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Japanese youngster Saki Niizoe beats Colombian legend Alvear
16 Dec 2018 11:05
Niizoe Saki of Japan defeated double Olympic medallist and three-time world champion Yuri Alvear (COL) for the second time this year to earn the best result of her young career. Niizoe, who beat Alvear in February at the Düsseldorf Grand Slam, threw the 32-year-old Colombian great with a tai-otoshi for a waza-ari score and impressively held onto her lead to reign for rampant Japan.
In the first semi-final Osaka Grand Slam bronze medallist Niizoe saw off former world silver medallist Maria Perez (PUR) by ippon. In the second semi-final former world number one Elvismar Rodriguez (VEN) was eventually dismissed by Alvear by ippon from te-waza after five minutes of golden score.
The first bronze medal was won by The Hague Grand Prix silver medallist Sanne Van Dijke (NED) who took Rodriguez down and over for a waza-ari score with ashi-waza with five seconds left on the clock. World number five Van Dijke opened her IJF World Judo Tour medal account and was all smiles as she left the tatami.
The second bronze medal contest featured Perez and Tashkent Grand Prix winner Michaela Polleres (AUT) who could only be separated in golden score. Puerto Rico’s Perez appeared to sustain a leg injury in added time and was unable to continue as she had to forfeit the contest and Polleres provided Austria with their first medal in Guangzhou.
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