Tornois de Paris Judo Championships
PARIS, FRANCE 10-11
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By: Nicola Fairbrother
2 (11 Feb, 2001), Day 1
day of the Tornois de Paris in the Parc de Bercy stadium brought
more spectacular judo as established competitors clashed with new,
lesser known fighters. Like previous years, the French organisers
helped spectators to pick out the champions by putting a flourescent
stripe on the start number of all Olympic (yellow), World (orange),
European and Paris Tournament (green) champions. It was easy enough
to detect the top fighters - but today, with David Douillet, Stephane
Traineau, Mark Huizinga, Kosei Inoue and Shinohara all absent there
were few coloured start numbers to look out for in the men's competition.
The women's event boasted a greater number of recognisable champions,
with Werbrouck, Howey, Van der Hende, Maeda, LeBrun all fighting.
But this tournament has marked the start of a new cycle. It is the
beginning of a new Olympiad and this weekend has seen the emergence
of a stream of new competitors. Like the bright, young Cuban team,
which with their four medals here in Paris, appear to be already
following in the footsteps on their 'big sisters.' Portugal sent
their junior team - and yesterday 20-year-old Joao Pina showed his
potential grabbing a bronze at 66kgs. Today, there was the young
French fighter Lucie Decosse who stole the limelight at 63kgs. But
the youngsters didn't have it all their own way with Werbrouck and
Kovacs having a few words to say about that.
An early upset was in store for Olympic Champion, Severine Vanderhende,
as China's Shufang Li threw the French woman for ippon in the first
round. Li carried on that sort of form into the final, with her
dynamic judo and sharp seoinage taking her past Este Csizmadia (HUN)
and then Anais Hernandez (CUB). On the other side, Japan's Keiko
Maeda looked in convincing form with wins for the world champion
against Claudia Hiel (AUT) by ippon and then France's Christell
Faure. But, in the semi-final France's Lucie Decosse broke up Maeda's
defence, scoring twice. The convincing manner in which Decosse won
makes it look like this fighter has a bright future ahead of her.
The final confirmed her potential, as Decosse unleashed a lighting
fast osoto-gari off one sleeve grip, to throw Li for ippon in under
a minute. Severine Vanderhende came back through the repechage without
a hitch and took the bronze throwing Keiko Maeda for ippon with
uchimata. Satisfied with the bronze, Vanderhende said: "It´s
not a bad result - After resting after the Sydney Olympic Games
I came here only 60 percent fit - so a 3rd place - that's not bad."
The young Cuban team took another bronze with Hernandez edging past
Heill (AUT) on a decision.
The 70kgs (rather like the men's 81kgs yesterday) was over flowing
with strong fighters all capable of figuring in the medals. In the
end, it was Belgium's Ula Werbrouck who emerged as the winner, back
at the top of a division she has dominated for so long. Werbrouck
looked on form as she dispatched the Olympic silver medallist, Kate
Howey (GBR) with one of her classic uchimatas in the earlier rounds
and held down Sviatian Tsimashenka (BLR). In the final against Japan's
Masae Ueno, Werbrouck took early control of the fight, gripping
tactically and blocking Ueno's uchimata attempts. After two minutes
Werbrouck sneaked a koka sitting the Japanese fighter down with
an ouchi gari - enough to win her the fight, and another Tornois
de Paris gold medal. France's Armina Abdellatif won the bronze throwing
Britain's Kate Howey and Ursula Martin (ESP) took the other bronze
throwing Tsimashenka in just 25 seconds. The Spanish European Champion
connected with her koshiguruma for a perfect ippon throw.
France took their third women's title of the weekend withs Celine
Lebrun beating Britain's Michelle Rogers in a hard-fought final.
Both skilful and upright fighters the final turned quickly into
a battle of ashi-waza. Rogers threatened with a kouchi-gari several
times, but in the end it was Lebrun to open the scores with a deashi-bari
for koka, which decided the fight. France's Olympic silver medallist
had fought outstandingly throughout the day, beating the Olympic
bronze medallist, Simon Richter (ROM) by ippon in the first round
and then beating the 1992 Olympic medallist, Heidi Rakels by waza-ari
in the semis. Japan and Holland took the two bronzes. Claudia Zwiers
beat Rakels and Mizu Matsuzaki ended Anne Mondiere's (FRA) hopes
with an osoto-gari for ippon.
