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Yoshida Tsukasa wins gold at Grand Slam Baku
6 May 2016 18:30
Tokyo Grand Slam winner Yoshida Tsukasa (JPN) won the U57kg gold medal on Friday as she overcame Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist Nekoda Smythe Davis (GBR) in the final. Yoshida, 20, who has missed out on selection for Rio 2016 with reigning Olympic and world champion Matsumoto Kaori (JPN) naturally receiving the nod, was rampant in the final as she produced three scores without reply in a fine outing.
The result gave world number 13 Davis the second Grand Slam silver medal of her career as she continues to grow in stature on the IJF World Judo Tour.
In the first semi-final former Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Lu Tongjuan (CHN) fell to Smythe Davis (GBR) by ippon after nine seconds as the Briton has become a household name on the IJF World Judo Tour during the latter stages of this Olympic cycle. In the second semi-final Yoshida defeated former world bronze medallist Miryam Roper (GER) at the halfway point as she produced a strong uchi-mata for waza-ari and held down her German opponent for 15 seconds to claim the contest.
The first bronze medal contest pitted Roper against fellow veteran Sabrina Filzmoser (AUT) who was typically in action again in the final block. Roper led by a waza-ari and looked to have one hand on bronze when she added a yuko but the German stalwart hurt her shoulder and that changed the course of the contest. Filzmoser took full advantage as she pulled back a waza-ari and added a second from an ouchi-gari to come from behind to seal her place on the podium. The second bronze medal was won by beaten semi-finalist Lu who delivered the greatest performance of her career to see off former world champion Rafaela Silva (BRA). Lu was competing in a Grand Slam medal contest for the first time and won at the first attempt. Silva countered a ko-uchi-gari for a utsuri-goshi but Lu was wary of the threat and turned onto her front. A shido against Silva settled the contest after four minutes with neither judoka able to score.
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