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Madeleine Malonga takes third Grand Prix gold
29 Jul 2018 21:15
French flyer Malonga wins third Grand Prix gold medal European champion Madeleine Malonga ruled in Zagreb as she beat Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Klara Apotekar (SLO) for the third time in as many meetings for U78kg gold.
Malonga rushed out and launched attacks from the outset which put Apotekar on the back foot. Malonga, who will make her senior World Championships debut in September, utilised her ippon seoi-nage to defeat her Slovenian adversary by the maximum score. World number six Malonga will jump up the rankings and could be among the top seeds in Baku where she will be one of the favourites for gold.
In the first semi-final European bronze medallist Anna Maria Wagner (GER) lost out to Malonga by ippon in golden score after regulation time ended with a waza-ari score apiece. In the second semi-final Apotekar shocked seven-time Grand Prix winner Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) in golden sore when the Frenchwoman picked up her third shido in an insipid display.
The first bronze medal contest was won by Tcheumeo who floored defending champion Hamada Shori (JPN) with a ko-uchi-gari for ippon.
The second bronze medal contest was an all-German affair and it was Wagner who represented her country on the podium after beating Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist Luise Malzahn (GER). Wagner caught her teammate and 18-time Grand Prix medallist Malzahn with an ouchi-gari for ippon as the latter failed to set a new record of 19 Grand Prix medals and remains tied with Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh (KAZ).
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