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Tina Trstenjak lives up to red backpatch
20 Feb 2016 18:50
Slovenian World champion Tina Trstenjak returned to form in Dusseldorf as she claimed gold in the U63kg category. Two weeks ago the Slovenian missed out on a medal in Paris as she finished fifth and was determined to bounce back at the first opportunity.
Trstenjak, who was wearing a red backpatch on her judogi to indicate her status as a reigning world champion, defeated Jeju Grand Prix bronze medallist Alice Schlesinger (GBR) in the final. Schlesinger was penalised twice in quick succession for being passive and lost her way on the ground as Trstenjak held down her opponent for 20 seconds and the gold medal.
In the first semi-final Trstenjak squeezed past world bronze medallist Tsedevsuren Munkhzaya of Mongolia. The U63kg judoka shared a podium at the World Championships in Astana last year and the Slovenian put herself on course for gold today by edging her Mongolian foe on shidos 0:2 after a scoreless four minutes. In the second semi-final Schlesinger bested former world champion Yarden Gerbi (ISR) who was penalised for passivity at the start of their contest and from there the Briton maintained control. Schlesinger collapsed an uchi-mata attempt from Gerbi before scoring a yuko from a drop seoi-nage. Schlesinger was penalised for a false attack as she looked to wind down the clock but with 28 seconds left was able to submit her former teammate for ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by Russian Havana Grand Prix bronze medallist Ekaterina Valkova who surprised Gerbi by throwing the Israeli with a tomoe-nage for waza-ari and followed up with a kami-shiho-gatame hold for 15 seconds and her second consecutive Grand Prix bronze medal in 2016. Before she had defeated Anicka van Emden, bronze medallist in Paris. The second bronze medal was claimed by Tsedevsuren who defeated Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Anna Bernholm of Sweden. World number 27 Bernholm was penalised twice for passivity while her Mongolian opponent was only penalised once and that settled the contest after four minutes where neither judoka could trouble the scoreboard.
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Massimo Sulli (ITA)