The IJF World Judo Masters 2017, the final event of an enthralling season, opened on Saturday with a day of explosive judo as the best of the best were matched against each other from the opening rounds at the Yubileyny Sports Palace.
Day one of #JudoMasters2017
The invite-only event features the top 16 judoka in the world, in each weight category, over two days of scintillating competition with a host of Olympic and world champions delaying their winter festivities in order to compete at the most valuable competition on the tour after the World Championships.
Day one in St. Petersburg pitted seven weight categories into action as the men's -60kg, -66kg and -73kg judoka fought in addition to the women's -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and -63kg judoka.
The opening ceremony took place on Saturday afternoon ahead of the final block.
Mr. Marius VIZER (left), IJF President, Mr. Vasily ANISIMOV, Russian Judo Federation President, Mr. Sergey SOLOVEYCHIK, IJF Vice President and European Judo Union President, Mr. Georgy POLTAVCHENKO, the Governor of St. Petersburg
Mr. Georgy POLTAVCHENKO, the Governor of St. Petersburg, made the opening address.
"Dear. Mr VIZER, dear friends, I am pleased to welcome you all to this prestigious Masters event, for us it is a big honour to host this great competition. We see a very high level of sport here in St. Petersburg and of the sport of judo. We have a great new generation of judoka in Russia and they have skills and the spirit and history of judo.
"Judo is about spirit and a will to win, it is not just a sport. As the founder Jigoro KANO said, it doesn't matter if you are the best today, if matters what you do next. This pushes people to fight, to fight with themselves. In the world we have a lot of great competitions but judo stands out because it invites the best of the best judoka. We expect a great competition with great sportsmanship and I wish everyone great judo and I hope you all have a wonderful impression of this competition."
Mr. Sergey SOLOVEYCHIK, IJF Vice President and European Judo Union President, said: "Dear IJF President Mr. VIZER, dear President of Russian Judo Federation, dear Governor, dear President of International Judo Fund Mr. Arkady ROTENBURG, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank the sponsors, referees, judoka and all the members of the judo family who have come to this prestigious event. We have the presence of the best judoka and it shows the unity of our sport. I wish all judoka success here at the World Judo Masters in St. Petersburg."
Mr. Vasily ANISIMOV, Russian Judo Federation President, said: "Dear friends, I am pleased to welcome you in Russia, at one of the most important events on the calendar. The history of the Masters started in 2010 and we are delighted to host this edition in the new Olympic cycle. The Northern capital of the Russian Federation is one of the strongest sporting regions in our country and judo is loved here. I believe hosting the Masters event here will encourage more people to take up judo in Russia and I hope you will all enjoy one of the most wonderful cities in the world. I would like to thank the IJF and personally its President Mr. Marius VIZER who has been integral to the development to our sport. I also thank the Governor of St. Petersburg and Mr. Arkady ROTENBURG."
Mr. Marius L. VIZER, IJF President, said: "Dear Mr. Governor, dear Arkady, dear Sergey, dear Vasily, dear ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the IJF I want to thank and congratulate you all for the organisation of the World Judo Masters 2017. I also wish to introduce Mr. Adrien BRODY, Academy Award winner, celebrity and our guest.
"I congratulate and wish a lot of success to all participants, and as it is before the end of the year, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and good health to your families, I declare the World Judo Masters in St. Petersburg open."
Mr. Arkady ROTENBURG (above), IJF Development Manager, IJF Executive Commitee member and President of the International Judo Fund, took part in one of the awarding ceremonies.
American Academy Award-winning actor and film producer Mr. Adrien BRODY (below), who received widespread recognition and acclaim after starring in Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002), was presented to crowd by Mr. VIZER and also took part in an awarding ceremony.
On Sunday the remaining seven weight categories will be disputed with world champion Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) among the leading stars on display and the Brazilian could still snatch top spot on the World Ranking List. Olympic champion Khasan KHALMURZAEV (RUS) is ranked sixth in the world but could grab the world number one spot in the -81kg category in his homeland to take home the $50,000 end-of-year bonus.
THROW OR BE THROWN: Japan's world champion HASHIMOTO Soichi (in white) launches Denis IARTCEV (RUS) for ippon in the -73kg first round
-48kg: Japan's world champion TONAKI wins gold on her Masters debut
World champion TONAKI Funa (JPN) took the World Judo Masters title at her first attempt to strengthen her claim for being Japan's number one in the -48kg category. In the absence of Tokyo Grand Slam winner and former world champion KONDO Ami, TONAKI showed her usual energetic and enthusiastic style against a gutsy Irina DOLGOVA (RUS) who was looking for more honours after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in October. There was nothing to separate the two young talents in regulation time and a further five minutes was required in golden score to find a winner in the first final at the World Judo Masters 2017. While neither judoka was at their blistering best in added time, as they were both comfortable but still too cautious during their many ne-waza exchanges, DOLGOVA looked a spent force and become inefficient. TONAKI caught the Russian on the ground with a kesa-gatame hold and the home judoka tapped out after five seconds.
