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Giuffrida wins rematch of Olympic final against Kelmendi
28 Oct 2018 13:00
Italian Olympic silver medallist Odette Giuffrida won the rematch of the Rio 2016 Olympic final in Abu Dhabi. Both champions were unseeded here and had to work their way through the preliminaries to the final after a testing day for both.
Eight-time Grand Prix winner Kelmendi was making her first appearance on the IJF World Judo Tour this year after 12 months on the sidelines through injury. Kosovo’s hero suffered a clash of heads in the preliminaries and was troubled by it during the remainder of her day. Kelmendi had to leave the final on two occasions to receive medical treatment after a ne-waza exchange and the doctors stopped the action with the owner of the gold backpatch deemed unable to continue after a complete bandage wrap could not halt the adverse effects from a laceration on her nose.
In the first semi-final Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Joana Ramos (POR) lost out to Giuffrida after three minutes of golden score. The Italian threw with a low morote-seoi-nage for ippon. In the second semi-final Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Chelsie Giles received her third shido against Kelmendi after 44 seconds of golden score and was disqualified.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Giles who countered an uchi-mata from Junior World Championships silver medallist Gefen Primo (ISR) for a waza-ari score just four seconds from the end of the contest. Giles won her first Grand Slam medal by striking at exactly the right time as Primo had no time to respond and missed out a second podium finish in as many weeks.
The second bronze medal was won by 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Gili Cohen (ISR) who matched her performance in 2018 by beating Ramos in golden score. Portugal’s Ramos was disqualified after three minutes of added time for her third shido in a scoreless contest.
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Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo and Olympic silver medallist Odette Giuffrida of Italy know each other better than any other two judoka in the sport. The Kosovo and Italian stars have squared off against each other in an Olympic final and Grand Prix and Grand Slam gold medal contests as they have racked up 10 meetings between 2013 and 2019. Read more
Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) holds the record of Grand Prix gold medals which stands at 10. The world number four won the first edition of Tel Aviv Grand Prix last year and could prove to be unstoppable once again. Kosovo’s leading star has gradually been stepping up her volume of competitions and her intensity as she plots to her way to fighting to retain her Olympic crown this summer. Read more
Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo extracted a degree of revenge for losing the 2018 Abu Dhabi final against Olympic silver medallist Odette Giuffrida (ITA) by beating her long-time rival to win the 2019 edition. Kelmendi extended her one-sided winning record over Giuffrida to 7-2 by countering a desperate harai-makikomi effort after five minutes of golden score. Read more
Gold backpatches will be everywhere in Abu Dhabi this week at the Grand Slam. Rio 2016 Olympic champions are now just months away from defending their crowns in Japan and are stepping up their bids to defend their titles by entering the toughest competitions on the circuit. Read more
Steve Castanheiro (POR)