Men’s +100kg

+100kg Final: Riner (FRA) throws Toelzer (GER) with ouchi-gari for ippon (

This division is the one the Paris crowd has been waiting all week long for. Teddy Riner was expected to blitz all opposition and win the gold for France. His main challengers were Japan’s Keiji Suzuki of Japan, an Olympic and double World Champion who had taken Riner to time in the Baku World Masters earlier in the year and lost by a hantei; and Andreas Toelzer of Germany who had lost to Riner by a yuko in the final of the 2010 World Championships.

Fifth-seeded Abdullo Tangriev of Uzbekistan and Daiki Kamikawa of Japan, who had beaten Riner in the 2008 Olympics and 2010 World Championships respectively, were possible stumbling blocks to the mighty Frenchman.

Riner, as expected, rose to the top of Pool A with little problem. There was an upset in Pool B, when Kamikawa was defeated in the first round by Holland’s Grim Vuijsters (seeded 20th), who was then beaten by South Korean’s Kim Sung-Min. Kim rose to the top of Pool B by defeating three-time World Champion Alexander Mikhailin. Meanwhile, Pool C was won by the up-and-coming Oscar Brayson of Cuba. Over in Pool D, Suzuki failed to get past the large Iranian Mohammad Rodaki, who beat him on penalties. Toelzer beat Rodaki in the quarter-final to top Pool D.

Germany’s Toelzer did not look particular strong in his fight against Cuba’s Brayson, with both men seemingly content to fight a strategic battle of grips. Neither one wanted to put in a genuine attack, perhaps fearful that the other could counter it. In the last minute, perhaps in an attempt to stave off a shido, the Cuban came in with an unconvincing drop technique that had him on all fours. Toelzer seized the opportunity to do groundwork, rolled Brayson onto his back and pinned him for ippon. He was through to the final.

Riner towered over Kim and the difference in size was obvious. Kim was back-pedaling when Riner came in with a massive osoto-gari that literally had the Korean airborne for a moment. Riner would be meeting Toelzer in the final.

Bronze Medal Matches
Russia’s Mikhailyn, who was making a comeback did not look impressive at all in his bronze medal fight against Cuba’s Brayson. It was as battle of grips and a contest of penalties. Midway through the contest, the Russian managed to counter the Cuban for a solid waza-ari score but he squandered that lead through penalties. By the end of five minutes, both men were even at a waza-ari each. Instead of trying to throw the Cuban, Mikhailyn played a tactical game that worked. Brayson received another shido, which mean a yuko score for his opponent. The bronze went to Russia.

Kim of Korea looked tiny compared to Iran’s Rodaki whose dominant gripping style caused Kim to step off the mat and incur a shido. The Korean fought back with several attacks while the Iranian parried them off. A slowish uchimata-makikomi worked though and he was able to pin the Iranian to the ground for ippon. Korea wins the other bronze.

The final of the men’s +100kg division was what the Paris crowd came to see and it was the ideal final – a  rematch of the +100kg final in the 2010 Tokyo World Championships.

Toelzer had clearly been studying Riner and adopted a left-handed grip on Riner’s right shoulder that negated most of the Frenchman’s forward attacks. After a few failed attempts at such attacks, Riner simply changed the direction of his attack and with an ouchi-gari, took Toelzer down, flat on his back. Ippon!


Men’s +100kg
RINER, Teddy (FRA) vs. TOELZER, Andreas (GER)

RINER, Teddy (FRA) vs. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)
BRAYSON, Oscar (CUB) vs. TOELZER, Andreas (GER)

Bronze Medal Fights
MIKHAYLIN, Alexander (RUS) vs. BRAYSON, Oscar (CUB)
RODAKI, Mohammad (IRI) vs. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)

BOR, Barna (HUN) vs. MIKHAYLIN, Alexander (RUS)
JABALLAH, Faical (TUN) vs. RODAKI, Mohammad (IRI)

1. RINER, Teddy (FRA)
2. TOELZER, Andreas (GER)
3. MIKHAYLIN, Alexander (RUS)
3. KIM, Sung-Min (KOR)
5. BRAYSON, Oscar (CUB)
5. RODAKI, Mohammad (IRI)
7. BOR, Barna (HUN)
7. JABALLAH, Faical (TUN)

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Women’s -78kg

-78kg Final: Tong (CHN) holds down compatriot Qin (CHN) to win the gold (IJF)

If France’s Teddy Riner had a female equivalent, it would be China’s Olympic and multiple World Champion, Tong Wen. Tong had won gold medals in the 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009 World Championships but was banned in 2010 by the IJF after she failed a doping test. She contested the ban and returned to active competition this year.

