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Dutch Amber Gersjes takes European and World title this year

18 Oct 2017 19:10

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    Klaus Müller / Watch:

Dutch Junior European champion Amber Gersjes was crowned Junior world champion on Wednesday as the Dutch ace now rules the continent and the world. At the World Junior Championships in Zagreb Gersjes bested Junior European Championships silver medallist Laura Martinez Abelenda of Spain as the continental adversaries became rivals on the world stage.

A statement ensured for the four minutes of regulation time and an additional two and a half of minutes was required to separate the two European starlets when a third and final shido against Martinez Abelenda gifted the final and the gold medal to Gersjes. Both judoka appear to have the potential to make a splash on the senior stage in the coming years and that could come as soon as the IJF World Judo Tour’s 2018 season as their junior jousting could turn into a long-term storyline in the next Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification period which opens in May next year.

In the first semi-final Martinez Abelenda edged out 18-year-old Melissa Hurtado Munoz of Cuba by a waza-ari in regulation time to win the all-Spanish speaking contest. In the second semi-final Gersjes conquered two-time senior European Cup winner Marusa Stangar (SLO) by a waza-ari score to seal a place in the gold medal contest.

Gersjes also claimed 700 points, comparable to a Grand Prix victory, for the IJF Senior World Ranking, a new rule that delivers Gersjes the 32. place now in the IJF World Ranking.

The first bronze medal was clinched by Stangar who returned to winning ways with a narrow win over former Cadet Asian Championships winner Akmaral Nauatbek (KAZ) by a waza-ari score.

The second bronze medal was won by Hurtado Munoz  who fought back from being a waza-ari down to hold down 20-year-old uchi-mata specialist Daria Pichkaleva (RUS) for ippon with a kesa-gatame. 

Read all other stories from Zagreb

Heydarov also claimed 700 points, comparable to a Grand Prix victory, for the IJF Senior World Ranking, a new rule that delivers Heydarov the 3rd place now in the IJF World Ranking.


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  • Amber Gersjes (NED) - World U21 Championships Zagreb (2017, CRO) - ©, judo news, results and photos
  • Amber Gersjes (NED), John van der Meer (NED) - World U21 Championships Zagreb (2017, CRO) - ©, judo news, results and photos
  • Amber Gersjes (NED) - World U21 Championships Zagreb (2017, CRO) - ©, judo news, results and photos

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