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Maria Suelen Altheman gives Brazil Olympic medal hope
21 Feb 2016 19:55
Two-time Brazilian world silver medallist Maria Suelen Altheman reigned at the Grand Prix of Dusseldorf as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games medal hope defeated world champion of China Yu Song in the +78kg final. Altheman threw Yu with a beautiful harai-goshi and then pinned down the Chinese fighter with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for 15 seconds to seal a superb win in 56 seconds.
In the first semi-final Yu won an all-Asian contest against Tokyo Grand Slam winner Inamori Nami (JPN) on shidos 0:3 with both judoka registering a yuko. In the second semi-final Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Ma Sisi (CHN) fell to Altheman by ippon after the Brazilian added the maximum and match-winning score to her initial yuko effort.
The first bronze medal was won by Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Kim Minjeong (KOR) who defeated Ma to keep her medal column active and leave Ma with everything to do in the selection battle for the Olympics with teammate Yu contesting the +78kg final. Kim countered her heavier opponent for a yuko and held down the Chinese judoka for 20 seconds and ippon. The second bronze medal was won by Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Kim Jiyoun (KOR) who wrapped up a win over Inamori in 66 seconds. Kim scored a waza-ari with a sode-tsurikomi-goshi and held down Inamori for 15 seconds with a kesa-gatame for the win.
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