At the second day of the European Open for women in Rome two Pan American women and one Asian judoka signed for the gold medals. World Ranking leader Yu Song defeated her opponent from China Ma Sisi, in fact a World level match and perhaps decisive for the Olympic Games qualification.
Yu Song won the gold medal in the women’s heavyweight category. Maria Suelen Altheman (BRA) and Olympic Champion Idalys Ortiz (CUB) won the bronze, a great podium in Rome.
Maria Perez of Puerto Rico was the surprising winner U70kg. The experienced Perez defeated Irina Gazieva of Russia in the final, but also strong Mongolian judoka Tsend-Ayush Naranjargal. Perez seems to book her ticket to Rio here in Rome.
Cuban Yalennis Castillo had the most interesting final, a battle with Italian Assunta Galeone. Despite the support of the home crowd Galeone could not prevent the score of Castillo in the golden score in an equal match. The 29-year old Cuban was the oldest winner, Italian winner Odette Giuffrida the youngest on Saturday.
It was less than 24 hours ago when the Italian crew as well as Galeone were still in doubt whether she will be able to step on the mat today as the Italian judoka suffered some back pain. “Yesterday night after training my back was blocked and to be honest I didn’t think I will be able to fight today. This morning I managed to sit and thanks to my physiotherapist I was able to fight. Being able to reach the final stage in these condition for me it is great, I am very happy”, she expressed her feelings.
China won the medal table with six medals in total, Mongolia won five and Korea four. Italy takes gold and silver, more than average, although it needs all hands on deck to qualify four women for Rio.