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Slovenian youngster Marusa Stangar captures first IJF title
30 Mar 2018 18:30
Marusa Stangar of Slovenia won her first IJF World Judo Tour gold medal at the expense of top seed Milica Nikolic (SRB). Junior World Championships bronze medallist and Agadir Grand Prix bronze medallist Stangar, 20, has now won back-to-back Grand Prix medals but crucially today’s result was gold and now her career is set to flourish.
Stangar opened the scoring with a waza-ari and promptly pinned down her opponent for 10 seconds to become the first winner at the Tbilisi Grand Prix 2018.
In the first semi-final Nikolic bested three-time Grand Prix medallist Noa Minsker (ISR) by a waza-ari from a ippon seoi-nage as the favourite progressed into the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final world number 39 Kimberley Renicks (GBR) fell to Stangar by a waza-ari score in a tightly-contested last four meeting.
The first bronze medal contest was won by London 2012 Olympic champion Sarah Menezes (BRA) who made a successful return to U48kg. Menezes defeated Renicks, who was targeting her first IJF World Judo Tour honour, threw for a waza-ari and wrapped up a straight forward win with a ko-uchi-gari.
The second bronze medal was won by Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Melanie Clement (FRA) when three-time Grand Prix medallist Minsker was penalised with a third shido in golden score after an even four minutes of regulation time.
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