IJF Judo Grand Prix Budapest 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The Budapest Grand Prix 2015 served up a high-octane spectacle on the opening day at the teeming Papp László Sportaréna as seven categories were contested in the Hungarian capital.

The two-day event has attracted 411 judoka from 66 nations as they once again showed their desire for Olympic qualification points at a crucial time in the Olympic cycle and the global appeal of the World Judo Tour. On the opening day in Hungary the women’s -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and -63kg categories and men’s -60kg, -66kg and -73kg categories were all contested and the hosts’ 43-strong team were backed every step of the way by a partisan crowd of judo lovers.

Short Day for Canadian Judokas in Budapest

Canadian judokas Antoine Bouchard, Étienne Briand and Arthur Margelidon all faced early eliminations this Saturday at the Budapest Grand Prix, in Hungary.

“We could have won the fights we lost,” admitted Michel Almeida, assistant coach for the national men’s team. “They were close. There wasn’t such a big difference in level between the competitors.”

IJF Judo Grand Prix Budapest, Hungary 2015 Full Preview

The Budapest Grand Prix is all set to captivate Hungary as the capital city hosts a star-studded field including Olympic champions from Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 June.

Budapest, which is also the location of the IJF Presidential Office, will host the 2017 World Championships and the event is every bit as important for the athletes as it is for the organisers.

Briand Takes Home Bronze at Judo European Open

Quebec judoka Étienne Briand is leaving Romania with a bronze medal around his neck. He beat France’s Guillaume Chaine in the fight for the third place, at the European Open in Cluj Napoca, on Saturday.

“The day was off to a difficult start, but after repechage, things started to look up for me,” said the Sept-Îles native. “In the match for the bronze, I was up against Chaine, who I think is a great athlete, a very physical judoka. I had already lost to him this year, just after Christmas. And as always, this fight was intense from the very start. He managed to get me to take two penalties, but then he slowed down a bit. Eventually I got him to take four penalties and I won.”

No Podium Place for Antoine Valois-Fortier in Morocco

Judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier came in fifth in the Under 81kg this Sunday, at the World Masters Championships in Rabat, Morocco.

With two penalties, he lost the fight for the bronze medal to Georgia’s Avtandili Tchrikishvili, world champion, who was penalized only once during the match. “I could have managed the match better,” says the Quebec native. “I should not have lost. He scored a yuko and I couldn’t bounce back.”

IJF Judo World Masters Morocco 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The second day of the World Judo Masters, Mohammed VI, Rabat, Morocco, featured the last seven categories as the women’s -70kg, -78kg and 78kg and men’s -81kg, -90kg, -100kg and +100kg judoka were all in action at the Palace of Sport.

Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard Places Fifth in Rabat, Morocco

Canadian judoka Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard came in fifth in the Under 57kg class on Saturday, at the World Masters Tournament in Rabat, Morocco.

In the fight for the bronze, the Saint-Hubert native, ranked ninth in the world, succumbed to Nae Udaka, gold medallist in the last World Championships.

IJF Judo World Masters Morocco 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The first day of the World Judo Masters, Mohammed VI, in Rabat, Morocco, featured the first seven categories as the women’s -48kg, -52kg, -57kg and 63kg and men’s -60kg, -66kg and -73kg categories were all in action at the Palace of Sport. With the top sixteen athletes per weight category being engaged, a show was guaranteed and the enthusiastic public was not disappointed, as round after round, the quality of judo was increasing. Broadcasted in over 150 countries, the event, which is offering 700 points to the winners, will definitely mark the beginning of a new period of development for judo worldwide.

Just one more paragraph for the intro: At the end of this first day, Mr. Vizer, the IJF President declared: “This a very good organisation and Morocco put a lot of effort to organize the World Masters. I especially want to thank His Majesty, the Kind Mohammed VI, for his great support. I also want to thank Teddy Riner, who played a key role to host the event in the country. My gratitude goes also to the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the National Olympic Committee of Morocco and the National Judo Federation, as well as to all those who participated in that success. Having the best judo players in the world guarantees to have a very high level of judo and that is what we had all day long. Throughout the preliminary rounds and the final block, we saw a lot of scores and I hope that tomorrow it will be the same. The World Masters are being held in Africa for the first time. It will open many doors to the development of judo in the continent. It is a very good motivation for all the judo players and beyond.“

IJF World Judo Masters Morocco 2015 Full Preview

The IJF World Judo Tour has now moved on to Morocco for the invite-only World Judo Masters event which will take place from 23-24 May at the Palace of Sport in Rabat. For the very first time in history, after Suwon (KOR 2010), Baku (AZE 2011), Almaty (KAZ 2012) and Tyumen (RUS 2013) the event gathering the top sixteen athletes per weight category will be held on the African soil. Under the patronage of the King of Morocco, his Highness Mohammed VI, the World Judo Masters will offer 700 points to the winners.

