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Irina Dolgova meets the expectations of Russian team in Agadir
10 Mar 2018 11:25
At the Grand Prix in Agadir Russia brought a strong women’s team as well. It was Russia that took the first gold medal of the day. The Russian school is present in class in Agadir, since Irina Dolgova won without any trouble in the lightweight category.
Irina Dolgova had to win four contests for the gold and in the final her opponent was Catarina Costa of Portugal. Dolgova overcame Julia Figueroa of Spain in the semi whilst Costa had a tough battle with Katharina Menz of Germany in the semis. Dolgova was determined the win the gold and book her fourth IJF Tour victory. Her last was the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi in October last year. It will bring Dolgova back at top level as she lost some ground last months. For Costa it was her first medal in the IJF Tour and she realized it after her semi final win. Figueroa and Marusa Stangar (SLO) captured the bronze medals.
In the women's U52kg, the logic seemed to be respected until the last contest but, this time, it is the number two seed, Evelyne Tschopp (SUI), who beautifully won after an excellent piece of ground work. We will also remember that during this first day, the long sequences of ground work allowed many athletes to show all the panoply of their talent. In the final she bested Larisa Florian of Romania who had a good day, but couldn’t finish it off. Actually Tschopp gave her no chance and the Swiss took the victory after 34 seconds via a good transition into oseikomi. It was the second Grand Prix victory for Tschopp in her career, almost two years ago she won in Almaty.
U57kg, everyone was expecting a performance from Miryam Roper (PAN). With her experience of high competition, her prize list, and top seed position of the competition, she had all the cards in hand to be among the best. That's what she did as she climbed onto an international podium again by winning a bronze medal full of panache against Lisa Marchese (FRA), who never seemed able to endanger her more mature opponent. Unfortunately, Roper had to bow to the semifinal when she felt a little pain in her shoulder as she was defeated by Kaja Kajzer (SLO). Nothing serious, since the champion was at the rendezvous of her third place. The path of the former German international, who now defends the colours of Panama, remains exemplary. At 35, she still shows an explosive judo that could take her to Tokyo 2020, which would be amazing. Still, the path is long, but we will carefully continue to follow her.
Also in this U57kg category, the one that made the strongest impression was the Israeli Timna Nelson Levy (ISR) as nothing seemed to bother and especially not Kaja Kajzer (SLO) in the final who was never in the position to disturb her. Roper and French woman Sarah Harachi took the bronze medals at the first day.
It gave Slovenia a small lead in the medal tally with four medals in total, gold for Slovenia, Kazachstan, Israel, Russia and Switzerland.
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