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Majlinda Kelmendi wins rematch against Giuffrida
24 Oct 2019 19:05
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.
Kosovo’s 10-time Grand Slam medallist is still getting back to her best form and was given a stern test by the game Italian who followed up on her Brasilia gold with hard-fought silver on day one in Abu Dhabi.
In the first semi-final Kelmendi was made to work by European Games bronze medallist Chelsie Giles (GBR) who narrowly lost out to Kosovo’s hero by a waza-ari score from a ko-uchi-gari.
In the second semi-final Marrakech Grand Prix bronze medallist Estrella Lopez Sheriff (ESP) was second best against Giuffrida who prevailed by a waza-ari score.
The first bronze medal was awarded to world number 22 Park Da Sol (KOR) who beat Lopez Sheriff by a waza-ari score. Park threw beautifully with a ko-uchi-gake for the one and only score of the contest.
The second bronze medal was won by GILES who defeated world number 44 Tetiana Levytska-Shukvani (GEO) to win her second Grand Slam medal. The 22-year-old Coventry Judo Club product looks set to break into the world’s top 10 in the near future and is now poised to make her Olympic bow in 2020.
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Andrea Kunitz (GER)