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Kosovo excited to have three finalists in Abu Dhabi
27 Oct 2018 14:20
Kosovo is represented in all of the first three lightweight finals at the Abu Grand Slam. Distria Krasniqi has chosen to fight in the U48kg category and has had to adjust accordingly but has already achieved good results, able to defeat Olympic Champion Paula Pareto in the semifinal after a hansokumake for Pareto.
Krasniqi defeated Maryna Cherniak Marusa Stangar and Li Yanan to win her pool, not the least three. She is in the final against Munkhbat Urantsetseg of Mongolia who bested Eva Csernoviczki (HUN) in the semi final.
Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi made her return after a year on the sidelines through injury, and earned a spot in the final after besting Chelsie Giles in the semifinal. The numer 29 of the world overcame Yulia Kazarina, Karolina Pienkowska and Gili Cohen in her pool and will now face Odette Giuffrida in a repetition of the 2016 Olympic final.
In the U57kg category the final is between European champion Nora Gjakova who was first seeded and Russian Anastasia Konkina. The world number four was the top seed at U57kg but last medalled on the IJF World Judo Tour in April when she won the Antalya Grand Prix. She overcame Lien Chen-Ling of Taipei in the semifinal. Konkina was able to beat Automne Pavia who has had a succesful return, earning a spot in the semifinal and will now fight for bronze against French teammate Priscilla Gneto. Both won an Olympic medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. There are a total of three women from Kosovo in the finals.
In the men’s division U60kg the final is between Amiran Papinashvili and Fran Garrigos. Papinashvili defeated the Spaniard in the contest for bronze at the worlds in Baku.
U66kg will see Vazha Margvelashvili take on Yerlan Serikzhanov, finalist of the World Championships in Baku. The two have never met before.
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Anis Chedly (TUN)
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