In the first semi-final world number one MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MLG) lost out to DOLGOVA when the former was penalised for the third time for passivity with 47 seconds left. In the second semi-final TONAKI held down European bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) for ippon with a mune-gatame to advance to the final having first produced a waza-ari score from a seoi-nage effort.
The first bronze medal contest saw Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist JEONG Bokyeong (KOR) narrowly see off 2011 World Judo Masters bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI by a waza-ari.
The second bronze medal contest opposed MUNKHBAT and Baku Grand Slam winner Stefannie Arissa KOYAMA (BRA) and it was the vastly more experienced Mongolian who emerged with the first medal win in the final block. MUNKHBAT led with a waza-ari before submitting the Brazilian with a juji-gatame to add to her overflowing medal collection.
TONAKI, Funa (JPN) vs DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)
Bronze Medal Fights
CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN) vs JEONG, Bokyeong (KOR)
MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs KOYAMA, Stefannie Arissa (BRA)
1. TONAKI, Funa (JPN)
2. DOLGOVA, Irina (RUS)
3. JEONG, Bokyeong (KOR)
3. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
5. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)
5. KOYAMA, Stefannie Arissa (BRA)
7. RISHONY, Shira (ISR)
7. CLEMENT, Melanie (FRA)
-52kg: Masters mainstay KUZIUTINA captures gold for Russia
Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Natalia KUZIUTINA (RUS) was the hero for the hosts as the reliable Russian blew away world-class opposition to win -52kg gold. KUZIUTINA defeated Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Amandine BUCHARD (FRA) in the final to add to her impressive resume from one of the sport's showpiece events. KUZIUTINA is a Masters specialist having won silver a year ago and gold in 2015 and was too strong for her French rival in a repeat outcome of their World Championships repechage contest. After three minutes and three seconds of golden score, KUZIUTINA came up with a waza-ari score to register Russia in the gold medal column on the opening day in St. Petersburg.
In the first semi-final world number one Erika MIRANDA (BRA) had to submit to BUCHARD who tapped out the Brazilian star with shime-waza. In the second semi-final Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Jessica PEREIRA (BRA) was pinned down by KUZIUTINA for ippon.
The first bronze medal contest opposed Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Alexandra-Larisa FLORIAN (ROU) and PEREIRA and it was the former who threw with a uchi-mata for ippon with 95 seconds left.
In the second bronze medal contest MIRANDA prevailed as she took control of The Hague Grand Prix winner Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) with a clever counter for a waza-ari score in golden score as the Brazilian joined a World Judo Masters podium for the first time.
BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA) vs KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)
Bronze Medal Fights
PEREIRA, Jessica (BRA) vs FLORIAN, Alexandra-Larisa (ROU)
MIRANDA, Erika (BRA) vs KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
1. KUZIUTINA, Natalia (RUS)
2. BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA
3. FLORIAN, Alexandra-Larisa (ROU)
3. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)
5. PEREIRA, Jessica (BRA)
5. KRASNIQI, Distria (KOS)
7. TEMELKOVA, Betina (ISR)
7. TSUNODA, Natsumi (JPN)
-57kg: Record fourth Masters title for Mongolia's world champion DORJSUREN
World champion DORJSUREN Sumiya (MGL) won a record fourth World Judo Masters title as she triumphed in a Worlds final rematch against Tokyo Grand Slam winner YOSHIDA Tsukasa (JPN). Mongolia's second female world champion DORJSUREN, 26, who took silver at the Rio 2016 Olympics, has now won the Masters in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and stands alone in judo as a four-time Masters gold medallist. All members of the world's top eight were present in the -57kg category but it was the familiar foes of DORJSUREN and YOSHIDA who progressed to the final. The Japanese led their head-to-head record 3:1 coming into the final with her sole defeat coming in Budapest at this year's Worlds final. After an even four minutes of regulation time, a second shido for YOSHIDA decided the final and the fate of the -57kg gold medal as Mongolia's latest hero held four fingers in the air to signal her record-breaking Masters winning feat.
