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Natalia Kuziutina wins at home in first Grand Slam triumph since 2009
17 Mar 2018 18:30
Natalia Kuziutina loves fighting at home and was again the hero for Russia as she defeated four-time Grand Slam winner Erika Miranda (BRA) to win U52kg gold at the Grand Slam in Ekaterinburg.
The pair were equal at 2:2 in their head-to-series but there was only one judoka capable of winning in the final today as number two seed and World Judo Masters winner Kuziutina powered past top seed Miranda. A waza-ari gave the home judoka the lead before Miranda was trapped in a tate-shiho-gatame hold and Kuziutina was declared the winner by waza-ari-awasette-ippon.
In the first semi-final Miranda defeated teammate and Tunis Grand Prix winner Jessica Pereira (BRA) with a left-sided harai-goshi for ippon. In the second semi-final Agadir Grand Prix silver medallist Alexandra-Larisa Florian (ROU) fell to Kuziutina by ippon.
The first bronze medal contest opposed Florian and Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Tatsukawa Rina (JPN). The Japanese floored her Romanian rival with a tai-otoshi for ippon to ensure a successful first IJF event outside of Japan.
In the second bronze medal contest 2015 world bronze medallist Darya Skrypnik (BLR) was held down by the hard-working Pereira who trapped her opponent for 20 seconds with a sankaku-gatame for a place on the podium.
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Maria Liatiri (GRE)