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Abe Uta another 17 year who wins Paris in 2018
10 Feb 2018 19:25
Abe Uta of Japan won gold in her first international Grand Slam assignment as the Abe family are ready to dominate the sport with older brother Abe Hifumi already the world champion and a five-time Grand Slam winner at just 20 years of age.
Abe Uta, who is unbeaten since 2016, bested World Judo Masters silver medallist Amandine Buchard (FRA) in the -52kg final and was unfazed by the challenge of opposing a French judoka in a one-of-a-kind setting that is the Bercy. Abe won her fourth event in a row after Buchard tired quickly in golden score and was penalised for passivity for the third time. Japan’s teenage prodigy and Tokyo Grand Slam winner set the tone for her day by throwing Eleudis Valentim (BRA) after just nine seconds in her opening contest with a sumptuous sode-tsurikomi-goshi.
In the first semi-final world silver medallist Tsunoda Natsumi (JPN) lost out to Buchard after the former received her third shido after two and half minutes of golden score. In the second semi-final Abe surged past London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Charline Van Snick (BEL) with two ouchi-gari techniques which earned a waza-ari and then ippon.
The first bronze medal contest opposed former Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Astride Gneto (FRA) and the vastly more experienced Van Snick of Belgium. Gneto had the crowd behind her and Van Snick was far from her best as she accumulated three shidos in a shot-shy performance to gift the bronze medal to her young opponent.
In the second bronze medal contest The Hague Grand Prix winner Distria Krasniqi (KOS) defeated Tsunoda by a waza-ari score to make a medal-winning start for the high-flying Kosovo team.
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Dario Romano (ITA)
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