Riner maintains mammoth unbeaten run with gold at IJF Grand Prix in Brasilia
Olympic champion Teddy Riner kept up his phenomenal unbeaten run by taking gold on the final day of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Slam event in Brasilia.
The Frenchman beat local hope David Moura in the Final of the men’s +100kg event, in doing so continuing his unbeaten run which now stretches to 152 consecutive matches.
In what was only his second competition appearance of the year, Riner sealed the gold in the final in just 20 seconds, winning by ippon against Moura. That came after accounting for long-time rival and world heavyweight champion Lukáš Krpálek of Czech Republic in the semi-finals.
World number 10 Inal Tasoev of Russia secured bronze with shime-waza against Rafael Silva of Brazil, with 37 seconds of golden score contested.mKrpálek recovered from his defeat to Riner to also collect bronze, out-manoeuvring Yakiv Khammo from Ukraine.
The Brasilia Grand Prix ran from 6 to 8 October at the Centro Internacional de Convenções do Brasil, and saw 316 competitors – 176 men and 140 women – from 55 countries compete.
Wednesday also saw Iida Kentaro of Japan win a second Grand Slam gold, defeating Brazilian Rafael Buzacarini in the -100kg final. The 21-year-old prevailed thanks to a morote-seoi-nage throw to again dent the host nation’s hopes of a gold medal. Russian Kirill Denisov claimed bronze against compatriot Niiaz Bilalov. The other bronze was awarded to Miklós Cirjenics of Hungary, when his rival, Egyptian Ramadan Darwish, withdrew with an injury.
Monday’s first day of action saw a major upset much to the delight of the home fans as Brazil’s Allan Kuwabara defeated world number one Eric Takabatake to claim the -60kg title.
Kuwabara, ranked number 202 in the world, had already surpassed any expectations in by reaching the final after causing another shock in beating European champion Islam Yashuev of Russia. The 27-year-old then followed that surprise win by throwing his Brazilian compatriot with ippon to claim a maiden Grand Slam title of his career.
Yashuev defeated Spaniard Rodrigo Costa Lopes to earn the bronze medal alongside Francisco Garrigos of Spain. Garrigos overcame Brazilian Renan Torres with a waza-ari score after 82 seconds of added time to claim bronze.
A second Brazilian victory came in the men’s -66kg as Daniel Cargnin won his first IJF World Judo Tour event. Cargnin defeated Italy’s Manuel Lombardo with a single waza-ari score as Willian Lima of Brazil and Frenchman Kilian Le Blouch took bronze medals with victories against Russian Abdula Abdulzhalilov and Sebastian Seidl of Germany.
In the women’s competition, Montreal Grand Prix silver medallist Catarina Costa of Portugal denied Brazil a dream start by defeating Gabriela Chibana to win the -48kg gold with a sode-tsurikomi-goshi move.
Waza-ari scores in their respective bouts saw Shira Rishony of Israel and Spain’s Laura Martinez Abelenda seal bronze medals against German Katharina Menz and Éva Csernoviczki of Hungary.
Rio 2016 silver medallist Odette Giuffrida of Italy claimed the -52kg gold against Brazilian Larissa Pimenta. The bronze medals went to Eleudis Valentim of Brazil and Japan’s Natsumi Tsunoda. They defeated Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Joana Ramos of Portugal and world number 13 Agata Perenc from Poland respectively.
Two-time world medallist Nekoda Smythe-Davis clinched a second Grand Slam gold of her career in the -57kg contest. The judoka from Great Britain, who won the Düsseldorf Grand Slam in 2018, sealed a second Slam title with an o-soto-gari for ippon after two minutes of additional time against Brazilian Ketelyn Nascimento.
Germany’s Theresa Stoll lost her semi-final to Smythe-Davis in the eighth minute of added time but made amends against Sarah Leonie Cysique of France to earn bronze. The other bronze medal was won by Rafaela Silva of Brazil, who beat European Games bronze medallist Telma Monteiro of Portugal.
Tuesday’s second day of competition saw souble Olympic champion Yuri Alvear of Colombia clinch gold in the women’s -70kg category with victory against Germany’s Giovanna Scoccimarro.
The three-time world champion needed all of her experience to see off Montreal Grand Prix winner Scoccimarro in the final and claim just a second Grand Slam success, winning with a waza-ari with 30 seconds left.
Britain’s Gemma Howell will move into the IJF top 10 after she claimed bronze when world number 12 Assmaa Niang of Morocco was penalised for going out of the area three times. There was also a bronze medal for Brazilian Maria Portela, who defeated Kelita Zupancic of Canada.
Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Ketleyn Quadros of Brazil won the -63kg gold with victory against compatriot Alexia Castilhos. The bronze medals went to Cuban Maylin Del Toro Carvajal and Briton Amy Livesey. Del Toro Carvajal defeated Yang Junxia of China after 22 seconds of golden score when Yang was penalised for a leg grab, her third infringement of the contest. Livesey secured a medal against Brazil’s Mariana Silva with an ura-nage throw for ippon.
In the men’s -73kg contest, Musa Mogushkov of Russia won a fourth Grand Slam gold against unfancied Brazilian David Lima. Mogushkov needed just 36 seconds to floor the world number 76 with a tai-otoshi.
Japan’s Soichi Hashimoto earned bronze by defeating Giovanni Esposito of Italy. The second bronze went to German Anthony Zingg, who overcame Nils Stump from Switzerland with a uchi-mata throw for a waza-ari score.
Rio 2016 bronze medallist Takanori Nagase stepped up his bid for Tokyo 2020 selection with gold in the men’s -81kg final. The Japanese former world champion sealed a fifth Grand Slam victory as he beat Vedat Albayrak of Turkey after the latter was penalised for a third time for passivity after 56 seconds of golden score.
Bronze medals were awarded to Alan Khubetsov of Russia and Portugal’s Anri Egutidze after they defeated Italian Christian Parlati and Khasan Khalmurzaev of Russia, respectively.
The next event of the IJF World Tour will be the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in the United Arab Emirates over the weekend of 24 to 26 October.