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Colombian Yuri Alvear takes new title in Azerbaijan
11 Mar 2017 14:50
Triple world champion and double Olympic medallist Yuri Alvear of Colombia topped the podium in Baku as she started her year with a new accolade. Colombia’s greatest athlete made it five wins from five contests against 20-year-old Paris Grand Slam medallist Elvismar Rodriguez coming out for the IJF, who was quickly defeated in the final.
Alvear, who lost out to Tachimoto Haruka (JPN) in the Olympic final, threw Rodriguez after 23 seconds with a ko-soto-gake for the maximum score.
The newly-crowned Grand Slam winner, who will head to Tokyo next week for a training camp, said: “I’m very happy to finally win a Grand Slam having won three World Championships. I have wanted this medal for a while and I am very pleased to start my year like this.
“I will now train in Japan and then return for the Pan American Championships and future challenges as I hope to win many more medals including a Grand Prix and a World Judo Masters which I am yet to achieve.”
In the first semi-final Alvear trapped u23 European Championships bronze medallist Aleksandra Samardzic (BIH) on the ground for ippon having prodded with a ouchi-gari and was in control at all times.
In the second semi-final Rodriguez dominated Zagreb Grand Prix winner Barbara Matic (CRO) with a powerful display. The starlet took the lead with a waza-ari and added a second from a picturesque sasae-tsurikomi-ashi before holding down Matic with a mune-gatame for 20 seconds.
The first bronze medal was claimed by Matic who rushed to victory after 60 seconds by ippon against 22-year-old Grand Slam newcomer Zere Bektaskyzy (KAZ).
The second bronze medal was captured by 19-year-old Samardzic who denied Valida Mirzazada (AZE) in the first ever IJF medal contest for the Azeri. Samardzic won her second Grand Slam bronze medal by ippon having led by two waza-ari.
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Oliver Sellner (AUT)
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