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Perfect day for World and Paralympic Champion Inna Cherniak
10 Sep 2016 16:40
Paralympic judo star Inna Cherniak of the Ukraine makes light work of defeating Brazil’s Lucia Araujo to secure gold medal on her Paralympic debut in Rio. It took Ukraine’s world champion Cherniak just 40 seconds to seal gold in her first Paralympic final on day two of the judo competitions.
Carioca Arena 3 was a cauldron of noise as Cherniak defeated Brazilian London 2012 silver medallist Lucia Araujo to take the up to 57kg title.
Despite strong support from the home crowd, Araujo could not find a way out after being pinned to the mat quickly by Inna, the twin sister of Maryna Cherniak.
Afterwards, Cherniak said the support from the loud Brazilian crowd was a motivating factor for her as well: “I was a little bit nervous because the crowd were, of course, supporting the Brazilian judoka,” she said. “But their emotions helped me too.”
“This day was the perfect day.” she added. “This medal represents four years of work. I’m very happy that this day ended like this.”
For Araujo, the reaction of the home supporters helped her quickly overcome any disappointment at missing out on a gold medal once again.
“Even though it was the silver medal, I still got supported by the people,” Araujo said.
“I didn’t have time to think about losing the gold medal. I was sad but then everybody started cheering and I felt very good about it.”
While Ukrainian judokas were favourites for all four events on day two of competition, Cherniak was the only member of the Ukraine squad that topped the podium.
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