Tony Walby in Quarterfinals at ISBA Judo Games in Seoul

Ontario judoka Tony Walby competed in the quarterfinals in the Under 90kg class at the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) World Games in Seoul, South Korea.

After benefiting from an exemption out of the first round, Walby scored two waza-aris and beat Japan’s Aramitsu Kitazono by ippon.

Short Outings for Radoman, Gagne at ISBA Judo Championships

It was a short day for the two Canadian judokas at the IBSA World Championships, in Seoul, South Korea. Alexander Radoman (Under 81kg) and Priscilla Gagné (Under 52kg) tallied 0-2 and 0-1, respectively, in the multisport competition for visually-impaired athletes.

In his first match, Radoman lost by ippon to Mexico’s Eduardo Sanchez.

Judoka Justin Karn 7th at IBSA World Championships in Seoul

Justin Karn, the only Canadian in action on the tatami on the first day of the IBSA World Judo Championships, earned a seventh place in the Under 60kg class on Wednesday, in Seoul, South Korea. At the end of the day, the Guelph athlete had tallied three wins and two losses.

More than 250 competitors from about 40 countries took part in the multisport competition for visually-impaired athletes.

IJF Judo Grand Slam Baku 2015 Day 3 Recap & Photos

The Baku Grand Slam 2015 produced a stirring third and final day as the heavyweights lit up the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre with a flurry of ippons on Sunday.

The Azerbaijan audience saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals.

IJF Judo Grand Slam Baku 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The Baku Grand Slam 2015 thrilled the home supporters on day two as the home nation delivered a second gold medal at the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre on Saturday.

On day two gold medallists were crowned in the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and men’s -73kg and -81kg categories as 132 judoka were in action in Baku. An expectant partisan crowd turned out in great numbers to support their charges including Azerbaijan’s world number five Rustam ORUJOV (AZE) who was one of 40 judoka in the -73kg category which also included Olympic champion at -66kgs Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO).

Judo Canada – Start Again with a Clean Slate

‘Start again with a clean slate’ is surely a refrain this weekend for Canadian judokas at the Baku Judo Grand Slam in Azerbaijan; only one Canadian was able to win a single bout on the tatami.

After Ecaterina Guica and Patrick Gagné were halted in their first matches on Friday, Monika Burgess was the only Canadian to see a victory this Saturday; Alix Renaud-Roy, Stéfanie Tremblay, Arthur Margelidon, and Alexis Morin-Martel all were defeated in their first rounds.

Tough Day in Baku for Canadians Guica, Gagné

Some days are best left forgotten, and today, Friday, has been one of them for Quebec judokas Ecaterina Guica and Patrick Gagné, who both were defeated in their first matches at the Baku Judo Grand Slam in Azerbaijan.

Guica – world-ranked 32nd in the Under 52kg class – saw her day on the tatami end courtesy American Angelica Delgado, ranked 21st internationally. The Montreal native received two penalties, versus her adversary’s single penalty.

IJF Judo Grand Slam Baku 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The first IJF Grand Slam of the season produced a pulsating day of judo on Friday as the home fans were in full voice at the Baku Grand Slam 2015 to rally their home team and welcome the world’s leading nations at the atmospheric Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre.

The three-day event has attracted 356 judoka from 48 nations with the European portion all intent on returning in June for the inaugural European Games.

IJF Judo Grand Slam Azerbaijan 2015 Full Preview

The first Grand Slam of the IJF World Judo Tour 2015 is all set as Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku hosts one of Olympic sport’s flagship events at the Sarhadchi Olympic Sport Centre from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 May.

The ever-changing city is set to stage the first European Games in June with over 6,000 athletes arriving to compete in 20 sports including judo which will no doubt be one of the leading attractions.

Isasi Just Shy of Podium at Judo Grand Prix in Zagreb

The only Canadian in action on the tatami Sunday, the last day of the Zagreb Judo Grand Prix in Croatia, Ana Laura Portuondo Isasi finished just shy of the podium in fifth place in the Under 78kg class.

In the final for two bronze medals up for grabs, the judoka from La Prairie (Quebc) was defeated by seventh world-ranked athlete, Hungary’s Abigel Joo, who scored an ippon in the first minute of the bout.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Zagreb 2015 Day 3 Recap & Photos

The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 came to a riveting conclusion as the heavyweights fought for IJF silverware at the Dom Sportova Arena on Sunday.

