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Kim Polling makes a statement by winning domestic duel at home
18 Nov 2017 17:50
Former world number one Kim Polling of the Netherland stole a march on European champion Sanne Van Dijke (NED) as she bombarded her teammate with attacks and scores in a ruthless display which was full of heart and conviction. World number 18 Polling has seen her standing as the Netherlands’ top U70kg judoka in jeopardy after world number seven Van Dijke has travelled far and wide on the IJF World Judo Tour this year.
While triple European Champion Kim Polling, who received the nod for Rio 2016, has rested and picked a handful of tournaments to work her way towards returning to her best condition. The sprightly 22-year-old fell behind to a uchi-mata from Polling and then a left seoi-nage before an osoto-makikomi added a third waza-ari as there was no doubt who was the best U70kg performer for the home team today. Classy in defeat, Van Dijke applauded her teammate and arch-rival after their embrace and acknowledged the support of the crowd with a wave to the plentiful supporters.
In the first semi-final Van Dijke beat Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Laura Vargas Koch (GER) by ippon at the halfway mark having already built a lead of one waza-ari. The German over committed and Van Dijke took full advantage to drive over her opponent for the maximum score and a home final in The Hague. In the second semi-final Polling defeated Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Miriam Butkereit (GER) by a waza-ari from a left-sided seoi-nage.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Butkereit who pinned down Bratislava European Cup winner Evelien Berndsen (NED). The Dutch needed to up the pace after a slow start but that never materialised and despite seeing regulation time through to force golden score the medal always looked destined to leave the country and travel to Germany. After one minute of golden score Butkereit caught Berndsen on the ground and the local judoka was powerless to resist as the Netherlands’ ambitious aim of winning all four -70kg medals was abruptly ended.
The second bronze medal was won by Vargas Koch who edged past Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Natascha Ausma (NED). The German finished fifth at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam at the end of October in her first start since the Rio 2016 Olympics but was victorious in her bronze medal contest on this ocassion to win her 13th Grand Prix medal with the only score of the contest stemming from a ko-uchi-gari which yielded a waza-ari score.
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