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Timna Nelson Levy grabs second gold for Israel

24 Jan 2019 18:35

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Ben Urban / International Judo Federation

Arguably the most exciting final to watch was the U57kg category final between Nelson Levy and Mezhetskaia where most of the crowd in Tel Aviv were on their feet or at least on the edge of their seats. Timna Nelson Levy of Israel defeated former Junior World Championships bronze medallist Daria Mezhetskaia (RUS) to steer her country to the top of the medal table.

The last contest on day one went in the favour of the hosts as the former scored a waza-ari with 50 seconds left from a counter and ‘Timna’ chants rang out around the arena. Mezhetskaia had a day where everything was working for her and she showed considerable skill with her ashi-waza and koshi-waza. She was stopped after an attempted sasae tsuri komi ashi by a brilliant take-over from Timna Nelson Levy who with that unscripted move gave herself a dream gold.

Agadir Grand Prix gold medallist Nelson Levy bested her in-form Russian opponent for a momentous win which brought the crowd to their feet and showed the world the strength of Israeli judo.

In the first semi-final Mezhetskaia shocked former world bronze medallist Karakas Hedvig (HUN) by throwing for ippon to continue her riveting run through the rounds in Tel Aviv. The Russian utilised her sode-tsurikomi-goshi to win by ippon. In the second semi-final Nelson Levy surprised former world bronze medallist Helene Receveaux (FRA) in golden score by a waza-ari score to the delight of the home crowd.

The first bronze medal was awarded to double world bronze medallist Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR) after Receveaux was disqualified in golden score. Smythe-Davis, who was urged on from the stands by her club coach and long-time mentor, Jo Crowley, of Ealing Judo Club in London, profited from an error-laden display by her French rival who was penalised for dropping after two minutes of added time.

The second bronze medal was won by world number 30 Ivelina Ilieva (BUL) who outfought veteran Karakas. Bulgaria opened their medal account for 2019 with a narrow win over Hungary’s Karakas as Ilieva scored a waza-ari in the closing 30 seconds to capture a place on the podium and her third Grand Prix medal.

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  • Timna Nelson Levy (ISR), Daria Mezhetskaia (RUS), Ivelina Ilieva (BUL), Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR) - Grand Prix Tel Aviv (2019, ISR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Timna Nelson Levy (ISR) - Grand Prix Cancun (2018, MEX) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Timna Nelson Levy (ISR) - Grand Slam Abu Dhabi (2018, UAE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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