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Marhinde Verkerk times first World Judo Masters gold well
17 Dec 2017 19:05
The Netherlands’ veteran judoka and 2009 world champion Marhinde Verkerk earned one of the biggest wins of her career on Sunday evening as she defeated Dusseldorf Grand Prix silver medallist Madeleine Malonga of France for U78kg gold.
Verkerk, 32, entered the final with two fifth-place finishes from the Masters while Malonga, 23, was also appearing in the gold medal contest at the invite-only event for the first time. Malonga has three IJF World Judo Tour wins on her honours reel with the last gold medal coming back in 2016 at the Samsun Grand Prix and that figure stayed the same after Verkerk scored a waza-ari from a makikomi with 23 seconds left in the contest.
In the first semi-final world number one Guusje Steenhuis (NED) was beaten by Verkerk in golden score when the top seed received her third shido. In the second semi-final Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Anastasiya Dmitrieva (RUS) fell to Malonga by a waza-ari score.
The first bronze medal was claimed by The Hague Grand Prix bronze medallist Karen Stevenson (NED) when Russian hope Dmitrieva was penalised with a shido in golden score as the Netherlands were omnipresent in the U78kg category.
The second bronze medal contest featured the current world number one against the former world number one as Steenhuis faced world bronze medallist and Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Natalie Powell (GBR). The -78kg leader from the Netherlands came away with the win after 61 seconds of golden score as she tapped out the Welsh judoka with a juji-gatame.
Guusje Steenhuis won the 50,000 USD as world number one this year.
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