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Italian women need success in Rome

11 Feb 2016 09:15


In Rome the best judo women from Europe and beyond will fight for the 100 points at stake. For the top athletes just a finger practice, but the sub top, serious business. Athletes from more than 30 countries registered for the European Open at the PalaPellicone in Ostia nearby Rome.

The Italian women are fighting to qualify and a success would be useful. Best qualified is Edwige Gwend U63kg who’s the only Italian in the top 10. Odette Giuffrida is 11th U52kg and both Valentina Moscatt and Assunta Galeone are positioned at 18 in the World Ranking. However in the Olympic qualification ranking Moscatt is 22, on the edge of qualification via the Continental quota, and she won’t compete in Rome. Moscatt was the last Italian winner in 2013. Assunta Galeone is 19th and safe in this moment. Four women at the Olympics seems to be the max this Olympic edition compared to 5 women in London.

Edwige Gwend is the only Italian of the top 4 qualified women who competed in Italy. She won the Grand Prix Tashkent in 2015. Gwend won the European U23 Championships in 2010. Also in 2010 also won silver at the Senior European Championships in Vienna. She developed well in this Olympic qualification and claimed various major victories and collected over 15 world level medals. This year Gwend was blocked by Martina Trajdos in Sofia and nemesis Van Emden in Paris. However a place in the top 10 is realistic as Gwend overcame many difficult opponents who she lost to in the past.

Best chance for a medal seems to be Odette Giuffrida who was 5th at the 2015 World Championships in Astana. The Italian judoka U52kg became European Junior Champion in 2013 and won European Senior bronze. Giuffrida was EYOF champion in 2009. World Cadet silver in 2009 and World Junior bronze in 2013. She won 2 European Cadet and 2 European junior titles. She’s done it all, now one level up and gold this time in Rome is the aim. In the previous edition Giuffrida took silver after a loss against Ma Yingnan (CHN).

This Olympic year again some of the top athletes in the world have registered for Rome with Erika Miranda (BRA), well known Ma Yingnan, the strong Mongolian women, the successful Koreans, 4 Spanish, 4 Italian and 3 French judoka, in a field of 25.

This edition without the Japanese team that won four gold medals in 2014 and without 2014 winners Paula Pareto (U48) and Rafaela Silva (U57) the category U52kgs is the only division where Ma Yingnan can defend her title. For your ods, Miranda and Ma are equal in head-to-head, but Miranda won their last fight. Both Miranda as Ma defeated Giuffrida once.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Edwige Gwend (ITA) - European Games Baku teams (2015, AZE) - © European Judo Union / EJU, Copyright:
  • Odette Giuffrida (ITA) - European Games Baku (2015, AZE) - © European Judo Union / EJU, Copyright:
  • Odette Giuffrida (ITA) - European Open Rome (2016, ITA) - © JudoHeroes

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