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Elite surprised by Japanese Sato Saidai in Jeju

27 Nov 2015 10:50

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20151127_GPJeju_Day2_Sally Conway GBR

So you take a random junior from Japan to Jeju, and he takes the victory. Clearly Sato Seidai wasn’t just a pick by Keiji Suzuki. The winner of the weight category U81kg, stunned some of the arrived names such as Attila Ungvari, Wang Ki-Chun (how about that), Joachim Bottieau, the winner of the GP Düsseldorf, Lee Sung-Ho and in the final Khasan Khalmurzaev. With first sight simple orthodox judo Sato captured the victory in Jeju almost 30 minutes of fighting.

Sato was one of those surprises today. U73kg Korean An Changrim was more expected. He won his category against Dirk van Tichelt in the final. Van Tichelt who’s getting into shape for Rio made it to the final this time. Last week he just missed out on the bronze, but today he took silver. An however was a step too high, within a minute he had Van Tichelt on his back. The Asian Champion and Universiade winner was superior today. Last month he won the Grand Slam of Abu Dhabi and today he was the favourite and could deal with the home pressure. He beat U23 European Champion Antonio Esposito, super talent from China Sun Shuai, French outsider Guillaume Chaine, former #1 of the world U66 Musa Mogushkov and 27 time World Cup medallist van Tichelt who won bronze last year. An defended his title in style and prolonged the gold of last year.

In the women’s division U63kg it was Clarisse Agbegnenou who defended her title as well. The 2014 World Champion was for the first time opposed to Edwige Gwend of Italy in a final. They met six times before and Agbegnenou simply added the seventh victory resulting in gold. Her second victory in a month after her win in Abu Dhabi. Her day started with a victory against last week’s Qingdao finalist Busra Katipoglu. Isabel Puche of Spain followed in a quick win a as well. Only Ekaterina Valkova hold it for the full four minutes. Valkova is developing as one of the best athletes of the Russian women’s team. She just have to work on preventing mistakes, she’s got the skills and the throws but not the finishing touch that Agbegnenou taught her. The French number one made no mistake against Gwend who got through a difficult phase and really grew to the best level. Just a penalty less against Agbegnenou says enough as well as her five international medals this year.

Sally Conway became the winner for women U70kg. Conway really lined up in the top 8 players, not just in the ranking but also in her medal performances. She made no mistake today, which seems to be a guarantee for gold these days. Number one seed Laura Vargas Koch made at least one mistake today in her match against Matic, last week’s winner in Qingdao who took the bronze today. Both Koreans Kim and Hwang also qualified for the semis, where Conway beat Hwang Ye-Sul and Matic lost to Kim SeongYeon. Conway defeated Iana Kriukova (RUS), Linda Bolder (ISR) and the two Koreans. Each year she takes a big win, now she’s got two: The Grand Slam of Baku and Grand Prix of Jeju.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA) - Grand Prix Jeju (2015, KOR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Ekaterina Valkova (RUS) - Grand Prix Jeju (2015, KOR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Rustam Orujov (AZE) - Grand Prix Jeju (2015, KOR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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