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Paula Pareto on fire for Argentina

13 Oct 2018 09:20

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Rio 2016 Olympic champion and 2018 world bronze medallist Paula Pareto of Argentina won the first Cancun Grand Prix 2018 gold medal with victory in the lightest category of the competition on Friday evening. Pareto has just arrived from Buenos Aires where the veteran was an Athlete Role Model at her home Youth Olympic Games.

Pareto, who won bronze at Beijing 2008 Olympics, showed the world how it’s done with a vintage display at U48kg to claim a third Grand Prix title. The former world champion comprehensively defeated Antalya Grand Prix gold medallist Catarina Costa (POR) by two unanswered scores and continues to inspire her teammates and the next generation of judoka by her actions both on and off the mat.

In the first semi-final Costa rolled world number six Milica Nikolic (SRB) for a waza-ari score in golden score to book a place in the final. In the second semi-final Pareto dropped under Agadir Grand Prix bronze medallist Julia Figueroa (ESP) to throw for ippon and secure a place in the final.

The first bronze medal contest was won by Figueroa who countered Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Katharina Menz (GER) with ashi-waza in the opening contest of the final block. Germany’s world number 22 overstretched and the Spaniard’s leg was already inside as Figueroa turned and drove forward with an o-uchi-gari in golden score.                                           

The second bronze medal was won by Nikolic who held down London 2012 Olympic champion Sarah Menezes (BRA) for 20 seconds and ippon. Top seed NIKOLIC bounced back from her semi-final loss to overpower her Brazilian rival on the ground to win her sixth Grand Prix medal. 

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  • Paula Pareto (ARG) - Grand Prix Cancun (2018, MEX) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Catarina Costa (POR), Paula Pareto (ARG), Julia Figueroa (ESP), Milica Nikolic (SRB) - Grand Prix Cancun (2018, MEX) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Catarina Costa (POR), Paula Pareto (ARG) - Grand Prix Cancun (2018, MEX) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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