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Fourth Grand Slam gold for Worlds-ready Ami Kondo
20 May 2017 16:45
Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Kondo Ami of Japan showed that she is ready to challenge for a third consecutive Worlds medal this summer after a straightforward win in Ekaterinburg. Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist Sabina Giliazova of Russia was unable to impose herself as class act Kondo held down the Russian with a ushiro-kesa-gatame hold for 20 seconds to clinch the gold medal.
World number six Kondo, 22, had won successive Grand Slam bronze medals in Tokyo and Paris since Rio 2016 and was recently selected for this year’s World Championships. Kondo, who won the Worlds in 2014 and bronze a year later, is now in pole position for Budapest 2017.
In the first semi-final Galbadrakh was surprisingly beaten by Giliazova by a waza-ari while in the second semi-final Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Melanie Clement (FRA) fell to Kondo who trapped her opponent in osaekomi with a kami-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon.
The first bronze medal contest saw Tashkent Grand Prix winner Mariia Persidskaia (RUS) tumble after only 16 seconds to Clement. The French judoka produced a left-sided harai-goshi for ippon inside 20 seconds to capture her first Grand Slam honours. The second bronze medal contest went to world number two Galbadrakh who salvaged a place on the medal podium despite being far from her best. Galbadrakh prevailed as five-time Grand Slam medallist Nataliya Komova (RUS) received her third shido in golden score to be disqualified and the Kazakh has work to do if she is to win her first Worlds senior medal in August.
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