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Abe becomes the youngest ever IJF World Judo Tour winner at 16 years old
24 Feb 2017 18:00
Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Abe Uta of Japan wrote her name into the record books as she became the youngest ever winner at an IJF World Judo Tour event. Abe, 16, the younger sister of 19-year-old Paris Grand Slam winner Abe Hifumi, saw off former European silver medallist Amandine Buchard (FRA) with a low uchi-mata for a waza-ari. World number 46 Abe, who turns 17 in July, utilised her favourite technique for a waza-ari which was the difference after four minutes.
World number 73 Buchard will be delighted to be back on the podium after a testing run which saw her move back and forth between the U48kg and U52kg categories. Abe has a high school competition in March and the All Japan Championships in April and will certainly be a major player on the IJF World Judo Tour for the remainder of 2017.
In the first semi-final Abe defeated Alexandra-Larisa Florian (ROU) by the maximum score with a uchi-mata. In the second semi-final former Baku Grand Slam winner Gili Cohen (ISR) was held down by Buchard with a tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon.
The first bronze medal was clinched by Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Shishime Ai who responded to her semi-final blip with a routine win over Cohen. Number one seed Shishime, who won in Germany last year, was unable to successfully defend her title but did enough for a bronze medal as she had total upper body control over her opponent who was trapped in a mune-gatame for 20 seconds.
The second bronze medal was won by Florian who floored former Rio Grand Slam winner Eleudis Valentim (BRA) with a stunning piece of ashi-waza. The young Romanian caught her opponent with a de-ashi-barai for a wonderful finish after 75 seconds
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