Tong blitzed her way through Pool A, winning all her matches by ippon. Cuba’s smallish Idalis Ortiz (seeded 5th in the IJF World Rankings) topped Pool B, while Tong’s compatriot Qin Qian topped Pool C. Japan’s 3rd-seeded Mika Sugimoto topped Pool D.

The Qin vs Sugimoto semi-final fight was a battle for grips and nothing else. Neither one was willing to try any big throws. As time ran out, Qin grip more aggressively than ever and perhaps wanting to avoid a penalty, Sugimoto attacked with a half-hearted uchimata that had her flopping to the ground. The strong Chinese fighter climbed on top, rolled her over and pinned Sugimoto for ippon.

In the other semi-final, Tong finished off her Cuban opponent with her trademark soto-makikomi into ushiro-kesa-gatame hold for ippon.

Bronze Medal Matches
It was Japan vs Japan fighting for bronze. Both fighters obviously knew each other only too well and it was yet another battle of grips and penalties. In the end, Sugimoto defeated her teammate Megumi Tachimoto through penalties, in a very boring bronze medal match.

The other bronze medal match saw more action. Russia’s very athletic Elena Ivashchenko footswept Cuba’s Ortiz for yuko and then armlocked her for ippon.

The final was an all-China affair and as to be expected when two judoka who know each other too well meet in a match, it’s usually a fierce battle for grips. Tong, however, didn’t have to rely on penalties to win. She launched a makikomi attack and rolled Qin onto her back to pin her for ippon.


Women’s +78kg
TONG, Wen (CHN) vs. QIN, Qian (CHN)

TONG, Wen (CHN) vs. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)
QIN, Qian (CHN) vs. SUGIMOTO, Mika (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
IVASHCHENKO, Elena (RUS) vs. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)

TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN) vs. POLAVDER, Lucija (SLO)

1. TONG, Wen (CHN)
2. QIN, Qian (CHN)
5. TACHIMOTO, Megumi (JPN)
5. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)
7. POLAVDER, Lucija (SLO)
7. BRYANT, Karina (GBR)

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Men’s -100kg

-100kg Final: Khaybulaev (RUS) wins with sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for ippon (

This division is full of big throwers and hard fighters so it’s not easy to pick a favorite. Rather, the top fighters are 2010 World Champion Takamasa Anai of Japan, former World and Olympic Champion, Irakli Tsirekidze of Georgia, former World Champion Maxim Rakov of Kazakhstan and Henk Grol of the Netherlands, who is seeded second in the IJF world rankings.

Anai and Tsirekidze were both in Pool A, so a clash between these two was inevitable. The Georgian, who is now 29 years old and ranked 34th, managed to stag an upset by throwing the top-seeded Anai with kosoto-gari, not once but twice (the first time for waza-ari and the second, for ippon).

Elco van der Geest proved what a giant killer he is by throwing Tsirekidze for ippon with a kosoto-gari counter, during Golden Score. He had in 2004 created a major upset when he threw the great Japanese champion, Kosei Inoue, for ippon in the Olympics.

It so happened that Pool B had two Russians in it and they met in the semi-finals. Sergey Samoylovich and Tagir Khaybulaev were ranked fourth and fifth respectively. But in their quarter-final contest, it was Khaybulaev who prevailed, throwing Samoylovich with a massive standing ippon-seoi-nage.

Holland’s Grol, who was expected to reach the final, was upset by Georgia’s Levan Zhorzholiani, who, in turn, was upset by Egypt’s Ramadan Darwish, the winner of Pool C. Lastly, Pool D was topped by Kazakhstan’s Rakov.

Belgium’s van der Geest start off his semi-final bout well, doing regular attacks against Russia’s Khaybulaev. He seemed intent to play a strategic game and to win by penalties. But the Russian wouldn’t have any of it and attacked with a one-handed drop sode-tsuri-komi-goshi which caused van der Geest to fall off the wrong side. It was scored a yuko. While the Belgian player was still in shock, Khaybulaev snapped on a juji-gatame that had van der Geest tapping immediately.

The other semi-final was a purely strategic match with Kazakhstan’s Rakov outgripping Egypt’s Darwish. In the end, Rakov won by penalties.

Bronze Medal Matches
Georgia’s Tsirekidze looked tired in his bronze medal match against Egypt’s Darwish but he put in more attacks. After the Egyptian got his first shido for passivity, you would expect the Georgian to play a strategic game, putting in safe attacks to avoid a penalty.

