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French judoka impress at first event with new rules
14 Jan 2017 20:35
France have won six out of the eight gold medals at the first Continental open of the season. The African Open in Tunis was the first ocassion where the new rules were applicable. The French men won all categories and only Tunisia's Olfa Saoudi and Cristina Cabana Perez of Spain won their categories.
Saoudi was the home winner in Tunis at her home event. She defeated Cinta Garcia Mesa of Spain in the final. U63kg Cristina Cabana bested Andreja Leski in the final.
All other gold medals were taken by France. Amandine Buchard who showed a good shape in December seems to be back U52kg and claimed the gold when she overcame Anja Stangar (SLO) in the final. Lola Benarroche defeated Sarah Harachi in the final U57kg. Both are candidate to replace the open spot of Automne Pavia who won't compete this season due to her pregnancy. Obviously Helene Receveaux is the highest French athlete in the World Ranking.
In the men's division Richard Vergnes overcame Fraj Dhouibi of Tunisia in the final U60kg. David Larose continued with good results. In October he won the European Open in Glasgow and finished second at the French Championships behind Alexandre Mariac. Today in Tunis Larose won gold against Imad Bassou of Morocco. Samnuel N'Zingo took the gold U73kg against Frenchman Mathieu Little Lebreton.
Tunis is just a finger practise with 122 participants, in February the Grand Slam of Paris will give the first serious indications how receptive the athletes are for the new rules.
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Daniel Gonzalez Cava (ESP)