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Elvismar Rodriguez claims historic gold medal for her country

26 Jun 2016 21:55

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20160626_Budapest_Elvismar Rodriguez

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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Related Judo Photos

  • Elvismar Rodriguez (VEN) - Grand Prix Budapest (2016, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Elvismar Rodriguez (VEN) - Grand Prix Budapest (2016, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Laura Vargas Koch (GER) - Grand Prix Budapest (2016, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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