Japan's Midori Shintani took the gold medal throwing Brigitte Olivier
(BEL) twice for waza-ari. The small Japanese fighter threw twice
with the same technique - a low ippon seoinage. Karina Bryant (GBR)
beat Becquard-Bocque (FRA) for the bronze and Belgian, Veys beat
Gerber (GER) with apparent ease, throwing the German backwards with
a slow ouchi gari. Cuba's Estela Rodgriguez - double Olympic silver
medallist - returned from a four-year absence from competition,
but her comeback was cut short with Alena Shabanovich throwing Rodgriguez
in the first half minute of the first fight.
The 90kgs final between Olympic bronze medallist Frederic Demontfaucon
and Japan's Masatoshi Tobitsuka promised to be one of the matches
of the tournament. However, an early waza-ari from Tobitsuka set
the tone for the final, with Demontfaucon never quite managing to
get the better of the Japanese's strong right collar grip. The French
crowd like their fighter who is both powerful and agile - a fighter
that can always pull something out of the bag. But despite a last-ditch
tomoe-nage to juji-gatame attempt from Demontfaucon which left Tobitsuka
clutching his elbow in pain today the Frenchman had to be content
with silver. Tobitsuka - another name to look out for the future
- had beaten Dimitri Morozov (RUS), Vince Carabetta (FRA) and David
Alarza (ESP) to make the final.
Bronze medals went to David Bozouklian (FRA) who beat Stephane Mongelas
(FRA) and to David Alarza (ESP). The Spanish former junior world
champion beat Canadian Keith Morgan in the bronze medal match, throwing
last year's bronze medallist for ippon with a classy uchimata.
Hungary's Antal Kovacs scored three times on Iveri Dvikurauli to
win the 100kgs final. It was a controlled match full of small scores
with Dvikurauli himself notching up three yukos, but it was Kovac's
uchimata that decided the fight scoring waza-ari. Kovac had earnt
his place in the final after throwing Arme Bagdasarov (UZB) with
just 20 seconds left on the clock in the semi-final. Michael Jurack
beat fellow German Daniel Gurschner by a yuko to take the bronze
and Bagsdasarov came back from his semi-final loss to score waza-ari
in the bronze medal match - enought to keep Ghista Lemaire and even
the French crowd at bay. Tomokazu Inoue (JPN) almost got the press
and spectators fooled. With everyone expecting the Olympic and World
Champion to step onto the mat it was awhile before people realised
it was in fact Kosei's brother. However, Tomokazu executed a perfect
version of his brother's ouchi gari to uchimata to beat Portugal's
Joao Santo and went on to beat Korea's Jae-Sik Lim before losing
to Dvikuralai in the quarters.
To win this title is something special. To win it and be French
must be something else. Indeed, today in the Parc de Bercy stadium
Frenchman Jermoe Drefus must have felt like he could walk on water
as he threw the huge Spanish fighter, Aytami Ruano to take the gold.
The crowd went wild, as Dreyfus countered the Spanish man with a
low uranage. Dreyfus' back came close to touching the tatami first,
but Ruano rolled over with sufficient impetus to demonstrate the
Frenchman had iniated the throw and was rightfully awarded ippon.
Earlier, Dreyfus had beaten Ukraine's Yevgen Sotnikov in the semi-final.
It was one of the contests of the day. Sotnikov had opened the scoring
with a running kata-guruma for waza ari. With David Douillet in
the chair encouraging him on, Dreyfus kept the pressure on throwing
for two yukos before finally latching on to a harai-maki-komi which
rolled the Ukrainian onto his back. In the bronze medal matches,
Takahashi (JPN) caught Sotnikov off balance to take the fight and
the medal. On the other side of the draw, Zoltan Csizmadia (HUN)
neatly turned Mathie Bataille for ippon with tsurikomi-ashi.