verhagen (NED). In the final she was opposed to the local athlete, Liu Yang (CHN), who was not among the favorites of the category, and had only won bronze medals at the international level so far (GP Abu Dhabi 2013, GP Qingdao 2012, GP Qingdao 2011), but nothing significant this season. The first interesting moment was when LIN Yuanyuan tried for a long moment to apply a sankaku-jime technique to Miryam Roper, but the German’s defense was impossible to break. After a false attack of Lin, Roper took a small lead, which was confirmed a little later with a yuko that she kept until the end to add a new victory to her already long prize list.

The first final of the men’s categories opposed the bronze medallist of the Dusseldorf Grand Prix at the beginning of the season, Vincent Limare (FRA) and Hovhannes Davtyan (ARM), bronze medallist at the last European Championships, in Montpellier, France. After 2 minutes and a half, there was still no score yet but Davtyan was penalized with a shido for passivity. A few seconds later, Limare took a stronger advantage by scoring yuko with a counterattack, which was then imitated by Davtyan. But once again the French counterattacked Davtyan for waza-ari this time. The last two penalties given to Vincent Limare were not enough to change the final result and he could celebrate a first victory at a Grand Prix.

The top seeded athlete of the category, Sugoi Uriarte (ESP), was eliminated during the preliminary rounds, which left the path to the final open for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist, Sebastian Seidl (GER), who was opposed to Yakub Shamilov (RUS). Bronze medallist last year in Miami and Almaty, the Russian was lucky in his semi-final to see the Japanese not being able to score the last waza-ari almost on the final gong. But the action was clearly not a score, Shamilov miraculously escaping at the very last moment. The final between Seidl and Shamilov started with a first shido given to the German for a blocking the gripping of his opponent. But Shamilov quickly took the lead with an incredibly high sasae-tsuri-komi-hashi, but so high that Seidl turned a little too much and landed on his side for waza-ari. Then the o-uchi-gari engaged by the Seidl was really close to put Shamilov out of balance. The German scored next with a koshi-waza technique but only for yuko, which was not enough to win the gold.

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  • Vincent Limare (FRA) - Grand Prix Qingdao (2014, CHN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Natalia Kuziutina (RUS) - Grand Prix Qingdao (2014, CHN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Yakub Shamilov (RUS) - Grand Prix Qingdao (2014, CHN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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