Two early round exits saw Team JudoAus miss out on medal contention
Jake Bensted came out poised to make a run at the finals
The night started early for ninth seeded Jake Bensted who had the first match of the competition against the seventeenth seeded Hungarian Bence Boros in their Men’s -73 kg Division match-up. Bensted was quickly given a Shido for avoiding a grip, a slight infringement in Judo. However, he remained focused and parried the next several attacks from the young Hungarian competitor.
As the match continued, Boros remained on the offensive, dictating the action which led to several counter attempts from the Australian, including two Tomoe Nage throws that almost found purchase which could have scored Bensted a match ending ippon had the young Hungarian not been able to avoid them.
The two competitors continued for the remainder of regulation, equally matched in their attempts to score points, but neither were successful before time expired in regulation.
Heading into golden score, Bensted came out on the offensive as the young Hungarian began to show signs of fatigue. The Australian’s first attempt to take Boros off his feet was unsuccessful as the two scrambled out of the yellow competition area.
After a quick reset by the referee, Bensted was able to score a Waza-ari when he attempted a takedown that the young Hungarian tried to counter, but exposed his stance, breaking his posture which allowed the Australian to capitalise with a match ending score at 0:32 in the golden score period.
Sam King suffered an unfortunate first round loss
Coming into this contest, Sam King was seeded tenth in the Men’s -73 kg Division. His first-round opponent was the twentieth seeded young Italian judoka, Alessandro Magnani.
As the two squared off, Magnani went for a quick strike Tomoe Nage which King was able to parry, but the Australian left his right arm exposed allowing the Italian to quickly react with a Kansetsu Waza technique, locking Kings elbow across his waist and forcing him to tap out at 0:14 in regulation time.
The Australian was stunned as he stood in the centre of the mat, hands resting atop his head. There was nothing more that King could do as his night was over just seconds after it had begun.
The quick actions by Magnani were spectacular to watch and his humble display of sportsmanship was equally applaudable as he greeted King with a respectful handshake following their contest.
Unfortunately for the Italian, he would lose his next match against the intense eighth seeded Frenchman, Joan-Benjamin Gaba by Waza-ari at regulation time.
Bensted is unable to get passed the strong Spaniard, Salvador Cases Roca
Jake Bensted’s second-round draw saw him paired with the second seeded Salvador Cases Roca of Spain.
The Australian started the match off strong and quickly found himself in a position to gain top control over his opponent just fifteen seconds into the contest, but the 24-year-old Spaniard quickly escaped, avoiding what could have been a match ending ippon by grapple.
As the match restarted, Cases Roca maintained his controlled approach. The pair exchanged holds before the Spaniard attempted a Tomoe Nage which Bensted quickly foiled by pouncing on Cases Roca who methodically worked his way into a dominate position, forcing the Australian onto his back.
Bensted fought hard to break free from the Spaniards grip which proved to be too strong as Cases Roca was able to grind out a tough ippon by grapple win at 1:20 in regulation time.
Bensted was visibly disappointed with the loss but displayed great respect for the Spaniard as the two shook hands.
Cases Roca's night would find him in the finals where he was defeated by Murodjon Yuldoshev of Uzbekistan with an ippon via Uchi Mata takedown at 1:51 in regulation.
Four gold medals were award on the night
Day 2 added to the excitement following the first day of competition by awarding gold in four weight categories.
In the Women’s -63 kg Division final, young 19-year-old Joanne Van Lieshout of the Netherlands took home the gold after she defeated Iva Oberan of Croatia with two quick Waza-ari scores granting her the win by ippon at 1:23 in regulation time.
The gold in the Women’s -70 kg Division was presented to Lara Cvjetko of Croatia who defeated Hungary’s Gercsak Szabina. Their finals matchup saw both competitors receive two Shido’s before the Hungarian committed a third slight infringement for being non-combative resulting in a Hansoku-make which granted the young Croatian a victory by Ippon at the 0:35 mark in golden score.
Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Yuldoshev won the Men’s 73 kg Division gold medal after defeating Salvador Cases Roca of Spain in their finals match.
And Matthias Casse secured gold with his victory over Oskari Makinen of Finland following a beautiful Ippon-Seoi-Naga takedown that scored the ippon at 2:25 in regulation.
Ahead on day 3
Day 3 will mark the conclusion of the 2022 IJF World Judo Tour Portugal Grand Prix event and will see the last five categorised weight classes compete.
The lone Team JudoAus competitor will be 24-year-old Harrison Cassar who is seeded eighth in the Men’s -90 kg Division. Harry has been awarded a first-round bye and will face the winner of the match between South Korea’s Jiwon Jeon and Artem Bubyr of Ukrania.
His matchup is slated as the eleventh contest on mat three.
Elimination block starts at 11:30 am local time in Portugal, 9:30 pm AEST.
Tune into the IJF Channel, live.ijf.org, to watch all the matches live.
Or head over to the Judo Australia’s Facebook page @JudoAus to stay up to date with the latest news and live results.
Author: Charles Hall
Information I this article can be found on the IJF Portugal Competition site: https://bit.ly/33Ts82Z