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Lien celebrates as Chinese Taipei anthem plays for the first time at a Grand Slam
10 Mar 2017 19:05
World number 12 Lien Chen-Ling of Taipei was one of the biggest winners on day one as she defeated Düsseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Jovana Rogic of Serbia to become the first Chinese Taipei judoka to win Grand Slam gold.
Japan-based Lien, 29, who was making her first start in 2017, having finished fifth at the Rio 2016 Olympics, took the contest to Rogic and scored a waza-ari from an uchi-mata with 45 seconds remaining.
In the first semi-final Lien defeated Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Sevara Nishanbayeva (KAZ) to the delight of the Komatsu fans in attendance. The 23-year-old Kazakh, who was making her Grand Slam debut, was trapped in a sankaku-gatame for 20 seconds and Lien moved into the gold medal contest without breaking a sweat. In the second semi-final Rogic saw off Junior European Championships bronze medallist Julia Kowalczyk (POL) who received her third shido for passivity after three minutes of golden score.
The first bronze medal was won by Kowalczyk who defeated 23-year-old IJF World Judo Tour newcomer Gilmara Prudencio (BRA). The Polish judoka attacked with ko-uchi-gari and then o-uchi-gari to send the Brazilian over for a waza-ari and Prudencio could not compete due to injury.
The second bronze medal was won by European Championships bronze medallist Timna Nelson Levy (ISR) who held down Nishanbayeva with a mune-gatame. The former became the fifth Israeli to medal on day one and the third woman from their impressive team in Baku.
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Matteo Iamundo (ITA)
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