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Japanese Sarah Asahina takes the Open World title
12 Nov 2017 21:15
World number one Asahina Sarah of Japan qualified for the final against world number two Larisa Ceric of Bosnia Herzegovina, who took the advantage over the Dutch Tessie Savelkouls to access the final. Asahina eliminated Ortiz Idalys of Cuba in the semi-final. Asahina was the favourite fought in front of her father, who was cheering from the stands.
Asahina took control of the match with a sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi for a waza-ari. A little later she scored again waza-ari with the same technique, which she followed on the floor with an immobilisation for ippon.
The Japanese was never really in danger throughout the day and match after match consolidated what would be her first senior world title. Still junior (3rd year), she just started to study medicine and she is definitely the strongest now among the heavyweights and will be a serious contender for the title in Tokyo in 2020 in the +78kg weight category.
The first bronze medal contest saw Nihel Cheikh Rouhou (TUN) opposed to Tessie Savelkouls (NED). More than two minutes were necessary to see the first major intervention of the referee as a shido was given to the Tunisian for passivity. With 33 seconds before the end, a second shido was awarded to Cheikh Rouhou again for passivity. It was time for the golden score. The match seemed to be in good hands for Savelkouls, definitely more active than her opponent but as she was launching another drop-seoi-nage, Cheikh Rouhou remained stable on her legs and countered Savelkouls to score a waza-ari that was confirmed by the video refereeing.
In the second bronze medal contest, the junior first year, Romane Dicko of France faced the 2012 Olympic Champion Idalys Ortiz of Cuba. Ortiz was the first in action with a drop-seoi-nage for no score and was close to score again with a counterattack a handful of seconds later. Even if that second attempt was not successful, the experienced Cuban immediately followed on the floor to apply a shime-waza technique for ippon and win another major medal on the occasion of a world championships.
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Nicola Mortal (ITA)
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