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Miku Tashiro proves a point with GP victory in Hohhot

Miku Tashiro proves a point with GP victory in Hohhot

1 Jul 2017 11:30
by Mark Pickering - IJF
IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Double world bronze medallist Tashiro Miku of Japan put her frustrations in missing out on a Worlds place behind her to win Grand Prix gold in Hohhot. Tashiro, who won her only Grand Prix gold medal in Budapest in 2014, defeated five-time Grand Prix Unterwurzacher, who won the Tokyo Grand Slam last year, in the final.

The Japanese judoka failed to win a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics and so Japan will not field a -63kg judoka at the World Championships. Tashiro led their head-to-head series 2-0 before today but fell behind to a waza-ari score and had to work to restore parity. With the crowd engrossed by the first final on day two, a mistake from the Austrian handed gold to the Japanese as the former was penalised for a leg grab with her third shido and was disqualified. 

In the first semi-final Unterwurzacher beat Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist Ekaterina Valkova (RUS) by ippon with 74 seconds left having trailed to a waza-ari. In the second semi-final Tashiro pinned down Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix bronze medallist JI Yunseo (KOR) with a tate-shiho-gatame hold for 20 seconds and a place in the gold medal contest.

The first bronze medal was won by Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Edwige Gwend (ITA) who threw JI with a crowd-pleasing uchi-mata for a waza-ari score. World number 16 Gwend will jump up several places on the World Ranking List as a result of this bronze and will travel to Budapest next month with a realistic chance of medalling at the sport’s blue ribbon event.

The second bronze medal was won by Tbilisi Grand Prix winner and world number 17 Magdalena Krssakova (AUT) who fought back from being a waza-ari down to defeat Valkova. The Austrian judoka levelled the score before throwing with an o-guruma for ippon with 37 seconds remaining in the contest.

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