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Shira Rishony wins gold at the first Grand Prix of 2019
24 Jan 2019 17:05
Shira Rishony of Israel gave her country a dream start for their inaugural Tel Aviv Grand Prix as she defeated The Hague Grand Prix winner Maryna Cherniak (UKR) to win -48kg gold. The home crowd did not have long to wait to see their judoka clinch top spot on the podium as Rishony won her second Grand Prix title and first since 2013 to star in the first final on day one.
Both judoka had one previous Grand Prix win on their respective records but it was the Israelian Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist who doubled her golden medal tally by throwing after 24 seconds with an o-soto-gari for a waza-ari score.
In the first semi-final London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Csernoviczki Eva (HUN) lost out to Cherniak in golden score. With the scoreboard delicately poised at two shidos apiece, the Ukrainian countered the tired Hungarian with an o-soto-gari for a waza-ari score to advance to the final.
In the second semi-final World Judo Masters bronze medallist Marusa Stangar (SLO) tapped out to home judoka Rishony to guarantee her country’s first medal at their first IJF event.
The first bronze medal contest was won by two-time Grand Slam bronze medallist Nathalia Brigida (BRA) who outlasted Stangar after four minutes of golden score by the margin of a single waza-ari. The world number 132 from Brazil claimed the opening contest of the final block to return to the IJF medal podium for the first time since 2016.
The second bronze medal was won by Csernoviczki who scored a waza-ari with five seconds left on the clock to deny world number 37 Maria Siderot (POR) her first IJF World Judo Tour honour. World number 10 Csernoviczki is on course for her third successive Olympic Games and could again be a contender having finished third in 2012 and seventh in 2016.
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Glenn Bolleboom (NED)