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YouJeong Kwon takes second gold for Korea
11 Feb 2017 19:15
Home favourite Helene Receveaux of France produced her best ever result in Paris but still it was not enough for gold as world number 83 Kwon selected the season opener to break through at the top level. The 21-year-old, who was competing in only her second Grand Slam, won her first IJF World Judo Tour medal as she frustrated the French crowd and their world number two Receveaux as the South Korean registered two waza-ari scores without reply.
In the first semi-final Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Receveaux stamped her name as the top French judoka at U57kg as she brushed aside London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Priscila Gneto (FRA). Receveaux won with a uchi-mata and lapped up the home atmosphere after a crucial victory. In the second semi-final Kwon shocked five-time Grand Slam winner and favourite Yoshida Tsukasa (JPN). A waza-ari after two minutes of added time gave the contest to the South Korean.
The first bronze medal was won by Yoshida who recovered from her unexpected semi-final defeat to thwart Sofia European Open bronze medallist Nora Gjakova (KOS) by a waza-ari. The second bronze medal was won by Gneto who defeated Rio 2016 Olympic champion Rafaela Silva (BRA). Carioca Silva, who lost her quarter-final to Kwon, could not live up to her gold backpatch this time around as she was thrown with a drop seoi-nage for a waza-ari. The Brazilian landed in a position to apply a juji-gatame but Gneto was quick to defend and escaped any danger. Gneto rolled her opponent from the ground for a second waza-ari and celebrated her best result since moving up to U57kg in October.
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Babette Van Aggelen (NED)