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Momo Tamaoki takes third gold for Japan in Zagreb
29 Sep 2017 19:15
With her bronze medal obtained at the last World Championships in Budapest, Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR) was expected to enter the final even if she was not the top seeded athlete in Zagreb, and that is what she did. Very strong and focused throughout the preliminary rounds, she qualified against the third Japanese to enter the final, Tamaoki Momo.
Nekoda Smythe-Davis was rapidly penalised with a first shido for stepping outside of the fighting area. One minute prior to the end, Smythe-Davis was penalised a second time for passivity as she seemed shot-shy in front of Tamaoki. But as shido doesn't award the victory in regular time, both athletes entered the golden score, still with an advantage to the Japanese. The golden score period seemed a little more balanced as neither Tamaoki nor Smythe-Davis were able to put each other under any real threat. However, after around three minutes and thirty seconds of extra time, the Japanese produced two strong attacks and kept on putting pressure on Smythe-Davis who was penalised for the third time and awarded a third gold medal of the day for Japan.
The first bronze medal contest opposed Ivelina Ilieva (BUL) and Daria Mezhetskaia (RUS). After two minutes and a half, there was only one shido awarded to the Russian and, second after second, the match seemed to approach to the golden score, until Ilieva took advantage of a weak attack from Mezhetskaia to apply a shime-waza technique for ippon.
In the second bronze medal contest, the experienced Karakas Hedvig (HUN) was opposed to the top seeded athlete of the day, Theresa Stoll (GER), who was eliminated by Tamaoki in the semi-final. As there was nothing written on the scoreboard, it was only ten seconds prior to the final gong, when the Hungarian scored a waza-ari with an unusual technique which was changed to no score after having been reviewed with the video. It was then time for golden score. Two minutes later there was still nothing on the scoreboard and both athletes were still running after a score or a penalty to put a full stop to the bout. Two more minutes later the situation was still the same, but after a false attack from the German, she was penalised giving the victory to an exhausted but happy Karakas.
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