In the first semi-final DORJSUREN beat 22-year-old Paris Grand Slam winner KWON Youjeong (KOR) by a waza-ari score after two and a half minutes of golden score. In the second semi-final YOSHIDA trapped Olympic champion Rafaela SILVA (BRA) with a kuzure-tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by world bronze medallist Helene RECEVEAUX (FRA) as the world number four beat the world number three SILVA. RECEVEAUX won with an uchi-mata on the edge of the area to open France's medal account and add to their growing medal haul at the World Judo Masters 2017.
The second bronze medal was won by KWON who emphatically bested world bronze medallist Nekoda SMYTHE-DAVIS (GBR) with an osoto-gari for ippon.
DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL) vs YOSHIDA Tsukasa (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
SILVA, Rafaela (BRA) vs RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA)
KWON, Youjeong (KOR) vs SMYTHE-DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)
1. DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)
2. YOSHIDA Tsukasa (JPN)
3. RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA)
3. KWON, Youjeong (KOR)
5. SILVA, Rafaela (BRA)
5. SMYTHE-DAVIS, Nekoda (GBR)
7. STOLL, Theresa (GER)
7. NELSON LEVY, Timna (ISR)
-63kg: TASHIRO becomes three-time Masters winner with Japan's fourth gold in Russia
Tokyo Grand Slam winner TASHIRO Miku (JPN) ended the year unbeaten on the IJF World Judo Tour with a win over teammate NABEKURA Nami (JPN) in the -63kg final. In a rematch of the Tokyo Grand Slam final, TASHIRO, who is still only 23, emerged victorious after 43 seconds of golden score with a textbook uchi-mata as former Junior world champion NABEKURA, 20, had to settle for silver in the last contest on day one of the World Judo Masters 2017. TASHIRO was left out of the Japan's team for the World Championships but to her credit has done everything in her power to stake her claim for such selections after winning the Hohhot Grand Prix, Tokyo Grand Slam and now the World Masters.
In the first semi-final world champion Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) lost to TASHIRO for the first time in her career having won their five previous meetings. After four and a half minutes of golden score TASHIRO caught AGBEGNENOU with an ouchi-gari for ippon to book an all-Japanese final.
In the second semi-final former Tashkent Grand Prix winner Daria DAVYDOVA (RUS) was held down by NABEKURA with a yoko-shiho-gatame for ippon.
In the first bronze medal contest The Hague Grand Prix winner Juul FRANSSEN (NED) defeated home judoka DAVYDOVA who picked up a shido after two minutes of golden score for a false attack in a scoreless contest as the Netherlands were off the mark in St. Petersburg.
The second bronze medal contest saw AGBEGNENOU defeat world bronze medallist BALDORJ Mungunchimeg (MGL) in a comfortable win by two waza-ari scores without reply. Two-time and reigning world champion AGBEGNENOU was making her first appearance on the IJF World Judo Tour since Budapest 2017 and it will come as a shock to many that the Frenchwoman was engaged in World Judo Masters competition for the very first time in her illustrious career.
TASHIRO Miku (JPN) vs NABEKURA, Nami (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
FRANSSEN, Juul (NED) vs DAVYDOVA, Daria (RUS)
AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA) vs BALDORJ, Mungunchimeg (MGL)
1. TASHIRO Miku (JPN)
2. NABEKURA, Nami (JPN)
3. FRANSSEN, Juul (NED)
3. AGBEGNENOU, Clarisse (FRA)
5. DAVYDOVA, Daria (RUS)
5. BALDORJ, Mungunchimeg (MGL)
7. SCHLESINGER, Alice (GBR)
7. KRSSAKOVA, Magdalena (AUT)
-60kg: Masters newcomer NAGAYAMA stars for Japan
Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist NAGAYAMA Ryuju (JPN) charged to his first World Judo Masters win with a clinical performance in the -60kg category. The world number nine made a successful World Judo Masters debut on Saturday as he beat Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) in the men's lightest final with a majestic ippon seoi-nage after one minute.
In the first semi-final Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV (UZB) was momentarily held down by GARRIGOS in golden score, and despite living dangerously with two shidos to his name, the Spaniard forced the Uzbek to submit due to the degree of pressure applied. In the second semi-final NAGAYAMA threw Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist DASHDAVAA Amartuvshin (MGL) with a ippon seoi-nage with 60 seconds left.
The first bronze medal contest was won by DASHDAVAA, who turned 30 on Friday, and could celebrate one day late after beating Pan American Championships winner Eric TAKABATAKE (BRA) in golden score. A shido for the Brazilian after two minutes of added time handed a place on the podium to the Mongolian who has been a revelation in recent months.
