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Elvismar Rodriguez claims historic gold medal for her country
26 Jun 2016 21:55
Elvismar Rodriguez stunned Laura Vargas Koch in the final of the Grand Prix of Budapest. The teen from Venezuela is able to surprise everyone. She is one of the protégées of the IJF Training Centre in Hungary. Former world silver medallist Laura Vargas Koch lived up to her top seed billing until she met teenage sensation and Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Elvismar Rodriguez in the U70kg final.
Rodriguez, 19, who has nurtured her talents this year at the IJF Training Centre in Dunavarsany, Hungary, became the first Venezuelan judoka to reach a Grand Prix final and the fearless teenager did not stop there as she upset Vargas Koch who was comparatively fighting in the seventh Grand Prix final of her career. Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Rodriguez, who has been financially supported on her road to Rio by the IJF, threw Vargas Koch with a morote-seoi-nage and trapped the German in a kesa-gatame hold on the edge of the tatami to seal a remarkable result for the teenager who is one of the most exciting young talents in the sport.
The first bronze medal was won by Asian Championships bronze medallist Gulnoza Matniyazova (UZB) who outthought and outfought former world silver medallist Nunira Karen (JPN). The 21-year-old Uzbek, who also fights out of the IJF Training Centre in Dunavarsany, made sure Japan’s only female representative on day two was not among the medals as she edged out her opponent with a yuko score which was the only score of the contest. The second bronze medal contest featured Almaty Grand Prix bronze medallist Maria Perez (PUR) who is in the form of her life going into her first Olympic Games. The Puerto Rico fighter threw Madrid European Open winner Sanne Van Dijke of the Netherlands with a drop seoi-nage for the maximum score after two minutes had elapsed and now heads to Rio 2016 with high expectations.
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At 29 years old and with a full judo CV behind her, Laura Vargas Koch is ready for new challenges. She won 3 European medals, a world silver and of course became an Olympic medalist in Rio De Janeiro in 2016. Laura last competed in Budapest in 2019, with a plan to compete at the world championships in Tokyo, but at the preparation camp she injured her knee, yet another ACL injury. Read more
German women’s head coach Claudiu Pusa travels with confidence to Japan after a successful preparation with confidence. However he had to make once change in the team last weekend as Laura Vargas-Koch got injured again and tore her ACL. It was a is a shock for her but also all athletes in the team. New kid Alina Böhm will replace Vargas-Koch and try to give it a good shot in Tokyo. Read more
France's medal challenge in the women's U70kg competition is headed by Marie-Eve Gahie. However the competition is severe in this weight class. What used to be a European weight class is now a struggle against Japanese dominance at both Olympic and World level. Read more
Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Barbara Timo of Portugal continued her fine form for Portugal as she defeated Olympic bronze medallist Laura Vargas Koch (GER) in golden score. Timo, who switched allegiance from Brazil to Portugal in January, outfought four-time Grand Prix winner Vargas Koch in golden score and the German judoka received her marching orders for her third shido. Read more
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Miki Tanaka (JPN)