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Maiden IJF title for rising Portuguese youngster Catarina Costa
6 Apr 2018 18:50
Portuguese Catarina Costa won her first IJF World Judo Tour gold medal with a convincing win over former Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Fjolla Kelmendi (KOS) in the U48kg final at the Grand Prix of Antalya.
In the first final of the competition Agadir Grand Prix silver medallist Costa looked to employ her throwing skills against Kelmendi - the cousin of Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi - who was short of competition practice having not fought since the 2017 European Championships. With eight seconds left in a scoreless contest, Costa shaped up for a morote-seoi-nage attack which was a prelude to a nicely disguised ko-uchi-gari for ippon.
In the first semi-final Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Marusa Stangar (SLO) fell to Costa by two waza-ari scores. In the second semi-final Kelmendi defeated 17-year-old Cadet European Championships silver medallist Tamar Malca (ISR) with a last-ditch ashi-waza attack for a waza-ari score.
The first bronze medal contest was won by London 2012 Olympic champion Sarah Menezes (BRA) who had the measure of Grand Prix newcomer MALCA from Israel. In the first medal contest at the Antalya Grand Prix 2018, Menezes (BRA) won Grand Prix bronze for the second week in a row and is quickly returning to the U48kg elite since moving back down from U52kg. The Brazilian star scored a waza-ari on two separate occasions with her higly-effective ko-uchi-gari technique.
The second bronze medal was won by 21-year-old world number 66 Gulkader Senturk (TUR) in golden score as the hosts only had to wait until the second contest in the final block for a medal. Senturk threw Stangar with a tomoe-nage in golden score for a match and medal-winning score to break new ground on the IJF World Judo Tour.
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