Croatian fans saw the women’s -78kg and +78kg categories and the men’s -90kg, -100kg and +100kg categories compete for the remaining five gold medals.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Zagreb 2015 Day 2 Recap & Photos

The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 was the talk of Croatia on Saturday as Olympic and world champions took to the tatami and the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC, officially opened the Grand Prix at the Dom Sportova Arena.

On day two gold medallists were crowned in the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories and in the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories. World champion Clarisse AGBEBGNENOU (FRA) and Olympic bronze medallist VALOIS-FORTIER (CAN) were on -63kg and -81kg duty respectively while Olympic champion Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) was anxious to boost his chances of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics to defend his title.

Kelita Zupancic Earns Judo Bronze in Zagreb

Kelita Zupancic stepped onto the third step of the podium in the Under 70kg class, Saturday, at the Zagreb Grand Prix in Croatia. In her battle for the bronze, the Ontario native defeated Poland’s Katarzyna Klys (world-ranked 11th) with a waza-ari.

“She controlled the whole match, and never allowed herself to be in any danger. The Polish girl couldn’t find a way to answer Kelita,” noted Team Canada Coach Sasha Mehmedovic.

IJF Judo Grand Prix Zagreb 2015 Day 1 Recap & Photos

The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 crowned five gold medallists on an eventful opening day in the Croatian capital as two of the top seeds suffered early exits while rising stars emerged at the Dom Sportova Arena.

The fourth IJF Grand Prix of the season opened with action in the women’s -48kg, -52kg and -57kg categories and men’s -60kg and -66kg categories.

Ecaterina Guica: “I Just Ran Out of Energy”

Day One of the Croatian Grand Prix in Zagreb, finished earlier than expected for Canadian judokas. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, Antoine Bouchard and Ecaterina Guica were all eliminated in their first bouts, today, Friday.

In the Under 52kg class, Guica – world ranked 32nd – was defeated by Spain’s Laura Gomez (15th in the world).

IJF Judo Grand Prix Zagreb, Croatia 2015 Full Preview

The IJF World Judo Tour has arrived in Croatia for the country’s third and most anticipated Grand Prix with a record-breaking entry and an enthused public set to illuminate Zagreb.

The Zagreb Grand Prix 2015 will capture the imagination of the public at the Dom Sportova Arena from Friday 1 – Sunday 3 May. This year a record-breaking 439 judoka from 55 nations will compete over the next three days as the entry level has increased in volume and quality year-on-year since Rijeka in 2013 and the last visit to Zagreb a year ago.

Canada’s Women Golden at Judo Pan Am Championships

Canada’s Women’s Team were crowned Pan American Champions, while the Men’s Team earned the bronze, Sunday evening in team competitions at the Pan American Judo Championships in Edmonton.

“The women’s performance was exceptional, fantastic,” enthused National Team Coach and High Performance Director Nicolas Gill.

Antoine Bouchard Wins Judo Pan American Championship

Antoine Bouchard had a perfect path that lead straight to the top of the podium Saturday at the Pan American Judo Championship in Edmonton, Alberta. On the second day of competitions, Canadian athletes also won an additional three medals, thanks to stellar performances by Arthur Margelidon, Ecaterina Guica, and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard – all three of whom will take home bronze medals.

Competing in the Under 66kg category, Antoine Bouchard was able to make good use of a pass beyond the opening round before facing and beating Aruba’s Jaymes Mata and Mexico’s Angel Hernandez.

A Gold Medal Memory for Canada’s Kelita Zupancic in Edmonton

Kelita Zupancic enabled Team Canada to start the Pan American Judo Championships on the right foot Friday, with her gold medal win in Edmonton, Alberta, while teammates Antoine Valois-Fortier and Kyle Reyes both earned bronze medals.

Judo Canada Counts on Experienced Coaches Towards Rio

Less than 18 months before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Judo Canada announces the coaches who will be following the Canadian judokas in their quest towards excellence.

Nicolas Gill, national head coach and High Performance director, will be accompanied by 3 other coaches. Michel Almeida will be the assistant for the men’s team while Sasha Mehmedovic will be taking the same role with the women. The team will be completed with Janusz Pawlowski, who is also the assistant coach for the national team since the beginning of this year.

Video – SportAccord President M. Vizer Speaks to Euronews

With just under a month to go for the SportAccord Convention World Sport and Business Summit in Sochi, Russia, SportAccord President, Marius L. Vizer spoke with Euronews about his tenure in office ahead of the presidential elections during the annual meeting of the sports industry.