Time travel in Moscow for the IJF Grand Slam

The arena, especially built to host the judo competition during the Olympic Games 1980, received this time a whole generation of judoka dreaming (and fighting hard!) to qualify for the next Games in London 2012.


Japan presented a different team that the one at the IJF Tunis Grand Prix, two weeks ago, but even so dominate the lighter female categories of the first day of competition as they did in Tunisia, winning the -48kg (Tomoko Fukumi), -52kg (Misato Nakamura) and -57kg (Kaori Matsumoto). French Marielle Pruvost was the only one able to defeat a Japanese judoka in the final, beating Yoshie Ueno to win her gold (-63kg). Among the men divisions, Armenia, Korea and Mongolia got one victory each: Hovhannes Davtyan (ARM, -60kg), Tsangaanbaatar Khashbaatar (MGL, -66kg) and Ki-Chun Wang (KOR, -73kg).


“The Russian fighters become even stronger when they fight in Russia and that is one of the things that make this competition so difficult”, comments Wang, runner up at the Beijing Olympic Games and winner of the two IJF Grand Slam of the year (Paris and now Moscow).


Also to highlight are the performances of Hungary (four medals out of seven categories in the first day of competition in Moscow) and of two “new faces” who showed up strong in the last Tunis Grand Prix: Spanish Sugoi Uriarte (-66kg, winner in Tunisia) and Tunisian Chahinez M Barki (-48kg, silver in Tunsia).


“Since Anis Lounifi, world champion in 2001 (-60kg), came to be the coach of the Tunisian team, lots of things have changed. The most important one I think is that started believing more that we can win, once we are in constant contact with someone who has arrived there on the top of the podium”, says Chahinez.


“It is the first season that I really have the opportunity to compete abroad as part of the Spanish team. Until the lasts seasons number one was Javier Delgado and I got finally the position after winning the Tunis Grand Prix while he didn´t get anything there. My goal for the World Championships will be to do as many fights as possible. It is the first Worlds of the new Olympic cycle and result is not the most important part of it, although, of course, it is always nice to be around the podium. Everything has been going well so far”, says Uriarte, 25 years old, bronze in the U-23 European Championships 26 and silver in the Universíade Bangkok 2007.


Portuguese Telma Monteiro proofed once again that she took the right decision when moved from -52kg (where she had World Championships medals) to the -57kg division after Beijing 2008.


“To be honest, I didn´t expect to have such good results so quick when I decided to go up one category. I don´t feel I am at 100% of my potential both in terms of physic strength and adaptation at the new category. I still feel I am very light comparing to the other girls. I hope I will be at my best for the World Championships. Until there I will make as many tournaments as possible to get to know better my opponents”, says Monteiro.




1. Hovhannes Davtyan (ARM)

2. Masaaki Fukuoka (JPN)

3. Evgeny Kudyakov (RUS) and Beslan Mudranov (RUS)


1. Tsangaanbaatar Khashbaatar (MGL)

2. Sugoi Uriarte (ESP)

3. Khishigbayar Buuveibaatar (MGL) and Miklos Ungvari (HUN)


1. Ki-Chun Wang (KOR)

2. Dirk Van Tichelt (BEL)

3. Mansur Isaev (RUS) and Attila Ungvari (HUN)


1. Tomoko Fukumi (JPN)

2. Jung-Yeon Chung (KOR)

3. Eva Csernoviczki (HUN) and Chahinez M Barki (TUN)


1. Misato Nakamura (JPN)

2. Natalia Kuzyutina (RUS)

3. Kitty Bravik (NED) and Romy Tarangul (GER)


1. Kaori Matsumoto (JPN)

2. Hedvig Karakas (HUN)

3. Iuoulietta Boukouvala (GRE) and Telma Monteiro (POR)


1. Marielle Pruvost (FRA)

2. Yoshie Ueno (JPN)

3. Sainjargal Batbayar (MGL) and Anicka van Emden (NED)


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