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Sally Conway closes gap of 15 years without British gold
11 Feb 2018 18:05
Olympic bronze medallist Sally Conway of Great Britain recorded one of the finest wins of her career with a riveting performance as the tenacious Briton battled past world champion Arai Chizuru (JPN) in the final.
Conway, who won bronze in Paris in 2016, stopped Arai from retaining her Paris title by escaping from an uchi-mata attempt and trapping the Japanese in a hold down for 20 seconds and ippon.
In the first semi-final Arai bested three-time Grand Slam winner Kim Polling (NED) by a waza-ari score after containing her Dutch rival for three minutes and then controlling the final 60 seconds.
In the second semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist Marie Eve Gahie (FRA) was held down by Conway who has a tendency for beating top draw French competitors on the biggest stages in the sport.
The first bronze medal was won by Gahie who defeated The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Sanne Van Dijke (NED) by ippon to add to the hosts’ medal haul.
The second bronze medal contest featured Polling and African Championships winner Assmaa Niang (MAR) and it was the European judoka who came out victorious by registering two scores without reply. Polling won her ninth Grand Slam medal by ippon to extend her medal-winning run to four consecutive competitions.
The last one to take gold for Great Britain at the prestigious tournament in Paris was Craig Fallon in 2003. The last woman even 21 years ago, Kate Howey.
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Distria Krasniqi (KOS)