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Judo Grand Slam: Georgia, Canada & Mongolia on Top at Tbilisi 2021

judo-grand-slam:-georgia,-canada-&-mongolia-on-top-at-tbilisi-2021

The final day of the 2021 Tbilisi Grand Slam came to a climactic conclusion. Three countries actually won two gold medals: Mongolia (third place), Canada (second place) and Georgia (first place), while 22 have medallists and 36 placed athletes in the final block. The host country can be satisfied with this result. In a very tough and competitive context, to be among those at the top of the standings was almost guaranteed for Georgia, but the first place was anything but certain.

Georgian Throws a Giant in over 100kg Final

Georgian powerhouse Gela Zaalishvili gave the home nation so much to cheer for, throwing big for one Ippon after another, all through his preliminary contests. In the over 100 kilo-final, he stunned onlookers by launching the Brazilian World and Olympic medallist Rafael Silva through the air! The young Georgian had unstoppable raw power. Some of which he saved to celebrate with his coach.

“I’m always ready to fight for my country, for my homeland. I think this is the right way to live, I put in big effort, I always train hard, and always try to win,” explains Zaalishvili. “This gives me psychological strength, and belief in myself. This gives me big power.”

Final

SILVA, Rafael (BRA) vs. ZAALISHVILI, Gela (GEO)

Bronze Medal Contests

INANEISHVILI, Saba (GEO) vs. ERDOGAN, Cemal (TUR)

SARNACKI, Maciej (POL) vs. GRANDA, Andy (CUB)

Final Results

1. ZAALISHVILI, Gela (GEO)

2. SILVA, Rafael (BRA)

3. GRANDA, Andy (CUB)

3. INANEISHVILI, Saba (GEO)

5. ERDOGAN, Cemal (TUR)

5. SARNACKI, Maciej (POL)

7. HEGYI, Stephan (AUT)

7. YUSUPOV, Alisher (UZB)

Putting in the groundwork at the under 90kg Final

At the under 90kg event, veteran groundwork specialist Marcus Nyman won in typical style, a hold-down secured him his first Grand Slam Gold in 5 years. Nyman’s greater height disturbed Mungai, his Italian opponent, who had some difficulties getting close to him, but what is maybe even more dangerous with the Swede is his skill in ne-waza. An expert sequence finally caught Mungai with a strong immobilisation for ippon and Nyman’s third victory in a grand slam. The President of the International Judo Federation Mr Marius Vizer presented the medals.

Final

MUNGAI, Nicholas (ITA) vs. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)

Bronze Medal Contests

BOBONOV, Davlat (UZB) vs. KOCHMAN, Li (ISR)

JANDREEV, Shermukhammad (UZB) vs. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)

Final Results

1. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)

2. MUNGAI, Nicholas (ITA)

3. BOBONOV, Davlat (UZB)

3. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)

5. JANDREEV, Shermukhammad (UZB)

5. KOCHMAN, Li (ISR)

7. BOZBAYEV, Islam (KAZ)

7. BROWN, Colton (USA)

Woman of the Day

Our woman of the day was China’s Xu Shiyan – a big Ura Nage was the highlight of the over 78kg final, giving her a first-ever Grand Slam Gold. She was awarded her medal by IJF Sport Director, Mr Armen Bagdasarov.

“Because of love. I think because I’m a young athlete I need to prepare more for all competitions, especially for the IJF World Tour and the Olympics,” Shiyan says. “But now i’m young, I love judo, so i’m very passionate”

Final

NUNES, Rochele (POR) vs. XU, Shiyan (CHN)

Bronze Medal Contests

HERSHKO, Raz (ISR) vs. SOUZA, Beatriz (BRA)

ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA) vs. WANG, Yan (CHN)

Final Results

1. XU, Shiyan (CHN)

2. NUNES, Rochele (POR)

3. ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen(BRA)

3. SOUZA, Beatriz (BRA)

5. HERSHKO, Raz (ISR)

5. WANG, Yan (CHN)

7. KALANINA, Yelyzaveta (UKR)

7. SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR)

Canada Clinches under 100kg title

In the under 100kg category, Canada’s Shady Elnahas climbed to the top of the podium. He defeated home favourite Sulamanidze in the final, catching the Georgian with a last-minute Kouchi gari, and holding out for the win! Mr Mikhail Kaveleshvili, MP and Chairperson of the Sports & Youth Issues Committee handed Shady his long-awaited gold medal.