Perhaps because time was running out and he did not want to go into Golden Score, Tsirekidze launched a risky sacrifice attack that put the Egyptian on his side for waza-ari. Initially, the score was erroneously given to Darwish but after video playback, the judges awarded it – correctly – to Tsirekidze. There was not enough time for the Egyptian to get the score back and the bronze went to Georgia.

In the other bronze medal match, the Czech Republic’s Lukas Krpalek came out strong with an extreme left hand grip. Belgium’s van der Geest refused to be clamped down and took the fight to Krpalek, attacking him with a few convincing but safe attacks, enough to cause his opponent to get a shido.

It looked like it was going another drawn out strategic fight determined by penalties when Krpalek came in for a good hip throw that scored waza-ari. There was very little time left and van der Geest had no answer. Bronze went to the Czech Republic.

Kazakhstan’s Rakov is a heavy grip fighter and the opening moments of the final match consisted of fierce exchanges of grips with Khaybulaev. If this had gone on any longer, both men were liable to get penalties for non-combativity. But the Russian, a very capable thrower, would have none of that, and the moment he had a good grip on Rakov’s sleeve, Khaybulaev came in with a massive standing sode-tsuri-komi-goshi that scored ippon.


Men’s -100kg
KHAYBULAEV, Tagir (RUS) and RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)

DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY) vs. RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)

Bronze Medal Fights
TSIREKIDZE, Irakli (GEO) vs. DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)


2. RAKOV, Maxim (KAZ)
3. KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)
5. DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)

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Women’s -78kg

-78kg Final: Audrey Tcheumeo sweeps her way to gold (

The top seeded player for this division is Japan’s Akari Ogata while the 2010 World Champion was USA’s Kayla Harrison. These two were expected to meet in the final although France’s Audrey Tcheumeo, seeded fourth, could be a stumbling block to Harrison as she was on the same side of the draw as the American.

As expected, Ogata topped Pool A while Brazil’s rising star, Mayra Aguiar, came through to top Pool B. Harrison and Tcheumeo topped Pools C and D, respectively, which means they would be meeting in the semi-final.

Ogata soundly defeated Aguiar by ippon to earn a place in the final. The match between Harrison and Tcheumeo was not as decisive with the French player edging ahead with a well-time ouchi-gari that scored yuko midway through the contest.

The explosive Tcheumeo often runs out of steam if her matches run the full course and in the second half, she began to become defensive. Harrison piled on the pressure and Tcheumeo got her first shido. One more shido would mean Harrison would get a yuko as well. But this was not to be as time ran out on Harrison. It would be an Ogata-Tcheumeo final.

Bronze Medal Matches
The youthful Aguiar, who just turned 21, managed to defeat the experienced German Heidi Wollert, to win Brazil its fifth medal in the championships so far. The other bronze medal went to Harrison after a hard-fought match with Holland’s Marhinde Verkerk. Harrison wept while bowing out. Whether they were tears of joy for winning the bronze or tears of frustration for failing to make it to the final is perhaps something only she would know.

Tcheumeo showed her class and delighted the crowd by pulling off a perfectly-timed footsweep to floor Ogata in the final. It was a clear cut victory and one that sent the crowd into a frenzy as the French had won two gold medals today.


Women’s -78kg
OGATA, Akari (JPN) vs. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)

OGATA, Akari (JPN) vs. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)
HARRISON, Kayla (USA) vs. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)

Bronze Medal Fights
VERKERK, Marhinde (NED) vs. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
WOLLERT, Heide (GER) vs. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)

VERKERK, Marhinde (NED) vs. JOO, Abigel (HUN)
IKEDA, Hitomi (JPN) vs. WOLLERT, Heide (GER)

1. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
2. OGATA, Akari (JPN)
3. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
3. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)
5. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)
5. WOLLERT, Heide (GER)
7. IKEDA, Hitomi (JPN)
7. JOO, Abigel (HUN)

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Men’s -90kg

Iliadis (GRE) throwing Denisov (RUS) with a massive ura-nage to earn a place in the final (

-90kg Final: Iliadis repeats his 2010 Tokyo World's performance, throwing the exact same opponent with the exact same throw (

Iliadis is now a double-World Champion (

Although there were no French fighters amongst the favorites to vie for the gold medal in this category, the -90kg event was as crowd favorite as there were many big throwers in the contest.

Amongst them: World and Olympic Champion Ilias Iliadis of Greece, former World Champion Tiago Camilo of Brazil and former World Champion Lee Kyu-Won of South Korea. Both the Japanese fighters Takashi Ono and Daiki Nishiyama were big throwers as well.

