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Juul Franssen makes golden return at The Hague Grand Prix
18 Nov 2017 19:15
Two gold medals for the Netherlands today at the Grand Prix in The Hague with an emotional gold for Juul Franssen who was absent for 13 months. She ended with gold in Abu Dhabi in October last year and after a disastrous period without judo due to a conflict and suspension Franssen wasn’t allowed to fight.
Recently this conflict was taken care of with a ‘tailored solution’ and Franssen did the only thing she had to do, come back with a gold medal. In the final she defeated Alice Schlesinger in the golden score after a tough contest. Dutch talent Sanne Vermeer won the bronze medal as well as Stefanie Tremblay of Canada.
Kim Polling was the best judoka U70kg. The former number one of the world bested European Champion Sanne van Dijke in an all Dutch final. Polling showed good judo today, but also Van Dijke convinced with impressive judo and a fine victory versus Laura Vargas Koch, who won bronze at the Olympic Games in Rio. Van Dijke who just returned after an injury didn’t show her best judo against Polling but all expectations after her semi final made it pretty exciting. Laura Vargas Koch also made her comeback, since Rio she didn’t fight anymore and won the bronze today after she defeated Dutch woman Natascha Ausma. She was accompanied on the podium by Miriam Butkereit (GER) who defeated Dutch Evelien Berndsen from The Hague.
No medal for the Dutch in the men’s division despite the high hopes for a medal for Frank de Wit. But the Dutchman lost his semi final to Ivan Vorobev who kept his best for last. In his final Vorobev waited for that one moment and struck against Dominic Ressel with a sensational ippon after 50 seconds. Ressel had won his semi final against World Junior Champion Matthias Casse of Belgium and the youngster was able to take the bronze today. World number one ranked Frank de Wit lost his bronze medal bout against Iranian Saeid Mollaei who beat him at the World Championships as well. Mollaei was extremely satisfied with this confirmation.
The gold for men U73kg went to Mongolia that now won six medals including two gold versions. Khadbaatar Narankhuu was the best today among 29 men. In the final he overcame Victor Scvortov and didn’t even need a minute for that. Narankhuu was impressive the whole day but also the second Mongolian fighter ended on the stage. Tsogtbaatar Tsend-Ochir won the bronze as well as Anthony Zingg who beat Akil Gjakova (KOS) in his last contest.
The Netherlands leads the medal table with two gold, silver and bronze for Mongolia and Kosovo.
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Igor Vracar (BIH)