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Li leads the way for high-flying hosts in the lightweight category
18 Nov 2016 15:25
Li Yanan of China won her first Grand Prix gold medal in the first final in Qingdao on Friday. Russian lightweight Mariia Persidskaia was the favourite in the gold medal contest despite giving up home advantage to Li who is former Pan American Open bronze medallist. A shido against Persidskaia, Tashkent Grand Prix winner, was the only time the referee was called up upon during the four minute final as Li celebrated a golden start for China.
In the first semi-final Persidskaia bested Yin Lingling of China by a yuko as the teenage home fighter took her opponent the full distance. The yuko from Persidskaia was the only score of the contest as YIN slipped down into the bronze medal contest and the former moved into the -48kg gold medal contest. In the second semi-final 20-year-old IJF World Judo Tour debutant Guan Xiaoxian lost out to LI who prevailed by a yuko score in a traditionally tight contest between two teammates.
The first bronze medal contest was won by Guan who beat teammate Yang Shuang. Guan held down Yang, who had fifth and seventh place finishes at her home Grand Prix in previous years, for a waza-ari score which proved enough as a barrage of seoi-nage attacks from Yang was too little too late. The second bronze medal was won by Yin over 22-year-old seoi-nage specialist Lin Chu Yun (TPE). The scoreboard was all square after four minutes as both judoka had two shidos and no scores to force the contest into golden score. A shido for Lin handed the contest and bronze medal to the Chinese competitor as the hosts kept both -48kg bronze medals in the country.
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Rezo Mesablishvili (UKR)