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Japan’s number three Tsunoda clinches Guangzhou gold
15 Dec 2018 12:00
Tsunoda Natsumi of Japan defeated world bronze medallist Amandine Buchard (FRA) to win the -52kg title in China. Osaka Grand Slam silver medallist Tsunoda, who in the domestic pecking order is behind world champion Abe Uta and world silver medallist Shishime Ai (JPN), turned Buchard over and onto her back with a sumi-gaeshi.
France’s Buchard matched her result from 2017 while Tsunoda jumped from seventh to first and remains in the shuffle for her country on the road to Tokyo 2020.
In the first semi-final Buchard benefited from an error-strewn display from The Hague Grand Prix winner Charline Van Snick (BEL) who received hansoku-make after being reprimanded three times. In the second semi-final European champion Natalia Kuziutina (RUS) narrowly lost out to Tsunoda by a waza-ari score which was the only time the scoreboard was called into action.
The first bronze medal contest opposed Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Gili Cohen (ISR) and Kuziutina. Russia’s inspirational Kuziutina, who is by far the most accomplished member of her country’s women’s team, submitted her opponent with a juji-gatame for ippon and her fourth World Judo Masters medal.
In the second bronze medal contest Van Snick subdued Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Evelyne Tschopp (SUI) with shime-waza. Eight-time Grand Prix winner Van Snick opened her World Judo Masters medal account with a highly valuable bronze to strengthen her position inside the world’s top 10 and will be one of the judoka to pay attention to at U52kg in 2019.
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Female Russian star Natalia Kuziutina was not happy with her bronze medal on home soil at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam. Last year, the defending European Champion won gold at the tournament. In the fight for bronze she was due to face younger team member Daria Bobrikova. However, Daria was injured. Nevertheless, Natalia is considered a leader for the younger generation. Read more
Israelian judoka Gili Cohen won her second Grand Slam gold medal by defeating Marrakech Grand Prix silver medallist Ana Perez Box of Spain in the U52kg final. Former Baku Grand Slam winner and Tel Aviv Grand Prix silver medallist Cohen floored her Spanish opponent, who was appearing in a Grand Slam final for the first time, with a ko-uchi-gari which was one of the best ippons on day one. Read more
The Grand Slam of Ekaterinburg booked a record number of participants. With 358 athletes of 47 nations saw by far more athletes this year compared to 2018 and 2017. Only the Grand Slams in Moscow attracted more judoka in 2010 (488) and 2011 (458). We will have a look at the women in Russia after the draw. The women U70kg counts 33 athletes, that happened only 5 times more in the IJF Tour. Read more
Uta Abe has become the new World Champion. Like yesterday another rookie judoka taking the World title. Just 18 she is and she defeated, like on the opening day, the current World Champion. Uta Abe defeated Ai Shishime in an all Japan final in the golden score. Abe is the third youngest ever World Champion after Daria Bilodid and Ryoko Tani. Read more
No huge surprises at the second day’s preliminaries as three out of four of the top U52kg seeds were able to progress into the semi-finals. The World Championships in Baku continue with a class that has developed over the last years. Read more
Ba-Ul An (KOR)
|1||Tel Aviv||24 Jan|