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Anne-Laure Bellard battles to Baku gold

10 May 2014 18:25

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20140510_Baku_BELLARD, Anne-Laure (FRA)

Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Anne-Laure Bellard (FRA) defeated Samsun Grand Prix winner Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT) in the first final of the day. In a contest which pitted youth against experience, Bellard, 32, was all but out of the contest entering the final minute with three shido penalties against her and Unterwurzacher, 21, boasting an unblemished record.

Despite her considerable advantage, Unterwurzacher - who should have really been out of sight by the end of the four minutes - conceded three penalties for passivity as she visibly tired in the closing seconds. The Austrian had nothing in reserve in golden score and received a fourth and final shido for passivity after 28 seconds.  
In the first semi-final world bronze medallist and top seed Anicka VAN EMDEN (NED) was dispatched by Bellard (FRA) who broke the deadlock of two shido penalties apiece by registering a yuko in the last minute. At the same stage Unterwurzacher bested the ever-improving Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Edwige GWEND (ITA) to stake her claim for success in the final block. GWEND trailed by two shido penalties for going out of the area and passivity which gave the Austrian a lift and she took command with a waza-ari score before GWEND scored a consolation yuko.
The first bronze medal was won by GWEND who defeated the plucky 17-year-old Szabina GERCSAK (HUN). Cadet world champion GERCSAK, who recently made her breakthrough by earning bronze medal at the Samsun Grand Prix, was caught for a waza-ari from an ouchi-gari with a minute left in the only score of the contest. The second bronze medal was claimed by VAN EMDEN who inflicted a second successive defeat against Hungariy. VAN EMDEN contained European u23 Championships bronze medallist Franciska SZABO with ease and produced two yuko scores for a comfortle victory. 
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  • Anne-Laure Bellard (FRA), Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT) - Grand Slam Baku (2014, AZE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Anne-Laure Bellard (FRA), Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT), Edwige Gwend (ITA), Anicka van Emden (NED) - Grand Slam Baku (2014, AZE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Anne-Laure Bellard (FRA) - Grand Slam Baku (2014, AZE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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