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Nora Gjakova claims first IJF World Tour gold for Kosovo

7 Apr 2017 21:05

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Undoubtedly, it was a sumptuous day for Kosovo, as for the second time of the day, the small country of the Balkans, opened the doors of the final thanks to Nora Gjakova this time. Although she was a bit more laborious than Krasniqi in U52kg. Gjakova who was ill this week didn't give her best judo and still won the gold.

She still secured her place on the podium by solidly defeating Kseniia Beldiagina (KGZ) in the first round before winning against Khulan Tseregbaatar (MGL) with a small penalty difference during the golden score.

In the final Gjakova found on her way to the top of the podium Timna Nelson Levy, Israel definitely being part of the celebration among women’s athletes today in Antalya. Sanobar Sultonova (UZB) and Bekky Livesey (GBR) were the ‘victims’ of Nelson Levy in the preliminary rounds.

Gjakova and Nelson Levy entered the second half of the final with only one shido to Nelson Levy. One minute later it was Gjakova’s turn to be penalised but then the Kosovan scored a waza-ari with a hip technique that she could keep as the main score until the last seconds to win a second gold medal for Kosovo here in Antalya.

The winner said: "It's very important because the European Championships are near, but today wasn't my best day as I was ill for three days but was still able to get the gold medal. But it's a good sign of form. We will now prepare for the European Championships and then rest and train for the World Championships." 

The first bronze medal contest opposed Kseniia Beldiagina (KGZ) and Bekky Livesey (GBR). With a single waza-ari, scored with a beautiful hip technique, Bekky Livesey (GBR) secured a second medal on a Grand Prix.

In the second bronze medal bout Sevara Nishanbayeva (KAZ) faced Khulan Tseregbaatar (MGL). Nishanbayeva scored a first waza-ari with a o-soto-otoshi technique, the first waza-ari of a long list as when the athletes entered into the last minute of the bout, they both had two waza-ari. But despite all the attacks, it is a shido that designated the winner. When Nishanbayeva dropped on her knees without putting her opponent out of balance, she knew that is was a mistake and when she received the shido, she respectfully bowed to the referee and to Tseregbaatar Khulan to acknowledge her bronze medal.

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