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Yoko Ono illustrates Olympic credentials with Paris gold

Yoko Ono illustrates Olympic credentials with Paris gold

9 Feb 2020 17:50
Mark Pickering - IJF
Klaus Müller / Watch:

Osaka Grand Slam winner Yoko Ono of Japan defeated Hohhot Grand Prix winner Saki Niizoe with one of the throws of the day to capture her fifth Grand Slam title. Ono, who almost scored at will in the preliminaries with her lethal uchi-mata, caught her colleague in golden score with a textbook ippon-seoi-nage which was lapped up by the appreciative crowd.

The pair shared a light hearted moment at the end of the contest as Ono forgot which side of the contest area she needed to line up on to be awarded the contest. After a quick shuffle, the smiling referee signaled white to his right and blue to his left as the Japanese finalists hurried to their correct spots before both respectively performing a typically deep and meaningful bow to one another.

In the first semi-final world champion Marie Eve Gahie (FRA) slipped to a humbling defeat at the hands of Niizoe who threw for ippon with her trademark uchi-mata with 60 seconds left on the clock. In the second semi-final world silver medallist Barbara Timo (POR) was held down by Ono with a yoko-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon.

The first bronze medal was won by Brasilia Grand Slam bronze medallist Gemma Howell (GBR) after Timo was penalised for a false attack in the fourth minute of golden score to result in a hansoku-make as it was her third offense.   

The second bronze medal contest featured Gahie but the home star suffered her second defeat in as many contests after European Games bronze medallist Anna Bernholm (SWE) locked on a juji-gatame to force her opponent to submit at the halfway point.

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