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Distria Krasniqi upstages British youngster for gold in Antalya
6 Apr 2018 18:55
Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo won her fourth Grand Prix gold medal with a tenacious display in Antalya. World number five Krasniqi, 22, defeated 21-year-old Chelsie Giles (GBR) in the U52kg final. Giles comes from Coventry Judo Club, which also nurtured the talents of IJF Hall of Famer Neil Adams who is on commentary duty this weekend.
The Briton was fighting in her sixth Grand Prix and captured her first medal with a bold performance. Kosovo won their first gold medal in this year’s event when the favourite scored two waza-ari without reply with the second coming just seconds before the end as Giles could not climb off an ippon seoi-nage.
In the first semi-final Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Krasniqi outlasted two-time Grand Prix winner Gulbadam Babamuratova (TKM) who picked up her third shido with 65 seconds left on the clock in their scoreless contest. In the second semi-final Giles conquered Tashkent Grand Prix winner Betina Temelkova (ISR) in golden score by a waza-ari score.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Anja Stangar (SLO) who narrowly defeated Temelkova for a spot on the -52kg podium by a waza-ari score. Stangar switched from a ko-uchi-gari to a ko-soto-gari for the score as Temelkova continues to suffer from a dip in form ahead of April’s European Championships in Israel.
The second bronze medal was won by Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Pupp Reka (HUN) who tapped out Rio 2016 Olympian Babamuratova with a juji-gatame for ippon. Pupp countered a koshi-guruma for a waza-ari and then secured the left arm of her opponent to force the submission.
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Claudio Pepoli (ITA)
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