Mimi Huh continues to be a medal prospect for Doha
The judo practiced by Huh is not really the one that Silva is happy with and the Korean proving to be quite the nemesis of the Brazilian in recent months, Silva's last loss against Huh having been at the World Judo Masters in Jerusalem only 5 weeks ago. As the match was progressing, the final gong resonated in Almada for the final of the Grand Prix in Portugal.
With only one shido apiece, it was time for golden score and Silva didn't seem to be in a very good position and more than that didn’t have a clear solution to defeat Huh. After a while Silva was penalised with a shido that put her under even more pressure. That pressure was slightly released when Huh stepped out of the competition area and was also penalised, but during the following sequence, the Korean judoka lauched a seoi-nage that gave no chance to the world champion. It was ippon and a gold medal for Huh.
When you are a two-time world champion, the last time in October in Tashkent, when you are an Olympic champion, in Rio in 2016, to name only the most significant results, you can step on the tatami with confidence. With that, Rafaela Silva does not lack and yet the Brazilian champion remains humble. She knows where she comes from, she knows what she had to do to get there and she knows that nothing is ever guaranteed.
We found for the first bronze medal a match between Nilufar Ermaganbetova (UZB) and Nekoda Smythe-Davis. Both athletes were rapidly sanctioned for avoiding the grip. A second shido was given to Smythe-Davis for an action against the arm, after an intervention of the video-refereeing. The reason for that penalty is that Smythe-Davis applied pressure on the arm, but with no real will of throwing, which is penalised with shido. The same action with a throwing technique would have been penalised with a disqualification. Luckily for the British competitor, it didn't block her from performing a beautiful uchi-mata with the control of the two sleeves of her opponent. Congratulations Nekoda. You'll make your daughter proud and all the mums around the world, who know now that it is possible.
To conclude the day, as far as the matches for the bronze medals are concerned, we saw the match between Marica Perisic (SRB) and Thauany Capanni Dias (ITA). Capanni Dias was quickly under pressure, being penalised twice for passivity and it really seemed that she could not find the slightest solution. Only a change of direction, something dramatic, could change the course of the contest and that is what Thauany Capanni Dias did. Left handed up to this moment, she suddenly dropped on her knees for a right-handed seoi-nage, that scored ippon.
Earlier, in the semi-finals, Mimi Huh was opposed to an old acquaintance, the British judoka Nekoda Smythe-Davis. It only lasted a few seconds as Huh threw Smythe-Davis for a superb ippon but let's dwell a bit on the performance of Smythe-Davis.