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French crowd basis for golden Sunday in Paris
18 Oct 2015 19:05
France was the best nation at the second day of the Grand Slam in Paris. The Accor Hotel Arena was full with an amazing crowd. Judo sells in France, but you need to have the right idols, and Audrey Tcheumeo, Emilie Andeol and Cyrille Maret awarded the crowd with gold for France.
On Saturday Majlinda Kelmendi prolonger her title, on Sunday it was Cyrille Maret who reached the final U100kg and prolonged his title after he defeated Brazilian Rafael Buzacarini who took his first medal at a Grand Slam. Maret was crowned after five contest wins, two rather easy and then Dutchman Michael Korrel was his victim in the quarter final. Not an easy match and Maret was lucky not to get an extra penalty to equalize the score. But against Lukas Krpalek Maret showed that he is still an Olympic medal candidate, in 36 seconds he defeated the 2014 World Champion by ippon. In the final Maret scored a yuko and didn’t gave away the lead and celebrated ‘le victoire‘ with the crowd with two fingers in the air.
European Games winner Emilie Andeol defeated World Champion Yu Song in the semi final +78kg and convinced with an ippon after two minutes in the final against German Franziska Konitz and took the 5-4, in their individual head2head, it could have gone all directions, but it was clearly Andeol who wanted to improve her silver medal of last year.
The crowd was warmed up as Audrey Tcheumeo won the U78kg division, one of the best categories this year. Tcheumeo was in a pool with Japanese Akari Ogata, who defeated world bronze Marhinde Verkerk and the French defeated Ogata. In the semi final Tcheumeo needed 1:33 for a lethal score against Gemma Gibbons. The final was a tough battle against Ruika Sato, another Japanese, knowing that world champion Mami Umeki didn’t even compete in Paris. In Rio there’s only place for one Japanese to solve that problem for Tcheumeo. However it wasn’t a problem and Tcheumeo had one penalty less and another medal colour on the podium, just those differences.
Alexandre Iddir came far today and he reached the final U90kg against Varlam Liparteliani. Although he isn’t the most lucky this year, Liparteliani and Paris is a good combination. The Georgian knows what it is to finish second like he did last year, but this time it was Iddir who finished second. Liparteliani regained his title of 2013. Axel Clerget finished fifth and Celio Dias captured another important medal this year. Otgonbaatar Lkhagvasuren won bronze for Mongolia.
Uzbekistan had a surprise victory with Shaxzod Sobirov who defeated Sergey Ryabov of Russia in the final. Although Ryabov is national champion, for both it was a none expected final. The top events are less predictable and it’s typical for the Olympic Games that anything can happen in this weight category. Frank de Wit was this weekend’s youngest medallist aged 19, the Dutchman won bronze, second youngest was Michael Korrel (21), also from the Netherlands. De Wit fights at the World Junior Championships in a few days in Abu Dhabi. Uuganbaatar Otgonbaatar took bronze for Mongolia defeating Goki Maruyama (JPN).
The women U70kg saw a good Laura Vargas Koch who’s back after her injury. Last week she had a golden warm-up in Lisbon, today one opponent was simply better. Haruka Tachimoto seems to be back after a false start in Dusseldorf this year and she may still have a good chance to make it to her second Olympic Games. Tachimoto defeated Kim Polling in the quarter final. Posvite in the semi final and Vargas Koch in the final. A convincing victory of the Japanese. In 2012 she won as well, in 2014 she won bronze.
In the men’s heavyweight category Japan won its second medal of the day and the last and decisive of the tournament. Hisayoshi Harasawa gave Japan the victory in the medal table. Harasawa defeated David Moura of Brazil. Harasawa beat Johan Mettis (EST), Takeshi Ojitani (JPN) and Faicel Jaballah in the race to gold. One minute for the official end of the final, Harasawa struck and defeated Moura. Ojitani took bronze and Dutchman Roy Meyer gave his country Olympic hope that at top level Meyer can take the opportunity after his successful battles against Natea and Jaballah. Mayer, Jaballah and Natea were the only athletes of the top 10 to compete in Paris, so no guarantees.
Watch all results of this weekend and the best photos online.
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Sebastian Nash (CAN)
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