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Haruka Tachimoto added the last piece of her golden puzzle

10 Aug 2016 23:10

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20160810_IJF_Haruka Tachimoto_Polling_Kim

The gold for women U70kg was for Haruka Tachimoto, where she failed in 2012 in London, she came back strongly this time. What a turbulent Olympic cycle it has been for Tachimoto who could in fact almost forget qualification in February 2015 due to an incident, but came back slowly and won everything what she had to win to qualify. Once qualified all lights were green for a stunt that had its apotheosis today.

However it was a bumpy road today, for everyone, but Tachimoto had one of the worst possible draws, but same feeling for World Number one Kim Polling who was her opponent in the first round. That match was essential. Polling scored yuko from the start but Tachimoto won ground and scored back, to finish the match far in the golden score. The start of a great journey in the Carioca 2 Arena. In the final, that other final, Tachimoto defeated defeated Colombian veteran Yuri Alvear, one of the biggest stars in the weight category. But the triple World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist of 2012 couldn’t prevent Tachimoto from scoring. The Japanese defeated her twice against one for Alvear, in their last encounter in December 2013.

The bronze was for Germany’s Laura Vargas Koch who was the strongest in a tough pool with Graf, Portela, Niang and super talent Rodriguez, who got caught by Moreira. Vargas Koch lost her semi final to her Tachimoto, for the fifth time. The always smiling German won the first medal for her country after she overcame Maria Bernabeu in a real battle where everything was possible, in the golden score Vargas Koch had just that tiny bit left to score the decision maker.

British Sally Conway had an excellent day and won her pool defeating triple and current World Champion Gevrise Emane who won Olympic bronze in 2012, U63kg. Then Linda Bolder was the next victim of Conway who lost to the experienced Alvear in the semi. In the match for bronze Conway defeated Austrian Bernadette Graf, who beat Conway twice, even this year. Graf was unlucky through the day, or through the week with a cold, and during the day a tough fight with Kelita Zupancic, who used Graf's shoulder to pin her under the tatami, but Graf sustained, albeit in the dying seconds, almost armlocked by the Canadian. She had no power to fight Vargas Koch at the usual power, and no breath for Conway. The British had learned from all those matches this Olympic cycle against Bolder who beat her over and over again,  trainingcamps where she got thrown by Emane, but Conway and her team strucrually picked up all those learning moments in their strategy, and today the last puzzle was put on the table by Conway herself.

Tachimoto’s puzzle was totally from the table in February last year, but found all pieces back over the last 18 months. The last piece was of gold.


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Related Judo Photos

  • Haruka Tachimoto (JPN), Laura Vargas Koch (GER) - Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro (2016, BRA) - © JudoHeroes
  • Sally Conway (GBR) - 2016 Olympic Games day 5 Judo U90kg & U70kg (2016, BRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Yuri Alvear (COL) - 2016 Olympic Games day 5 Judo U90kg & U70kg (2016, BRA) - © JudoHeroes

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