The second bronze medal contest saw LUTFILLAEV prevail over Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS) by ippon in golden score.
NAGAYAMA, Ryuju (JPN) vs GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)
Bronze Medal Fights
DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL) vs TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)
LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB) vs MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)
1. NAGAYAMA, Ryuju (JPN)
2. GARRIGOS, Francisco (ESP)
3. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
3. LUTFILLAEV, Sharafuddin (UZB)
5. TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)
5. MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS)
7. YASHUEV, Islam (RUS)
7. KYRGYZBAYEV, Gusman (KAZ)
-66kg: Risks brings rewards for Mongolia's GANBOLD who wins first Masters title
Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist GANBOLD Kherlen (MGL) brought the mass of Mongolian supporters to their feet with victory in the -66kg category. GANBOLD, who was competing in his second Masters, shaded Asian Championships silver medallist Yeldos ZHUMAKANOV (KAZ) with just seven seconds left in regulation time as he brought the Kazakh in towards him before lifting him up and over for ippon. Mongolian judoka like to put it all on the line in search of victory and the ambition of GANBOLD paid off with the finest moment of his career and his country's first gold medal in St. Petersburg.
In the first semi-final GANBOLD squeezed past Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Baruch SHMAILOV (ISR) by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final world bronze medallist Vazha MARGVELASHVILI (GEO) was unceremoniously dispatched by ZHUMAKANOV after just 11 seconds with a front ura-nage for ippon.
In the first bronze medal contest MARGVELASHVILI defeated three-time world silver medallist Mikhail PULIAEV (RUS) from an early waza-ari score which came courtesy of a pick-up as the Russian could not turn out.
The second bronze medal went to SHMAILOV who was superior to Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist Charles CHIBANA (BRA) for all four minutes of their contest. The Israeli judoka secured his place on the podium by a waza-ari score in his first experience of the World Judo Masters.
GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL) vs ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
Bronze Medal Fights
MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO) vs PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS)
SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR) vs CHIBANA, Charles (BRA)
1. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL)
2. ZHUMAKANOV, Yeldos (KAZ)
3. MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO)
3. SHMAILOV, Baruch (ISR)
5. PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS)
5. CHIBANA, Charles (BRA)
7. SHAMILOV, Yakub (RUS)
7. VIERU, Denis (MDA)
-73kg: World champion HASHIMOTO retains Masters title to end 2017 on top
World champion HASHIMOTO Soichi (JPN) won his second World Judo Masters title in a row as he returned to the top of the podium after a minor blip at home when he won bronze at the Tokyo Grand Slam two weeks ago. The 26-year-old made sure that he will finish the year with number one spot on the World Ranking List to pocket a $50,000 bonus and all the bragging rights at home. HASHIMOTO defeated London 2012 Olympic champion and Rio 2016 bronze medallist Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) by a waza-ari score which came from an osoto-gari. The -73kg rivals are two classy operators and two of the most popular judoka in the category and offered a frenetic opening before a moment of outstanding quality from the red backpatch owner decided the winner.
In the first semi-final HASHIMOTO defeated European champion Hidayat HEYDAROV (AZE) by a waza-ari score which came with 30 seconds left on the clock and with both judoka having two shidos to their records. In the second semi-final Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Giyosjon BOBOEV (UZB) submitted to a juji-gatame from SHAVDATUASHVILI.
The first bronze medal was won by Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Tommy MACIAS (SWE) who countered an uchi-mata from BOBOEV for a waza-ari score in golden score.
The second and last male bronze medal contest was won by HEYDAROV over world bronze medallist GANBAATAR Odbayar (MGL) after three minutes of golden score. A waza-ari for the 20-year-old Azeri, who has been one of the breakout stars of the year, from a hip attack steered him to the medal podium on the World Judo Masters stage in the best result of his young career.
SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) vs HASHIMOTO, Soichi (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
MACIAS, Tommy (SWE) vs BOBOEV, Giyosjon (UZB)
HEYDAROV, Hidayat (AZE) vs GANBAATAR, Odbayar (MGL)
1. HASHIMOTO, Soichi (JPN)
2. SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO)
3. MACIAS, Tommy (SWE)
3. HEYDAROV, Hidayat (AZE)
5. BOBOEV, Giyosjon (UZB)
5. GANBAATAR, Odbayar (MGL)
7. MARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN)
7. ORUJOV, Rustam (AZE)
10:00 Preliminaries on two mats
17:00 Final block on two mats
Women: -70kg, -78kg, +78kg
Men: -81kg, -90kg, -100kg, +100kg
Location: Yubileyny Sports Palace