In a championship that has thus far featured a lot of drop-down techniques and matches won by penalties, the crowd was naturally yearning to see some big throws — and they were not disappointed.

Iliadis had some difficulty with the experienced Polish fighter, Robert Krawczyk, who took him to full time but lost by a yuko. After that, it was a smooth ride to the top of Pool A for Iliadis who won every match by big throws and ippon scores, to the delight of the audience.

South Korea’s Lee was expected to top Pool B but he got caught by a Russia’s Kirill Denisov‘s powerful kosoto-gake for ippon in the quarter-final. Japan’s Ono and Nishiyama topped Pools C and D respectively.

Iliadis continued to thrill the crowd in his semi-final bout, throwing Denisov with a massive ura-nage that looked like it could’ve come out of a Greco-Roman wrestling match. The other semi-final was less interesting because the two Japanese fighters obviously knew each other’s styles too well. In the end, the match was won by penalties with Ono incurring one more shido than Nishiyama.

Bronze Medal Matches
The bronze medal match between Japan’s Ono and Korea’s Lee was one worthy of a final. Both men were big throwers and both fought hard to salvage their country’s pride. The Korean threw Ono with a reverse seoi-nage into kuchiki-daoshi combination that caught the Japanese completely offguard. With a waza-ari scored and only about a minute left in the match, it seemed like Lee was on his way to win a bronze for Korea when Ono came in with his trademark uchimata that spun the Lee flat on his back. Both men looked stunned at the sudden reversal of fortune.

The other bronze medal match, between Russia’s Denisov and Cuba’s Asley Gonzalez was less exciting as both men were tentative in their attacks. After Gonzales received a shido for not attacking, Denisov seemed content to play the gripping game. He probably felt confident that he could make his opponent look passive, incur another shido and thus allow him to win by a yuko. Shortly after the match went into Golden Score, the Cuban fighter came in with a very low morote-seoi-nage that threw the Russian on his side. Yuko was scored and that was enough to win Gonzalez the bronze.

The final was as virtual repeat of the 2010 Tokyo World Championships, right down to the throw that won the match. Just as in Tokyo, Nishiyama tried to create some space to come in with uchimata while Iliadis kept pulling him in tightly to tie him up.

This fierce exchange of grips went on for a while before Iliadis began to dominate by pulling Nishiyama’s head down. The Japanese was in danger of being given a penalty when Iliadis came in with his famous hip throw and just like in Tokyo, he slammed Nishiyama flat on his back for ippon.


Men’s -90kg

ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE) vs. DENISOV, Kirill (RUS)
ONO, Takashi (JPN) vs. NISHIYAMA, Daiki (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
LEE, Kyu-Won (KOR) vs. ONO, Takashi (JPN)
GONZALEZ, Asley (CUB) vs. DENISOV, Kirill (RUS)

PESSANHA, Hugo (BRA) vs. LEE, Kyu-Won (KOR)
GREKOV, Valentyn (UKR) vs. GONZALEZ, Asley (CUB)

1. ILIADIS, Ilias (GRE)
3. ONO, Takashi (JPN)
3. GONZALEZ, Asley (CUB)
5. LEE, Kyu-Won (KOR)
5. DENISOV, Kirill (RUS)
7. GREKOV, Valentyn (UKR)

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Women’s -70kg

-70kg Final: A very dominant DeCosse (FRA) in white, has her opponent Bosch (NED) back-peddling throughout the contest (

In the -78kg category, there is only one favorite and that’s France’s double World Champion, Lucie Decosse, who is clearly head and shoulders above the competition. She had no problems making it to the top of Pool A, defeating all her opponents by ippon.

Hungary’s Anett Meszaros topped Pool B, which meant she would face Decosse in the semi-finals. Meszaros has beaten DeCosse before, in the 2009 Rotterdam World Championships. But in their two recent fights, in the past year, DeCosse was the winner.

On the other side, the No. 2 IJF-ranked Edith Bosch of Holland topped Pool C. If anyone could give DeCosse a good fight, it would be Bosch, a former world champion. Meanwhile, top of Pool D was lesser-known Onix Cortés Aldama from Cuba, who is ranked just outside the Top 20 in the IJF rankings (she’s seeded 21).

The semi-finals went as expected with DeCosse winning her bout against Meszaros by throwing her Hungarian opponent with a slick osoto-gari into harai-goshi combination, which scored ippon. Holland’s Bosch had a harder time with the plucky Cuban Cortés Aldama and had to rely on penalties to win her match. Still, this earned her a ticket to the final.

