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World Junior Champions knock on the door in Lisbon

5 Feb 2018 12:10

   Klaus Müller / Watch:

A German final for women U70kg at the European Open in Odivelas, outside of Lisbon. World Junior Champion Giovanna Scoccimarro again defeated Sarah Maekelburg. They know each-other well and usually those battles aren’t the best, but the Portuguese judo fans couldn’t complain about this one.

A lively final where Maekelburg had learned from her loss at the German Championships two weeks ago and seemed to take the lead in the match. But it was Scoccimarro who struck in the end, taking over Maekelburg by tani o-toshi. Again Scoccimarro who claimed the gold. The tall 20-year old German was expected to win this European Open despite a good line-up and became the youngest winner over all categories.

Scoccimarro defeated Valentina Maltseva (RUS) in the semi final whilst Maekelburg bested Emily Burt. The Canadian took bronze afterall, which was also a good performance in a new weight category for her outside the home soil. “My fights were long, but my energy level kept going up as the day went by. I was able to keep a good pace. But It was a good day! I was in the U63 kg at the Tokyo Grand Slam in December, so I was a little nervous. I’m smaller than the other girls.”

Belgian Lola Mansour took bronze after she came back in the repechage after her loss against Burt.

Scoccimarro is one of the taller girls in the category. The silver medallist of the European Championships is knocking on the door. Meanwhile Szaundra Diedrich (GER) won the Belgium Open in Herstal and in November both Miriam Buttkereit and Laura Vargas-Koch won bronze at the Grand Prix in The Hague. Germany is preparing a huge battle for two places at the European and World Championships in Baku this year.

Another World Junior Champion, Japanese Shiyu Umezu won the gold U78kg. The Japanese bested Yarden Mayersohn of Israel in the final. Laia Talarn of Spain celebrated a good comeback with bronze in Lisbon. Also the bronze for Portugal was remarkable. Yahima Ramirez became the second oldest medallist at a European Open behind Isabel Fernandez (ESP) in 2012 (40 yrs). At least it was the second Portuguese medal of the weekend.

The heavyweight category was an expected all Ukrainian final where Yelyzaveta Kalanina overcame her country woman Galyna Tarasova. Another tall woman, Kalanina who showcased her judo in Lisbon. It seems to confirm the shift towards more tall, athletic looking athletes in the heavyweight category. Also in the men’s division the more athletic athletes seemed to gain ground.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Sarah Maekelburg (GER) - German Championships Stuttgart (2018, GER) - © Klaus Müller, Watch:
  • Shiyu Umezu (JPN) - World Championships Juniors Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Yelyzaveta Kalanina (UKR) - Grand Prix Hohhot (2017, CHN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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