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Arleta Podolak keeps outlook for Rio after golden trick
13 May 2016 15:20
The gold medal for women U57kg at the Grand Prix was for Arleta Podolak who definitely needed those 300 points to launch her in the top 20. Her sharp Juji gatame in the final against Spanish Jaione Equisoain did it for the former World Junior Champion after Equisoain missed her uchimata and was outbalanced.
She now closes in to the potential Olympians, perhaps based on the continental quota she may still go. An amazing miracle fitting the flow of Polish judo, also the organisers of the next European Championships in 2017 and winning the women’s team title. The puzzle seems to close with this gold medal. Podolak was a wazari ahead in the final after two minutes and simply looked more sharp in that final. She was confident as she defeated Equisoain twice before and Podolak became the gold medallist with an outlook for Rio afterall.
Podolak: “I feel very happy because it’s my first Grand Prix medal and we are at the end of the Olympic qualification so it’s a perfect time to win gold. I am not sure about everything. I am pretty close to qualification but I feel far away too. We will see from here. I want to have a rest now for a few days and hopefully go to the World Judo Masters.”
Automne Pavia won the bronze medal against Sanne Verhagen, an opponent she lost to once, but this time nothing to worry for Pavia who launched her uchimata halfway the regular time. Verhagen will have to wait for qualification, but papers look good as her rivals didn’t score a medal as well and Podolak is likely not the one to pass Verhagen.
Yang Liu of China choked Timna Nelson-levy in the bronze medal bout with a tight oseikomi and sankaku. Liu had good groundwork and grabbed bronze.
You wonder why Podolak didn't win individual medals before looking back after such great day. Damian Szwarnowiecki did the same trick some weeks ago in Samsun when out of the blue he won gold. Success breeds success.
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