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Marina Cherniak grows from silver to gold in Tbilisi
20 Mar 2015 17:25
Jeju Grand Prix silver medallist Maryna CHERNIAK (UKR) took her career to new heights as she won her first Grand Prix gold medal at the expense of Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Julia FIGUEROA (ESP) who was also fighting to achieve the same feat. World number nine CHERNIAK went one better than her Tbilisi Grand Prix 2014 silver medal as she opened the scoring after exactly 91 seconds as she produced a waza-ari score.
Gutsy Spaniard FIGUEROA battled away but was second best in every department as the day belonged to the Ukrainian in the lightest weight category.
After stepping off the medal podium the jubilant gold medallist CHERNIAK said: “Being the number three seed, I knew that a lot was expected of me. An IJF Grand Prix medal is always good but I came here for gold today and I’m delighted to have achieved my aim.
“I had fought FIGUEROA twice before and it was one win each. I did not really have a special plan prepared for the fight and I just did what I had to as the fight progressed. I’ll be in Samsun next week and of course I’m looking forward to taking part in the European Games in Baku.”
In the first semi-final FIGUEROA bested Glasgow European Open bronze medallist Aurore CLIMENCE (FRA) by a waza-ari. In the next contest and second semi-final Oberwart European Open winner Ebru SAHIN (TUR) fell to CHERNIAK (UKR) who conjured up a devastating piece of ashi-waza to earn ippon in the second minute.
The first bronze medal was awarded to the impressive SAHIN who inflicted a frustrating defeat for Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN). Turkish lightweight star SAHIN secured a morale-boosting win ahead of her home event in Samsun next week and was tenacious all day long. CSERNOVICZKI lost out on shido penalties as she had two against her name which was one more indiscretion then her game opponent received. The second bronze medal was won by CLIMENCE who outwitted KIM Sol Mi (PRK) in the second contest of the final block. KIM, who lacked her usual vigour today, gifted the contest to her French opponent as she received three shido penalties to allow CLIMENCE onto the podium to earn the second Grand Prix medal of her career.
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