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Odette Giuffrida strikes gold on return
7 Oct 2019 03:10
Italian Olympic silver medallist Odette Giuffrida marked her return to Brazil by claiming top spot on the podium at the first Brasilia Grand Slam. The Italian submitted Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Larissa Pimenta (BRA) with shime-waza at the halfway point of the final to register her country’s first medal in Brasilia.
In the first semi-final former world silver medallist Tsunoda Natsumi (JPN) lost to Giuffrida after she was penalised for a third time after five and a half minutes of golden score for passivity in a scoreless contest.
In the second semi-final Pimenta forced former Rio Grand Slam winner Eleudis Valentim (BRA) to pick up her third shido to seal a place in the gold medal contest.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Valentim who was overcome with emotion after she beat Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Joana Ramos (POR). Brazil’s Valentim jumped into the arms of her coach and hugged her adoring fans as she lapped up a raucous home ovation. Ramos lost out by two waza-ari scores as the hosts continued to swell their medal account on the opening day.
The second bronze medal was won by Tsunoda who outclassed world number 13 Agata Perenc (POL). Japan’s number three all but conceded her Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopes with only a bronze medal return as she threw the Polish judoka with a tomoe-nage for ippon. Tsunoda recently won the All Japan Corporate Championships in the -48kg category and may revisit that option for the Kodokan Cup in November in Chiba.
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Storm Van Dijk (NED)