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First Grand Slam triumph for Romane Dicko
9 Feb 2020 19:50
The French crowd witnessed the emergence of a new star as Tel Aviv Grand Prix winner Romane Dicko dominated world number eight Maryna Slutskaya of Belarus to provide the hosts with women’s heavyweight gold.
The 20-year-old hotshot, whose progress was halted through injury in 2019, is now well on her way to her first Olympic Games and will be targeting a seeded spot. Dicko overpowered Slutskaya, 28, from the outset and brought the crowd to their feet with an enormous makikomi for ippon. One-time Grand Slam champion Slutskaya could not deal with the physical attributes of the young Frenchwoman who has now struck gold at both IJF events in 2020.
In the first semi-final world number 16 Rochele Nunes (POR) was thrown and held down by Slutskaya who charged into the women’s heavyweight gold medal contest. In the second semi-final Dicko emphatically dispatched world number seven Beatriz Souza (BRA) after 32 seconds of golden score with an o-soto-gari.
The first bronze medal was claimed by Souza who launched world number 39 Sonia Asselah (ALG) after 45 seconds with a harai-goshi for ippon to step closer to making her Olympic debut in Japan.
The second bronze medal contest was won by Nunes who had to come from behind to beat world number 10 Nihel Cheikh Rouhou (TUN). Former Brazil international Nunes went behind to a waza-ari score from a harai-makikomi but restored level terms with an uchi-mata and then registered a buzzer-beating o-uchi-gari for a waza-ari score.
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Theoklitos Papachristos (GRE)