Olympic Judo Finals with Video

London 2012 Judo Highlights: Women's 52 KG And Men's 66 KG Finals 

Thanks to the work of Zombie Prophet, we have some GIFs of the judo action from Sunday's matches.
Due to the GIFs being multitudinous, they are tucked away after the jump and those with slower internet connections or less powerful computing devices should be patient while they load.
In the meantime, enjoy the story of the Brazilian bronze medalist in the -60 kg division breaking his medal in the shower the day after. The original story comes from the Brazilian site GloboEsporte.com and was translated/disseminated widely by the Associated Press - which either left out or missed the details of the original.
The curious thing is that the "accident" happened during a bath on Sunday morning. Without separating from the medal, Kitadai took it to the shower. To avoid water, he held it with his teeth. Result: it ended up falling down and breaking a piece of the rim through which the cord hangs around his neck.
The IOC has said it will replace the medal.
After the jump, the judo GIFs and the context in which they reside in.
The best results list can be found at the London Olympics website: http://www.london2012.com/judo/schedule-and-results/day=29-july/all-day.html
In the quarterfinals of the women's -52 kg division, Marie Muller from Luxemborg lost a close match to the eventual finalist, Yanet Bermoy-Acosta of Cuba (some sort of penalty/not trying hard enough decision thing). In the semifinals, Rosalba Forciniti of Italy lost to Kum Ae An of North Korea by ko-soto-gari (leg sweep). The finals saw the North Korean win the gold medal match over the Cuban - and because the two made it to the finals, Muller and Forciniti were able to get into the repechage bracket and duke it out with four others for the bronze medals.
In the first bronze medal match, Muller (in white) and Forciniti (in blue) had a couple of cool moments.
Forciniti nearly got a leg sweep on Muller and had a golden opportunity for newaza, but gave it up instead to kind of stare and yell at her opponent. If I've seen Dr. Ann Maria De Mars (Ronda Rousey's mother and judo world champion in her own right) blog about seizing any and all opportunities to get a pin or submission on an opponent after a throw, I've seen it a million times. Forciniti missed a sitting duck and the yell shows the frustration with herself.
It really looks like Forciniti completely lost her mind and tackled Muller with no concrete plan to enact in that brief opportunity. Dr. Ann Maria would have choice words for her.
Muller nearly had a sweet ippon of her own, but Forciniti's balance was too good. After the throw fails, you can see Muller engage in the "FLOOR IS SPECIAL LAVA THAT BURNS MY BACK" and turn away to defend, instead of attacking. In the Olympic bronze medal match, it is probably a smart idea to defend, but I am a proponent of attacking whenever possible, so I will retain my armchair quarterback snootiness.
Forciniti would win this bronze medal match due to a shido (penalty point assigned for inactivity) being hung upon Muller.
The other bronze medal match took place between Priscilla Gneto (white gi) of France and Ilse Heylen (blue gi) of Germany. The match was kind of unusual in that two penalties were awarded to each fighter for inactivity/avoiding grips/running away (two penalties create a yuko point for the other person). It was tied up until Gneto busted loose with this ashi guruma. Boom. Way to stay with it despite the initial defense, Gneto.

In the finals, the North Korean won by a single penalty point. So... no GIF of that because it was awful boring. The big ippons usually come early on as the big fish match up with the minnows. This metaphor kind of fails because at the Olympics, almost everybody is a bad-ass.
Masashi Ebinuma of Japan won a very controversial match against the South Korean, Jun-Ho Cho, in the quarterfinals. He lost in the semi-finals to the eventual gold medalist, Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia. In the repechage bracket, Ebinuma went up against Pavel Zagrodnik of Poland in a solid match.
Ebinuma scored a waza-ari (big score, but not instant winner) with this yoko-wakare. The throw is generally seen to be a sacrifice type and has to be done with really good timing. The opponent cannot be allowed to sprawl and land on top. You can see Pavel nearly get the sprawl, but Ebinuma keeps pulling and keeps committing to the throw. The driving and the pulling gets the near back exposure and the waza-ari from the referee. Pavel's expression of relief after the turn and the retention of his chances at a bronze medal is kind of funny.

Pavel would get Ebinuma back with his own waza-ari through a drop seoi-nage. You can see Ebinuma use his head like a third hand and cartwheel over to prevent the immediate back exposure. Again the "SPECIAL LAVA" logic applies and Ebinuma barely survives the pin attempt by Pavel (maybe letting go of the grips would have helped Pavel stabilize in a mount position).
If you want to see some flippin' awesome throw defense and reversals, check out Georgi Zantaraya clips on YouTube. This highlight video moves from drilling reversals and defenses of throws to Zantaraya actually pulling them off in high level matches. It is the most acrobatic display of judo daredevilism I have ever seen.
In the end, Ebinuma pulled off a superb o-goshi for the ippon win. This is a beaut. You can see Pavel defend the first of the usual chain, but Ebinuma steps right over to get the hips under and floats Pavel over for the toss.
Hopefully, we'll bring you more from the judo matches as this goes on. Zombie Prophet is to be thanked for the wonderful GIFs and thanks are due to you combat sports fans, as your attention and appreciation let us do this good work.


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