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Matniyazova takes first home gold, Sook makes history for Denmark
7 Oct 2017 18:30
Gulnoza Matniyazova (UZB) successfully retained the Tashkent Grand Prix title to win Uzbekistan’s first gold medal in this year’s edition while runner-up Emilie Sook (DEN) took her country’s very first medal on the IJF World Judo Tour. Sook, 21, who finished fifth at the Zagreb Grand Prix a week ago, entered new territory today.
With a first final and that was the same for her country who will now always remember the name in annals of Danish Judo. Matniyazova had seen her male counterparts miss out on top spot on day one and two and saw the opportunity to not only fly the flag for Uzbekistan but also to show the progress of their women’s team. The local judoka tapped out Sook with a sharp piece of shime-waza which was lapped up with glee by the home crowd.
In the first semi-final Sook defeated Antalya Grand Prix winner Anka Pogacnik (SLO) by a waza-ari from a tomoe-nage to guarantee a first Grand Prix medal of her young career. In the second semi-final Matniyazova defeated u23 European Championships winner Gercsak Szabina (HUN) with an ouchi-gari after 37 seconds of golden score.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Gercsak who defeated world number 28 Roxane Taeymans (BEL). A waza-ari for the 21-year-old Hungarian was the difference after four minutes of action as the wait goes on for Belgian Taeymans who is still in search of a first Grand Prix medal.
The second bronze medal was won by Pogacnik against 26-year-old Grand Prix debutant Taisia Kireeva (RUS). Slovenia’s Pogacnik drove her opponent over with a seoi-nage for a waza-ari score after two and a half minutes of golden score to take home her fourth Grand Prix medal.
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Antonio Campese (ITA)
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