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Szaundra Diedrich takes first IJF title in Tbilisi
21 Mar 2015 18:35
Dusseldorf Grand Prix silver medallist Szaundra DIEDRICH (GER) won the first IJF Grand Prix medal of career as she grows in stature with every competition. The highly-regarded 21-year-old won a battle of youth against experience as 32-year-old Olympic bronze medallist Gevrise EMANE (FRA) was made to settle for silver.
Tokyo Grand Slam winner EMANE was penalised at the halfway point for going out of the area and received a further shido for passivity and DIEDRICH was guilty of the same indiscretion. EMANE, who shone in the preliminary rounds, was unable to breach the sharp defensive display from DIEDRICH but the French fighter will be pleased to continue her medal-winning record into 2015.
The delighted young German said: “I feel so proud and good, I am so happy. I won silver in Dusseldorf, so that was the first step and now I take another step forward by taking gold. It was a very important win and I now move closer to my teammates on the World Ranking List.”
In the first semi-final contest EMANE defeated Oberwart European Open winner Bernadette GRAF (AUT) after 46 seconds by ippon while in the second semi-final DIEDRICH (GER) proved too strong for Junior world champion Barbara MATIC (CRO) with a solitary yuko the difference after four minutes.
The first bronze medal was claimed by Linda BOLDER (ISR who defeated physically spent MATIC to win her first medal for Israel. The 26-year-old former World Judo Masters bronze medallist broke the deadlock with just 15 seconds remaining by scoring a yuko before trapping her opponent in osaekomi for 20 seconds for ippon.
The second bronze medal contest was won by Junior world bronze medallist Marie Eve GAHIE (FRA) who ended a miserable day for top seed GRAF who suffered two defeats in Tbilisi. GAHIE, 18, won the first IJF Grand Prix medal of her blossoming career by taking the lead with a yuko and, having impressively turned out of an ura-nage attempt, remained strong as GRAF applied pressure to mark her arrival on the senior stage.
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