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Mariia Persidskaia steps up with Grand Prix gold for Russia
6 Oct 2016 21:15
Russian lightweight Mariia Persidskaia won her first IJF gold medal in the first final of the Tashkent Grand Prix 2016. The top seed and Sofia European Open winner squared off against Orenburg European Cup bronze medallist Lilia Lotfullina, for the right to be Russia’s representative on the top of the medal podium.
Persidskaia, 27, made the grade as she improved on her two previous seventh-place finishes at Grand Prix events and could now feature more regularly for Russia. The fate of the gold medal was decided with 27 seconds left on the clock as an ouchi-gari earned ippon and a career-best gold for Persidskaia.
In the first semi-final Persidskaia bested an overmatched world number 150 Mukaddas Kubeeva (UZB). A ko-uchi-gari from the Russian fighter earned a waza-ari and was the pick of her scores as she confidently progressed into the gold medal contest. In the second semi-final Lotfullina (RUS) threw former Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Nodira Gulova (UZB) with a beautiful uchi-mata after two minutes to ensure an all-Russian opening final in Tashkent.
The first bronze medal contest was won by Gulova as she held down her 20-year-old teammate Munira Karimova (UZB) with osaekomi for 20 seconds. Karimova was fighting in her second Grand Prix and will have to wait for her first senior international medal. The second bronze medal was won by Kubeeva by ippon against 21-year-old IJF Grand Prix newcomer Uldana Saiyl (KAZ). Both judoka were competing in an IJF medal contest for the first time and it was the home judoka who could celebrate as she floored SAIYL with a fantastic ouchi-gari with 26 seconds left.
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