Martinet, Kaldani impress at judo Grand Prix
Date: June 19, 2021
French Paralympic champion Sandrine Martinet claimed gold on her return to the mat at the 2021 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo Grand Prix in Warwick, Great Britain, on Saturday (19 June).
Martinet, the title holder from the women’s up to 52kg, missed last month’s Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, but showed no signs of rustiness having not competed since September 2019 after moving down to the up to 48kg.
A gruelling match against Ukraine’s Yuliia Ivanytska ended with Martinet successfully holding down her opponent for ippon.
Rio 2016 silver medallist Ramona Brussig of Germany won her bronze medal match against Brazil’s Giulia Pereira by ippon. Uzbekistan’s Lobar Khurramova took the other bronze.
Georgia’s Giorgi Kaldani impressed once again in the men’s up to 73kg, rounding off a great day of action at the University of Warwick.
Kaldani turned the tables against Uzbekistan’s world champion and top ranked judoka Feruz Sayidov. Sayidov was up 1-0 with under 10 seconds left and looked in control, but Kaldani managed to force him into a mistake for ippon, just managing to turn him over.
Kaldani has made quite a splash since making his debut in 2019, most recently winning gold at the IBSA Judo Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May.
Spain’s Alvaro Gavilan Lorenzo and Ukraine’s Rufat Mahomedov rounded off the podium.
Uzbekistan’s Asian champion and Paralympic bronze medallist Sevinch Salaeva needed a Golden Score against Azerbaijan’s Basti Safarova in the women’s up to 52kg. Salaeva did however triumph in the end, executing a perfect hip throw to secure gold.
Germany’s European silver medallist Ramona Brussig claimed bronze after Canada’s Priscilla Gagne withdrew from the match due to injury. Ukraine’s Nataliya Nikolaychyk – currently ranked 14th in the world – showed great technique to win her bronze medal against Brazil’s Karla Cardoso, the world No.5.
Brazil’s Lucia Araujo just edged to gold in her match against Argentina’s Laura Candela Gonzalez in the women’s up to 57kg. After a close contest that went to Golden Score even the referee could not decide whether Araujo’s throw deserved the win, and asked for a video review. Araujo was however awarded the wazari.
Belarusian Elena Bogdanova and Kazakhstan’s Dayana Fedossova were the bronze medallists.
With one minute on the clock, there was still no score despite the best efforts of both judoka in the men’s up to 60kg. Venezuela’s Marcos Blanco showed great resistance to the attacks of Georgian World No.2 Zurab Zurabiani and kept coming back for more, launching his own attempts in response. In the end though, Zurabiani was the victor as he held Blanco for ippon with a few seconds left.
Uruguay’s Henry Borges was delighted with his bronze medal against Spain’s Borja Pahissa. Spain had better luck in the other bronze medal match thanks to Luis Daniel Gavilan Lorenzo.
Uzbekistan’s Uchkun Kuranbaev proved too strong for Spain’s Sergio Ibanez Banon in the men’s up to 66kg gold medal match, taking the win.
Marcos Jose Falcon Tovar took just eight seconds to grab Venezuela’s second bronze. In a great day on the mat for judoka from the Americas region, Puerto Rico’s Luis Jabdiel Perez Diaz took the final place on the podium.
The 2021 IBSA Judo Grand Prix continues in Warwick on Sunday (20 June), concluding with a further eight medal events.