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Anna Bernholm wins first Grand Prix title at 28th attempt
8 Apr 2018 06:10
Perseverance paid off for Anna Bernholm of Sweden who completed the Swedish party in Antalya on Saturday and finally won her first Grand Prix gold medal after seven years on the circuit.
World Judo Masters bronze medallist Bernholm prevailed against former world number one Kelita Zupancic (CAN) to win gold at the 28th attempt. Zupancic submitted to a juji-gatame after two minutes of golden score as the Swede showed the world that she means business in the -70kg category and will be a force to be reckoned with next month at the European Championships.
In the first semi-final Bernholm defeated Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Gercsak Szabina (HUN) in golden score with a sumi-gaeshi for a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final Zupancic dominated Tashkent Grand Prix winner Gulnoza Matniyazova (UZB) to win by ippon having led by a waza-ari score. The Canadian pinned down her rival with a sankaku-gatame after a lengthy ne-waza exchange to ensure a medal for her country;
The first bronze medal was awarded to 20-year-old Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Michaela Polleres (AUT) who bested Matniyazova. Polleres threw her Uzbek rival with a ura-nage for a waza-ari score and followed up with osaekomi for 10 seconds and more silverware for Austria whose women’s program is among the best in Europe.
The second bronze medal was won by Olympic bronze medallist and Paris Grand Slam winner Sally Conway (GBR) who showed her character to come from behind to beat Gercsak. Conway trailed to a waza-ari from a cutting ashi-waza attack but responded with a tani-otoshi to level the score. Scottish judoka Conway submitted her Hungarian opponent with a juji-gatame with just one second left on the clock to return to form.
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Christopher Mvuama (FRA)
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