Double Dutch in the under 78kg Final

Meanwhile, the under-78kg final was an all dutch affair. As is usually the case when two athletes from the same country meet in the final block, both struggled to take the upper hand, until a sequence on the floor that looked like any other but allowed Natascha Ausma to force a submission with a clinical strangle, but in true Judo Fashion immediately check on her friend and opponent – Karen Stevenson. Mr Sergey Soloveychik, Vice President of the IJF and President of the European Judo Union, awarded the medals.

Final

AUSMA, Natascha (NED) vs. STEVENSON, Karen (NED)

Bronze Medal Contests

GRAF, Bernadette (AUT) vs. LANIR, Inbar (ISR)

MA, Zhenzhao (CHN) vs. BABINTSEVA, Aleksandra (RUS)

Final Results

1. AUSMA, Natascha (NED)

2. STEVENSON, Karen (NED)

3. LANIR, Inbar (ISR)

3. MA, Zhenzhao (CHN)

5. BABINTSEVA, Aleksandra (RUS)

5. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)

7. BROLIH, Patricija (SLO)

7. SHMELEVA, Antonina (RUS)

Plenty more to come

The Georgian Judo juggernaut kept rolling on day 3 – so many dynamic fighters, putting on an epic Judo show. Young up and comers shone through much of the day, defeating household names and Champions. The competition came to a fitting end with Georgia on top of the podium, once again.

Mr Florin Daniel Lascau, IJF Sport Director & Acting Referee Director presented the coveted medal to the Georgian victor, who shared the moment with his teammate beside him on the podium. Concluding yet another gripping tournament for the International Judo Federation.

Join us on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in Antalya, for a new grand slam in less than a week to continue to follow the adventure of the Olympic qualification races.

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Sports

Matic delivers Croatia a first ever World Championship gold

By Richard Good
 & International Judo Federation

Matic delivers Croatia a first ever World Championship gold

No Croatian had ever won a Judo World Championships gold medal, but Barbara Matic put that right in the -70kg contest on day five of the year’s tournament in Budapest.

Matic put in some unstoppable judo to reach the final. There she faced the Japanese veteran Ono Yoko, who herself looked in fine form with her uchi-mata throws and notorious skills on the ground.

A tense contest for gold

The Croatian won a tense contest by holding onto a waza-ari advantage, taking the title ten years after she was crowned Junior World Champion.

Husain Al Musallam, President of the International Swimming Federation, presented the medals.

“I was like, you already have a world medal, you already did a great job,” Matic said afterwards. “Now all you can do is just bring your heart to the tatami and fight to the end, and it was like that.”

A final between two attacking powerhouses

Reigning champion and world number one Nikoloz Sherazadishvili from Spain was the strong favourite in the -90kg contest, and he showed why with a fantastic uchi-mata to eliminate Nagasawa Kenta of Japan en route to the final.

Uzbekistan’s Davlat Bobonov would face him for gold, after showing that he too was a big thrower, as well as defeating home favourite Krisztian Toth in the semis.

The final between two attacking powerhouses didn’t disappoint; an o-uchi-gari for ippon sealing the contest for Sherazadishvili.

Tunde Szabo, State Secretary for Sport for Hungary, awarded the medals.

“Every time we need to improve, this is my mindset,” explained Sherazadishvili afterwards. “That I need to improve, also that I win but I want to be better and to improve more things. But I am in good shape, this is why I came here.”

The category also saw a bronze medal for Sweden’s Marcus Nyman, who defeated Nagasawa to secure his first-ever World Championship medal.

Local hero Toth took the other bronze. The scenes of jubilation involving him and his family were the highlight of the day: he’d missed out on a medal in Budapest back in 2017.

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Phil Foden happy to be called the ‘Stockport Gazza’ after pre-Euros haircut

Phil Foden has said he does not mind being called the “Stockport Gazza” after inviting comparisons to the former England midfielder by dying his hair blond.

Foden is one of the most exciting youngsters in England’s squad and he has done nothing to quell the hype by recreating Paul Gascoigne’s bleached look from Euro 96. The Manchester City midfielder posted a picture of his new haircut on Instagram on Tuesday, captioning it “Euro 96 vibes”, and he wants to emulate Gascoigne on the pitch at Euro 2020.