Bronze Medal Matches
Japan’s Yoriko Kunihara threw Cortés Aldama with uchimata-makikomi to score waza-ari, which was enough to win her the bronze medal. The other bronze was won by Hungary’s Anett Meszaros, whose uchimata scored yuko and left her Slovenian opponent, Rasa Sraka‘s ankle badly injured. Sraka could not continue and the match (which only had a few seconds left) was awarded Meszaros.

If there were any doubts that DeCosse would win this bout, all would have been erased soon after the match started. It was a disappointing final with Bosch refusing to come to grips with DeCosse and back-pedaling throughout the entire fight, giving new meaning to the phrase “non-combativity”.

She steadily incurred penalties and nearly got her fourth shido — which would have meant hansoku-make — with about 11 seconds left. The judges conferred and decided to let the match go on but even so, Bosch refused to come to grips and in the end, allowed DeCosse to win the gold medal without even having to attempt a throw.


Women’s -70kg
DECOSSE, Lucie (FRA) vs. BOSCH, Edith (NED)

Semi Finals
DECOSSE, Lucie (FRA) vs. MESZAROS, Anett (HUN)

Bronze Medal Fights
SRAKA, Rasa (SLO) vs. MESZAROS, Anett (HUN)

SOL, Kyong (PRK) vs. KUNIHARA, Yoriko (JPN)
SRAKA, Rasa (SLO) vs. PASQUET, Marie (FRA)

1. DECOSSE, Lucie (FRA)
2. BOSCH, Edith (NED)
3. KUNIHARA, Yoriko (JPN)
3. MESZAROS, Anett (HUN)
5. SRAKA, Rasa (SLO)
7. SOL, Kyong (PRK)
7. PASQUET, Marie (FRA)

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Women’s -63kg

-63kg Final: It was a scoreless final (

In the end, Emane (FRA) won a unanimous decision over Ueno (JPN)

After two days without any players at the top of the rostrum, the -63kg competition was the best chance for the host country to win its first gold medal.

France’s Gévrise Emane, a former World champion and the No. 2 seed in the IJF world rankings, was expected to meet her rival, Japan’s Yoshie Ueno, a double World and Olympic champion and the No. 1 seed. And so it was.

Ueno faced 4th-seeded Urska Zolnir of Slovenia in her semi-final match which went into overtime. Zolnir, who had earlier been more aggressive seemed to run out of steam during Golden Score and was eventually pinned for an ippon.

Emane also had a tough semi-final match, squaring up against Holland’s 3rd-seeded Elisabeth Willaboordse. Both played a tactical match until Emane dropped down low to score yuko with sode-tsuri-komi-goshi.

Bronze Medal Matches
It was Holland vs Holland contending for one of the bronze medals with Willaboordse going up against her team-mate, 8th-seeded Anicka van Emden. Although Willaboordse was the favorite, it was van Emden who scored twice with ouchi-gari for yuko to win the bronze medal.

The other bronze medal was won by Slovenia’s Zolnir who smashed Cuba’s Maricet Espinosa with a massive te-guruma for ippon after the Cuban adopted a cross guard grip (which allowed Zolnir to attack her legs).

The final between Japan’s Ueno and France’s Emane had the French crowd in a frenzy but it was a largely uneventful contest with both fighters playing it safe. Ueno launched several unconvincing drop attacks while Emane also dropped down several times with her low sode-tsuri-komi-goshi.

During Golden Score, Ueno received a shido for passivity after which she became more aggressive. The French player played it smart and made safe, tactical attacks to avoid getting a similar penalty. At the end of the Golden Score, all three judges awarded the match to Emane, giving the French something to really celebrate about.


Women’s -63kg

UENO, Yoshie (JPN) vs. EMANE, Gevrise (FRA)

UENO, Yoshie (JPN) vs. ZOLNIR, Urska (SLO)
EMANE, Gevrise (FRA) vs. WILLEBOORDSE, Elisabeth (NED)

Bronze Medal Fights
VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED) vs. WILLEBOORDSE, Elisabeth (NED)
ESPINOSA, Maricet (CUB) vs. ZOLNIR, Urska (SLO)

VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED) vs. XU, Yuhua (CHN)
ESPINOSA, Maricet (CUB) vs. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)

1. EMANE, Gevrise (FRA)
2. UENO, Yoshie (JPN)
3. VAN EMDEN, Anicka (NED)
3. ZOLNIR, Urska (SLO)
5. WILLEBOORDSE, Elisabeth (NED)
5. ESPINOSA, Maricet (CUB)
7. XU, Yuhua (CHN)
7. DREXLER, Hilde (AUT)

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