Skip to main content

Tel-Aviv GP 2019 - Day 1

Anyone who reads my blog would know how excited I am that the first ever IJF World Tour event is being held in Israel this week - The Tel-Aviv GP. On the one hand, looking at the roster, it seems that much of the top talent (the Japanese team, for example) aren't there - most likely due to the much more established and prominent Paris GS being just a couple of weeks away.

The big news on day one isn't so much who made the podium, but who didn't. Out of 8 Israeli men competing, not a single one made the podium. The two biggest surprises were Baruch Shmailov and Tal Flicker - currently the world #4 and #5 in the -66 category didn't even make it into the repechage. Shmailov won his first match against Medves of Italy, but then lost the pool semi-final to Iadov of the Ukraine. It was a good match, and Shmailov nearly had Iadov with Harai-Tsurikomi-Ashi, but Iadov countered with Ko-Soto-Gake for Ippon.

Flicker didn't even win his first match, losing after 3 minutes of Golden Score to Russia's Ruslan Khametov - who threw him with a slow-rolling, deep crouching hane-goshi.

On the Women's side, they were a lot more succesful - of the 10 women that competed, they brought home a medal in each of today's womnen's weight classes - 2 gold - Nelson-Levy in -57  and Rishony in -48, and one Silver - Gili Cohen in 52. Gefen Primo finished 5th in 52, and Noa Minsker finished 7th in  48, so half of all of the Israeli women competing today, finished with at least a shot at the medal.

In news about other countries - one of the few stars here - is Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo. Kelmendi missed most of the 2018 season with a back injury, and then bowed out early in her return to the mat in Abu Dhabi because of an injury as well. She jumped into 2019 with a resounding win over the home favorite Gili Cohen. Hopefully this will be a successful year for the Kosovan on her way to defend her title in Tokyo in 2020.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Catch-all Post for April

So I haven't posted anything in six weeks, and yet I still hope I have some loyal readers left. April has proven to be a busy month for me - I am about to switch jobs, and I took a two-week vacation as well. April was also a great month in Judo for me, as my Son passed his Yellow belt test. He also executed a picture perfect ippon seoinage in a 'Mock Shiai'. My wife, who seldom comes to practice, was very impressed. Although he'll be playing some baseball over the next few weeks, he will be coming back to Judo soon, and is excited about working towards his orange belt. The other day, we were at a family get-together, and one of his cousins was bullying him a bit, hitting him a couple of times. Mitch stepped in and was about to throw the kid with O-Uchi Gari just as my wife, the kids' mom, and I intervened. At first, I scolded him. But when I realized he was defending himself, I apologized, and told him that if that happens again, throw the kid, pin him and call fo

2019 Paris GS Round Up and bits from Viszer's Q and A

The Paris Grand Slam was held last weekend, and as the first Grand Slam event of the year, it didn't disappoint (at least for the people who won medals), and as an added bonus, IJF President Marius Vizer hosted a twitter Q and A. Because we're talking about Paris, and France, we need to start with the French Team - or should I say the French Women. According to an article on the IJF site, this is the First time since 1971 that a French male Judoka hasn't gotten a podium spot at the Paris GS. But you know who did get a Podium spot - Clarisse Abegnounou. The hometown star won her fifth Paris GS title in spectacularly dramatic fashion - by beating Tina Trestenjak of Slovenia 3 minutes deep into Golden Score, and throwing out her shoulder in the process (you can watch her moment of glory in the video below) I also want to give a shout out to both Devin Waldenburg (-60) and Ebony Drysdale Daley (-70) who became the first Jamaicans to compete in an IJF World Tour event

Tel-Aviv GP 2019 - Day 3 and Wrap-up

Day 3, the final day of the Tel-Aviv GP saw the home team end it on a high note. Rio Bronze Medalist Ori Sasson took gold in the -100 category, obviously winning the last medal in the last match on home soil has it's own emotional advantages, but he managed to win it in the weirdest of ways - With two of his opponents being disqualified sandwiching two resounding ippon throws. In his first match, which went a full 3 minutes into Golden Score, he outlasted Russia's Shakhbazov on penalties. In his next match, Ukraine's Kolesnyk only lasted 23 seconds, before Sasson threw him with a resounding Morote Seoinage (as a big guy myself, there's no greater satisfaction than the thud of your opponent on the mat that indicates a sure ippon). In the semi-final, the Azeri - Kokauri, managed to last a full two-minutes before being thrown by Sasson with Kouchi Gari for Ippon. Leaving only the other Ukrainian - Yakiv Khammo - between Ori and the final Gold for Israel. It would take near