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Edwige Gwend captures second Grand Prix victory

2 Oct 2015 18:10

 by Mark Pickering - IJF
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Italian Edwige Gwend won the second Grand Prix title of her career as she surpassed Samsun Grand Prix silver medallist of Austria Hilde Drexler in the U63kg final in Tashkent. Gwend, who won the Tbilisi Grand Prix last year, was effective and hard-working as she gained the maximum world ranking points (300) ahead of a long Asian tour and three upcoming Grand Slams. A single shido against Drexler was the decisive moment as both judoka were unable to produce a score.

Top seed of Austria Kathrin Unterwurzacher lost her opening contest in the second round to eventual bronze medallist Busra Katipoglu (TUR).

In the first semi-final Drexler had to graft to see off Minsk European Open bronze medallist Busra Katipoglu (TUR) by the narrowest of margins. A single shido was the only time the referee was called into action and it went against the Turkish judoka who moved down into the repechage for an alternative route to the podium. In the second semi-final Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Alice Schlesinger (GBR) and Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Edwige Gwend could not be separated in regular time. Gwend prevailed by pinning her British foe to the tatami with a sankaku-gatame for 14 seconds and a yuko score.

The first bronze medal was won by former Madrid European Open runner-up from Hungary Szabo Franciska who beat world number 12 Schlesinger to capture the first Grand Prix medal of her career. A shido against the British judoka, the only penalty of the contest, decided the destination of the medal as neither judoka could register a score with both sets on defences on top. Szabo put her head in her hands and cried with tears of joy as the time ran out on Schlesinger who only showed more intent in the closing seconds. The second bronze medal was claimed by Katipoglu (TUR) who defeated Jeju Grand Prix silver medallist Isabel Puche (ESP). Katipoglu made her mark for the first time at a Grand Prix and started with a waza-ari score which earned a round of applause from the Uzbek crowd. The Turkish judoka added a yuko from an uchi-mata on the edge of the area and added a second waza-ari from another uchi-mata to win it with 25 seconds left on the clock.

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  • Hilde Drexler (AUT), Edwige Gwend (ITA) - Grand Prix Tashkent (2015, UZB) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Edwige Gwend (ITA), Hilde Drexler (AUT), Busra Katipoglu (TUR), Franciska Szabó (HUN) - Grand Prix Tashkent (2015, UZB) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Edwige Gwend (ITA) - Grand Prix Tashkent (2015, UZB) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation

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