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De Wit wins first Grand Slam as the Netherlands has a new poster boy
12 Feb 2017 21:05
While still twenty years old, Frank De Wit won his first Grand Slam gold medal; the Netherlands now has the ideal poster boy for the new Grand Prix at The Hague, which was announced on Sunday. Both judoka cancelled each other out in regulation time and needed an additional 54 seconds to be separated by a waza-ari score which went in favour of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist.
In the first semi-final Rekhviashvili saw off Pape Doudou Ndiaye (FRA) by a waza-ari, while in the second semi-final, Eduardo Yudi Santos (BRA) lost out to De Wit by the same score.
The first bronze medal was clinched by 21-year-old Grand Slam debutant Baptiste Pierre (FRA) who gave the host country an ideal start to the final block with a victory over Santos by ippon.
The second bronze medal was won by world number 115 Pape Doudou Ndiaye (FRA) who produced two scores in the final minute, comming from behind to beat world number 113 Hong Suk Woong (KOR), who finished fifth at the Tokyo Grand Slam in 2013. The home judoka trailed by a waza-ari as the contest entered the final 60 seconds, but Ndiaye leveled the contest with a waza-ari with 40 seconds left and then countered the fading South Korean for ippon with a mere five seconds on the clock.
De Wit, who celebrates his 21th birthday on Monday, gave himself a hell of a birthday present. He is the youngest Dutch male winner of the Paris Tournament. Of 13 Dutch winners Wim Ruska was the oldest (30) in 1971. Jenny Gal, Angelique Seriese (2), Ben Sonnemans, and IJF announcer Dennis van der Geest were the winners in the 20st century. This century Maarten Arens, Mark Huizinga, Edith Bosch (2), Guillaume Elmont (2), Henk Grol, Kim Polling and Linda Bolder were the winners before this historic victory for De Wit.
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