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Gili Cohen takes revenge against Giuffrida in tight final
6 May 2016 17:25
Israelian Gili Cohen captured the gold medal at the Grand Slam of Baku. In the final she took revenge of her loss in the final of the Grand Prix of Tbilisi against the same opponent, Odette Giuffrida. World number 12 Odette Giuffrida (ITA) entered the U52kg final as the favourite against Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Gili Cohen (ISR).
Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Giuffrida, 21, boasted a 4-1 head-to-head record against her opponent coming into the final but this time the contest and spoils went to to Cohen. Giuffrida lost her balance during a tai-otoshi attempt but Cohen was slow to react. Cohen showed her resolute defence moments later as she resisted the shime-waza of the Italian in the form of a koshi-jime strangle. Golden score was needed and while a score still didn’t materialise a shido for the Italian did after three minutes and Cohen celebrated her first Grand Slam gold medal.
In the first semi-final world number three Erika Miranda (BRA) lost out to Italian young gun Giuffrida in golden score. With no scores on the board and two shidos against both judoka, the added time was required which sees the first score or penalty determine the winner. Only 29 seconds were required for Miranda to receive a third shido which handed Giuffrida the victory and a place in the final. In the second semi-final Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Cohen (ISR) was unable to trouble the scoreboard but still managed to eclipse Asian Championships silver medallist Ma Yingnan (CHN). MA was penalised twice which was once more than Cohen who claimed the scoreless contest and the right to fight for gold in Baku.
The first bronze medal contest was decided with 16 seconds remaining as a low left-sided morote-seoi-nage from world number eight Ma saw off former World Judo Masters silver medallist Laura Gomez (ESP) by ippon. The second bronze medal was won by Asian Championships bronze medallist Munkhbaatar Bundmaa (MGL) as Miranda was beaten twice in Baku which is a rare sight on the international stage. Mongolia, who have picked Adiyasambuu Tsolmon at this weight for Rio 2016, added one more medal to their Baku collection as Munkhbaatar took the lead with a waza-ari from an uchi-mata and added a yuko by osaekomi with a ushiro-kesa-gatame. Miranda could not find a route back into the contest and it was Munkhbaatar who screamed with delight after securing a fine bronze medal.
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Andreea Stefanescu (ROU)
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