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Japanese and Cuban battles for World Open bronze in Marrakech
11 Nov 2017 20:40
Fourty men were trying to take the gold from teddy Riner, but the emperor is still World Champion for the tenth time. A few brave men of 40 in total were left for the final stages. The first bronze medal contest saw the two Japanese, Ojitani Takeshi (JPN) and Kageura Kokoro (JPN) facing for a precious place on the podium.
After 42 seconds, Kageura was penalised with a first shido for passivity. A few seconds before the end of the match, both athletes were penalized for passivity and entered the golden score to decide the winner. After a little more than one minute of extra time, Kageura received the third penalty, synonymous of hansoku-make, Ojitani winning the first medal of the weekend and the first bronze for Japan.
The second bronze medal match was also 100% dedicated to one country, as both Cubans, Alex Garcia Mendoza (CUB) and his teammate Andy Granda (CUB) squared off. Garcia Mendoza scored the first waza-ari with a o-soto-gari to take the lead, followed by a second waza-ari with immobilization. With those two scores Alex Garcia Mendoza won the second bronze medal of the day and the first one for Cuba.
In the first semifinal, Teddy Riner was opposed to the Cuban Andy Granda (CUB), 40kg lighter than the French Giant. But despite that difference, Granda jauntily tried to push his chance. But Riner, who did not take any risk was waiting for the best moment to install his strong grip and launch a chi-mata for waza-ari in golden score. In the second semi final, Toma Nikiforov was on fire as he defeated Kageura Kokoro (JPN). The Belgian engaged a powerful ko-soto-gake, to which the Japanese seemed to resist but not enough and Nikiforov scored a beautiful ippon to face Riner in an unprecedented final.
Read all details about the final of the World Open Championships.
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Lola Van Overstraeten (BEL)
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