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Shocker results U78kg and two Dutch in the semi finals
25 Sep 2018 10:30
Two shocker results in the women’s category U78kg at the 2018 World Championships in Baku. French multiple world and Olympic medallist Audrey Tcheumeo is out of the tournament. She lost to Aleksandra Babintseva (RUS). Another shock is Brazilian World Champion Mayra Aguiar who showed to be vulnerable lately but wasn’t expected to lose to Chinese Ma Zhenzhao, the revelation of today’s prelims.
Chinese Zhenzhao Ma won bronze at the Grand Prix in Qingdao in 2016. The youngster (20) finished seventh at the Hohhot Grand Prix in May to earn a call-up to her first World Championships in Baku 2018 and she does extremely well and reached the semi final defeating Madeleine Malonga in the quarter final.
The Chinese will face Guusje Steenhuis who looks rock solid as always. We think this she has a really good chance for gold. She is the world number one and in the break she has the time to analyse the Chinese opponent. Just two matches to go. Steenhuis overcame Jemima Yeats-Brown, in fact the lightweight who showed again a good pace against Kaliema Antomarchi and Paula Kulaga, but lost to the Dutch powerhouse.
Japanese Shori Hamada is the other semi finallist, an expert in ground work and she showed her skills twice. Fast in the transition, super smart and technical. The ude-garami that we have seen before this week is one of her trade-mark techniques. Klara Apotekar surprised Natalie Powell as we anticipated in our preview. The Slovenian lost to Hamada, ne-waza ofcourse. Hamada also bested Bernadette Graf who led the match with wazari but made one mistake, enough to allow Hamada to take over her attack and role her easily into oseikomi like she played with the Austrian.
Hamada will face Marhinde Verkerk, the second Dutch woman in the semi final and also a technician. Verkerk was the only Dutch to medal at the 2015 World Championship and in 2017 the Dutch were left with empty hands. This is the day for payout, but if it will be Verkerk is doubtful. She had a hardtime against Aleksandra Babintseva and she had a really rough start against German Luise Malzahn. They know each-other so well and this time it was Verkerk again. The Dutch moves on and will find Hamada on her road to the final. An all Dutch is possible, but we estimate Hamada stronger. Verkerk though has the extra experience to peak when she has to. She has won all colours of World Championships medals.
Interesting fact: Hamada defeated Steenhuis in the final of the Grand Slam of Tokyo last year, but the Dutch beat her twice too previously. Hamada also defeated Verkerk in Tyumen in 2015.
Steenhuis vs Ma
Hamada vs Verkerk
Yeats-Brown vs Malonga
Apotekar vs Baintseva
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Edwin van Harten (NED)