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Superstar Audrey Tcheumeo gets ovation after fourth Paris victory
11 Feb 2018 19:05
French judo star Audrey Tcheumeo won her country’s second gold medal at the first major of the season with victory over world number one Guusje Steenhuis (NED) in the U78kg final.
Defending champion and Double Olympic medallist Tcheumeo, who won the world title here in 2011, looked dangerous from the opening exchange but could only break the resistance of her opponent in golden score. The charismatic French champion has lethal ashi-waza and tapped the legs of Steenhuis who surprisingly folded and fell onto her back for ippon. Steenhuis gingerly returned to her feet while Tcheumeo shared a warm embrace with her familiar foe before dancing her way out of the field of play.
In the first semi-final Steenhuis edged past World Judo Masters silver medallist Madeleine Malonga (FRA) by a waza-ari score which was the only time that the scoreboard was called upon. In the second semi-final Tokyo Grand Slam winner Hamada Shori (JPN) was driven to the tatami by Tcheumeo for ippon with a thumping osoto-gari with 86 seconds left.
The first bronze medal was claimed by Hamada who thwarted teammate and former world champion Umeki Mami (JPN) by ippon in a result which will certainly have consequences in terms of future international selections for the hosts of the next Olympics are required to qualify any judoka for Tokyo 2020.
The second bronze medal contest saw Malonga submit Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist Karen Stevenson (NED) with shime-waza to guarantee two French being on the U78kg medal podium.
Most titles in Paris
Lucie Decosse 7 titles in Paris
Teddy Riner 6 titles
Céline Lebrun 6 titles
Audrey Tcheumeo, all 4 titles in Paris
Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS)
Gella Vandecaveye (BEL)
Megumi Tachimoto (JPN)
Noriko Mizoguchi (JPN
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