Maria Perez showcases judofeeling misses Puerto Rico vibe
Puerto Rican Maria Perez was today in exceptional form, scoring in each of her contests, waza-ari against Alexia Castilhos (BRA), waza-ari against Moka Kuwagata (JPN), two waza-ari within a few seconds against top seed Giovanna Scoccimaro and ippon in the semi-final against Hilde Jager (NED). In the final Perez showed her power and captured the gold medal after her contest with Kelly Petersen-Pollard (GBR).
Petersen-Pollard was penalised quickly for breaking the grip, having forgotten that when you do so, you need to keep contact with your opponent to build an attack immediately afterwards. The second penalty came with a little more than one minute to go, this time for passivity. Golden score was still possible until Maria Perez scored waza-ari with a shoulder movement and only 27 seconds left on the clock. She was definitely unstoppable today and once again she scored in the final. It was a beautiful judo day for Maria Perez who trains in Valencia at Sugoi Uriarte’s club but she misses the life and culture of Puerto Rico where her family is. A gold medal makes life bearable but back home in Puerto Rico, is the real life for Perez who showcased her capability of challenging the top of the world on a good day.
Giovanna Scoccimaro (GER) and Szabina Gercsak (HUN) met in the first bronze medal contest. After another tight match, it took 1 minute and 27 seconds for Scoccimaro to score ippon with an uchi-mata on the edge of the competition area.
Loriana Kuka (KOS) and Hilde Jager (NED) qualified for the second bronze medal contest. Halfway through the allotted time, Jager scored a first waza-ari with a ko-uchi-gari, immediately followed on the floor with a pin for ippon. This is the second bronze medal at a grand prix for the Dutch judoka.