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Yoko Ono again wins Grand Slam U70kg
24 Feb 2018 18:55
Tokyo Grand Slam winner Yoko Ono of Japan won her second Grand Slam title with a resounding triumph over World Judo Masters silver medallist Barbara Matic (CRO). The -70kg category has been a rich means of honours in recent years with Olympic champion Tachimoto Haruka (who has since retired) and world champion Arai Chizuru leading the way in 2016 and 2017.
Ono has high ambitions to emulate those achievements and is making serious strides after winning her fourth competition in a row. On this occasion Ono pinned down Matic for 20 seconds and ippon.
In the first semi-final Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Niizoe Saki lost against Matic who countered an off balance ura-nage attempt for ippon. In the second semi-final Ono bested The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Sanne Van Dijke (NED) by a waza-ari score to seal a place in the final.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Van Dijke as the hosts were again denied their first medal at home. Dutch ace Van Dijke defeated 17-year-old Junior world champion Marlene Galandi (GER) by ippon with a tani-otoshi to stun the crowd as Germany’s Grand Slam newcomer finished a respectable fifth.
The second bronze medal was won by former Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Szaundra Diedrich (GER) who registered Germany in the medal column with a win over Niizoe. Diedrich attacked with ouchi-gari which started inside the area and ended with the Japanese being sent into the cardboard advertising boards.
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