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Romania's Ungureanu strikes first in Zagreb

12 Sep 2014 17:55

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Rome European Open silver medallist Monica UNGUREANU (ROU) won the first gold medal of the Zagreb Grand Prix with a comprehensive win over Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Julia FIGUEROA (ESP). UNGUREANU, who was already assured of the first Grand Prix medal of her career, made sure she topped the podium by registering three scores without reply.

The Romanian took control of an ura-nage in mid-air to land on top of FIGUEROA who initiated the attack after 55 seconds. UNGUREANU added a yuko from an ouchi-gari and a yuko from an uchi-mata but shortly after had three shido penalties to her name. FIGUEROA could not extract a score from her high-flying opponent but still earned a career-best result as both judoka shone for their respective countries. 
In the first semi-final UNGUREANU downed the returning Olympic bronze medallist Charline VAN SNICK (BEL) to guarantee the first Grand Prix medal of her career. The Romanian scored with a ouchi-gari for waza-ari while VAN SNICK, who eased through the previous rounds, was penalised for a false attack and could not find an answer to the complex puzzle posed by her opponent. In the second semi-final FIGUEROA had the measure of number two seed Valentina MOSCATT (ITA) on shido penalties. Both judoka were unable to penetrate the scoreboard as their alert defence kept respective attacks under control. MOSCATT was penalised twice while her rival did not receive any shido penalties and went through to the final.
The first bronze medal was awarded to top seed and double African champion Taciana LIMA-BALDE (GBS) who defeated former European silver medallist MOSCATT. LIMA-BALDE was determined to come away with a medal and attacked with uchi-mata and her trademark ouchi-gari as the latter drove MOSCATT off balance but she turned out to land on her front. MOSCATT was unable to threaten and was penalised for a false attack and passivity while LIMA-BALDE worked tirelessly and pitched an unblemished record. The second bronze medal was won by 24-year-old VAN SNICK who successfully returned to action in Zagreb. The Belgian was understandably not at her best after her time away from IJF World Judo Tour but she showed sufficient quality to come through against European u23 champion Ebru SAHIN (TUR) to win bronze by a yuko score.   

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Related Judo Photos

  • Monica Ungureanu (ROU), Julia Figueroa (ESP) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2014, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Monica Ungureanu (ROU), Julia Figueroa (ESP), Taciana Cesar (GBS), Charline Van Snick (BEL) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2014, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Charline Van Snick (BEL) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2014, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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