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Nekoda Davis comes of age with golden victory in Zagreb
1 May 2015 18:55
Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Nekoda DAVIS (GBR) took her career to new heights in Zagreb as she defeated Olympic bronze medallist Marti MALLOY (USA) who was fresh from winning the Pan American Championships a week ago. SMYTHE DAVIS won her first IJF Grand Prix gold medal and with it her first win against the world-renowned MALLOY who had triumphed in their two previous meetings.
The 22-year-old Londoner scored ippon with 53 seconds left and could not hide her emotions on the tatami as she wept with tears of joy. MALLOY returned to an IJF podium for the first time since taking silver at the 2014 Tyumen Grand Slam.
In the first semi-final SMYTHE DAVIS threw Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist Tina ZELTNER (AUT) with a majestic uchi-mata as the Austrian was sent through the air in a battle of two of the brightest talents in the weight category. In the second semi-final MALLOY, who was clearly buoyed by her Pan American Championships victory, conquered Glasgow European Open silver medallist Johanna MUELLER (GER), to guarantee an overdue medal on the IJF World Judo Tour. MALLOY worked with her usual conviction to capture the left arm of MUELLER and locked on the juji-gatame to force the German judoka to submit.
The first bronze medal was won by MUELLER who worked her way into the contest against Olympic silver medallist Corina CAPRIORIU (ROU). The world number 46 from Germany struck with 15 seconds left as she scored a yuko and there was not enough time for her Romanian foe to respond. There was an audible gasp of delight from the German who earned her country’s third medal on day one. The second bronze medal was won by ZELTNER, who having eliminated top seed Miryam ROPER (GER) in the second round, was good value for a place on the podium. ZELTNER, 22, who is behind Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) domestically, outperformed her veteran countrywoman today, as she defeated 18-year-old Junior European bronze medallist and Cadet European champion Andreja LESKI (SLO) for bronze while FILZMOSER fell in the second round to MUELLER. LESKI, who won her first senior title at the Sarajevo European Cup in March, lost out with 90 seconds left on the clock.
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