“I’ve had the same haircut for ages now so I thought I would try something new and woke up this morning with a lot of comparisons to Gazza and Eminem,” the 21-year-old said. “It was my own thing and people have turned it into something else.

“I remember watching highlights on the TV of Gazza – unbelievable player. The nation knows what he means for the country and what he did. I wouldn’t be too bad if I try to bring a bit of Gazza on the pitch.”

Foden was not born when Gascoigne helped England to reach the last four of Euro 96 but he understands the significance of the “Stockport Gazza” nickname. “I don’t mind that at all,” he said. “He’s a great player.”

Foden’s teammates are not planning to copy his haircut. “Not too many are as brave as me,” he said. “They like their hairstyles as they are.”

Foden thanked Gareth Southgate for giving him a second chance after he was sent home from international duty with Mason Greenwood last September. The young duo breached coronavirus protocols by inviting two women to the team hotel in Reykjavik after England’s win over Iceland in the Nations League.

“I made a massive mistake,” Foden said. “I was young. Gareth told me if I keep doing well, keep performing well, I should get another opportunity. So I had to work really hard for that. Not many managers would give you another opportunity so I have to thank Gareth a lot for giving me another opportunity.”

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Florence Griffith Joyner’s trailblazing fashion sprints to the front with film

The news that Tiffany Haddish will produce and star in a film about Florence Griffith Joyner has renewed attention on the Olympic champion’s brilliant if controversial career – and shone new light on her trailblazing fashion.

In the late 1980s, when the sprinter shot to fame, no one looked like her. “Flo-Jo” competed in outfits that were part-rock star, part-cartoon crusader, a unique look to which Beyoncé and Serena Williams have recently paid tribute.

Announcing her project, Haddish said she was “looking forward to telling Flo-Jo’s story the way it should be told. My goal with this film is making sure that younger generations know my ‘she-ro’ Flo-Jo, the fastest woman in the world to this day, existed.”

Griffith Joyner was the first American woman to win four medals in track and field at a single Olympic Games, in Seoul in 1988. However, since her death 10 years later, aged 38, her sporting legacy has been muddied by allegations of doping – despite the fact she never tested positive and was subjected, according to the chair of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, to “all possible and imaginable analyses”.

Away from the track, Griffith Joyner’s style made her a pop culture phenomenon. Running in one-legged spandex bodysuits, shiny leggings, full hair weaves and s 6.5in painted nails, she brought MTV zest to the track.

Florence Griffith Joyner poses in Los Angeles on 5 April 1988.
Florence Griffith Joyner poses in Los Angeles on 5 April 1988. Photograph: Tony Duffy/Getty Images

“No male athlete [has] brought glamour and individuality to his sport as well as being at the top of his sport,” Donna Lopiano, president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, said at the time. “She is a combination of Dennis Rodman and Michael Jordan.”

Like those NBA stars, Griffith Joyner blurred lines between sportswear and the catwalk. She could knit, crochet and manicure, skills which helped create her looks.

“She was designing uniforms in high school and clearly understood how one presented themselves to the world determined how they were received by audiences,” says Darnell-Jamal Lisby, a fashion historian.

“She was keen on connecting her passion for the sport through her style, while also understanding that she was one of the only black women on that level who also served as a role model for future generations.”

That came to pass. In February, Serena Williams paid tribute at the Australian Open with a hot pink, orange and black one-legged bodysuit. In 2018, Beyoncé dressed as Flo-Jo for Halloween, in a version of her violet unitard.

The “one legger”, as Flo-Jo called it, was created accidentally.

“It was a two-legged outfit and I was going to make another style [but] I was cutting one leg off and I liked that look,” she told Jet magazine.

“Some people think that one-legged outfits are more bare than having both legs out …I think it was shocking. People say it’s too much for sports. They figure people can’t run fast wearing that.”

She also said she was “here to say you can wear anything you want if you’re ready to go when the guns go off. You’re going to run fast regardless. Makeup is not going to stop you. The outfit is not going to stop you.”

Her style remains influential. In the case of Beyoncé, Lisby said, “the idea of presenting oneself in this ‘superhero-like’ depiction is very integral to her artistry, as it was Joyner’s. Showing black women in such powerful perspectives was and still is key in motivating members of the black community and women across the world.”

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