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Day 1 Recap from the IJF World Judo Tour Grand Prix in Portugal

Team JudoAus were upended early on but displayed strength and courage.

Joshua Katz Starts the Season Off with a Win

Grand Prix Portugal 2022, ROUND 2 MGL BYAMBAJAV vs AUS KATZ, -60 kg (c) Sabau Gabriela

Securing the first win is always important, especially when it is the first match of the season and judoka Joshua Katz made sure to get the year started with a bang for Team Judo Aus.

In his first-round Men’s 60 kg Division match, the 9th seeded Australian took on the young 18th seeded Andras Vida of Hungary. Both athletes came out aggressive with each attempting takedowns in the first minute of the contest, but neither were able to find success. As the match went on, Katz continued his relentless offensive tactic which seemed to wear the young Hungarian down.

After several more exchanges, Katz attempted another powerful takedown which Vida’s countered with a Sankaku Jime, but the Australian was too quick, escaping the young Hungarian’s hold before forcing him onto his back.

Vida’s worked hard from this position to keep the right leg of Katz trapped in his guard, but Katz was too strong as he broke free and was able to control the Hungarian in a Osae Waza technique securing an Ippon by grapple at 2:58 in regulation time.

In his second-round match, Katz faced-off against the 24th seeded Mongolian, Tsogt-Ochir Byambajav. The two exchanged offensive attempts, but neither were able to gain an advantage over the other. After two Shido penalties were given to Katz, one for avoiding grip and the other for kicking, the match turned in the favour of the Australian.

Like a carbon copy of his first-round match, Katz found himself maintaining control over the Mongolian who fought to keep Katz right leg trapped in his guard. After breaking free from the guard, Katz was able to hold Byambajav for a 10 second Waza-ari before losing control and having the referee stand the competitors up due to a lack of progress made by either.

As the referee restarted the contest, Byambajav moved in quickly and caught Katz off-guard with a Koshi Waza throw, scoring the Ippon and ending the Australians night.

Unfortunate start for the 4th seeded Australian Nathan Katz

Nathan Katz came into this contest as one of the higher seeded Men’s -66 kg Division judokas and was awarded a first-round bye. His eventual opponent, 28th seeded Freddy Waizenegger of Switzerland, defeated the young 24th seeded home crowd favourite B. Tralhao Fernandes of Portugal in their marathon first-round contest. The match lasted until the sixth minute of the golden score period when Waizenegger secured the win with an Ippon at 6:16 time.

Katz was poised to take advantage of his opponent’s long first-round match and came out quickly on the offensive but found himself in a difficult situation when the young Swiss judoka slipped between Katz legs after a failed throw. Waizeneggar was able to maintain his hold on the sleeve of the Australian’s Gi before pulling Katz arm through his own stance, causing him to tumble forward and onto his back scoring the young Swiss judoka an Ippon at 0:18 in regulation time.

Katz appeared to be stunned at what had just happened and exited the mat in disbelief at his tournament came to an end so quickly.

Grand Prix Portugal 2022, ROUND 2 AUS KATZ vs SUI WAIZENEGGER, -66 kg (c) Sabau Gabriela

Tinka Easton shows grit in second-round loss to Marie Siderot of Portugal

6th seeded Tinka Easton’s tournament didn’t go as planned, but her epic second-round match with Marie Siderot of Portugal in their Women’s -52 kg Division matchup was a testament to the young Australians competitive spirit.

After securing a first-round bye, the young Australian awaited to see who she would face when local favourite Marie Siderot of Portugal went up against Binta Ndiaye of Switzerland. Their match would go well into the golden score period before Siderot was awarded an Ippon at 3:06 following Nidaye’s third consecutive Shido leading to a Hansoku-make.

Heading into her matchup with Siderot, Tinka Easton seemed poised to challenge the crowd favourite. The young Australian didn’t appear to be phased by the slight height and size advantage the Portuguese national had and was able to stave off several early offensive attempts from Siderot.

Grand Prix Portugal 2022, ROUND 2 AUS EASTON vs POR SIDEROT, -52 kg (c) Sabau Gabriela

Near the two-minute mark of regulation, Easton had an opportunity to put the match away when she caught her opponent off-guard and attempted to throw the young Portuguese judoka to the mat, however Siderot was able to correct her fall and avoided giving up the match ending score.

The pair would continue trading offensive attempts, each being met by the other with great balance and counter techniques. As the match went on into the golden score period, both young women showed determination and grit as they continued to battle for the win which eventually came for the young Portuguese national who scored a Waza-ari to end the match at 4:21 in golden score.

Although not the performance the young Australian was hoping for, her display of courage, resolve and hunger to compete was inspiring to watch.

Five champions were crowned

Day 1 saw some great action and a lot of excitement as winners of the five divisions competing were awarded.

In the Women’s -48 kg Division, Portugal’s Catarina Costa took home gold for the host nation as she defeated Hyekyeong Lee from South Korea with a Waza-ari at 0:34 in golden score.

The gold in the Women’s -52 kg Division was awarded to Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo who defeated Croatia’s Ana Viktorija Puljiz with an Ippon at 2:20 in regulation time.

Rafaela Silva was crowned the champion of the Women’s -57 kg Division after defeating Pleuni Cornelisse at 1:08 in regulation time with an Ippon.

Grand Prix Portugal 2022, -57 kg, PARK Eunsong, MONTEIRO Telma, SILVA Rafaela, CORNELISSE Pleuni (c) Sabau Gabriela

Over in the men’s competition, Harim Lee of South Korea defeated Balabay Aghayev of Azerbaijan with an Ippon at 2:05 in regulation to win the Men’s -60 kg Division gold medal.

In the Men’s -66 kg Division, Denis Vieru of Romania took home gold after he defeated Switzerland’s Freddy Waizenegger with an Ippon at 2:21 in regulation time.

A look ahead

Day 2 of the competition is slated to start later tonight at 9:00pm AEST.

Team Judo Aus will have two competitors in action, Jake Bensted and Sam King, both competing in the Men’s -73 kg Division.

Jake will be in the first match of the day on Mat 1 when he faces-off against Bence Boros of Hungry in their Round 1 contest.

Shortly after, Sam King will take on Alessandro Magnani of Italy in their first-round matchup slated to be the third match on Mat 2.

Be sure to stay up to date with the latest news and live results by heading over to the Judo Australia Facebook page @JudoAus.

Or catch all the action live on the IJF Channel,

Author: Charles Hall

Information I this article can be found on the IJF Portugal Competition site:


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