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North Korean An Kum-Ae takes Olympic gold in London

29 Jul 2012 17:55

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20120729_London_BERMOY ACOSTA, Yanet (CUB) - AN, Kum Ae (PRK)6

At the second day of the Olympic Games in London An Kum-Ae of DPR Korea won the gold medal. An lost the final in 2008 in the category U52kg, Her opponent though, Yanet Bermoy from Cuba also lost last edition’s Olympic final, in 2008 she lost U48 against Alina Dumitru of Romania. An is the second ever legendary judoka for DPR Korea. In 1996 Sun Hui Kye defeated Ryoko Tani in Atlanta.

Rosalba Forciniti of Italy and Priscilla Gneto of France were Europe’s best fighters today. Forciniti was extremely happy with her victory for bronze. She defeated Romy Tarangul (GER) in a equal fight but didn’t gave anything away. Then she overcame Kim Kyuong-Ok (KOR) and lost against the later Olympic Champion An.

For bronze she defeated Marie Muller of Luxembourg who almost gave herself a beautiful birthday present (27), but stranded against the Italian. She can however be proud on her performance and set small nation Luxembourg more on the judo map with Luxembourg’s best ever performance at the Olympics. In 2008 she finished ninth.

For Italy Forciniti continued a great legacy. Italy won an Olympic medal since the introduction of Olympic judo in 1988, then as demonstration sport it was Alessandra Giungi, the current national Italian coach to win bronze. Also since the official introduction of judo in 1992 Italy continued the success including today’s great and unexpected bronze medal.

Forciniti: “Every time I fought today I just had to keep believing in myself and today, finally, at the end, I won. And my coach even said at the end 'is it really true?' and I had to tell him it was really true.”

A second European bronze medal was for Priscilla Gneto from France. The 20-year old fighter defeated Ilse Heylen of Belgium who was also very close to a sensational medal. She could have been the oldest Olympic medallist ever, now Gneto became the youngest ever female judoka for France to take a medal.

Gneto was able to defeat Chinese He in her first bout in the morning and was victorious over Joana Ramos (POR) in her second fight. She lost however in the quarter final against An.

Gneto: “When I lost that match, I cried. I got it out of my system. I was re-motivated by my coach and I promised myself I would continue because any medal is good.”

“I don’t know how I feel yet. I’m only 20, it’s my first Olympic Games - of course, most of the other judoka are more experienced but I’m not afraid of anything. All the other opponents have weaknesses.”

but came back against another Asian Kim Kyung-Ok in the repechage. Gneto was better than Heylen and destroyed her at last with her secret weapon she rarely uses, her special osotogari.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Kum Ae An (PRK), Yanet Bermoy Acosta (CUB), Priscilla Gneto (FRA), Rosalba Forciniti (ITA) - Olympic Games London (2012, GBR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Yanet Bermoy Acosta (CUB), Kum Ae An (PRK) - Olympic Games London (2012, GBR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Yanet Bermoy Acosta (CUB), Kum Ae An (PRK) - Olympic Games London (2012, GBR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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