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Alice Schlesinger positions with outsider role for Rio
Alice Schlesinger positions with outsider role for Rio
7 May 2016 17:05
by Mark Pickering - IJF
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation

Dusseldorf Grand Prix silver medallist Alice Schlesinger (GBR) played down her day in the post-event interview but the modest Briton excelled in Baku as she won all five of her contests by the maximum score. Schlesinger won her first Grand Slam gold medal for Great Britain to secure 500 precious qualification points which edges her closer towards potentially being seeded at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Former Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Marijana Miskovic Hasanbegovic (CRO) had a day to remember despite being second best in the final where she was thrown with an uchi-mata for ippon after 27 seconds but will take home 300 points and the best result of her career.

In the first semi-final Miskovic Hasanbegovic surprised former Asian Championships bronze medallist Bak Jiyun (KOR) as the Croatian threw Bak for the maximum score and Miskovic Hasanbegovic was fighting back the tears as she guaranteed her first Grand Slam final. In the second semi-final former world champion Yarden Gerbi (ISR) lost out to Alice Schlesinger (GBR) by ippon after just 54 seconds as the latter continues to come into her own in the British setup.

The first bronze medal was won by Pan American Championships silver medallist Maricet Espinosa (CUB) who showed her fantastic throwing skills as she beat a deflated Gerbi who walked on to a huge effort from the Cuban on the edge of the area for ippon. Espinosa is in fine form and looks poised for a serious medal tilt in Rio while Gerbi, who had trailed to a yuko, limped off the tatami and will hope to return to action and the medal podium before August. The second bronze medal was claimed by Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Busra Katipoglu (TUR) as Bak could not compete due to injury.