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Dayaris Mestre strikes for Cuba at forst day of Judo Grand Prix Havana

6 Jun 2014 19:05

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20140606_Havana_MESTRE ALVAREZ, Dayaris (CUB) - LABORDE, Maria Celia (CUB)4

Six-time Pan America Championship medallist Dayaris Mestre (CUB) challenged teammate Maria Celia Laborde (CUB) in the first final of the Havana Grand Prix. The fact that the first gold medal was contested by two Cuban judoka was a testament to the strength of the hosts and their immense support from a crowd who played their part in driving them both forward towards the final.

Laborde won the first Havana Grand Prix gold medal as she won a battle of shido penalties. MESTRE ALVAREZ infringed with a false attack for her first shido and received two more for passivity while her countrywoman was penalised once for passivity.  

In the first semi-final MESTRE ALVAREZ upset Olympic champion Sarah MENEZES (BRA) in a closely contested bout which was settled by shido penalties. The Cuban just had the edge as she was penalised on two occasions for passivity and a false attack respectively while her acclaimed opponent infringed three times for a false attack, passivity and once again for passivity. The second semi-final also brought the crowd to their feet as LABORDE (CUB) dispatched Dusseldorf Grand Prix winner WU Shugen (CHN) in golden score. Both judoka had two shido penalties to their names after four minutes and so the action continued into golden score where WU was penalised with a third shido which was given for passivity.

The first bronze medal was awarded to Madrid European Open bronze medallist Julia FIGUEROA (ESP) after she defeated Chinese judoka and world number 26 WU. FIGUEROA, who wore a bandage around her head due to a cut sustained in the preliminaries, secured a second straight weekend on the medal podium as her waza-ari from countering a ura-nage by turning over her opponent with her upper body was the difference in an entertaining contest. The second bronze medal was won by Olympic champion MENEZES who bounced back from her semi-final defeat to comprehensively defeat Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Amelie ROSSENEU (ISR). The Israeli fighter started well with a committed uchi-mata attempt after 30 seconds but that proved to be her best effort of the contest. The Brazilian won with four seconds left by a ko-soto-gake which earned ippon after leading by three yuko scores from a ko-uchi-gari, a brilliant uchi-mata counter and an ashi-waza attack. 

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Related Judo Photos

  • Dayaris Mestre Alvarez (CUB), Maria Celia Laborde (CUB) - Grand Prix Havana (2014, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Maria Celia Laborde (CUB), Dayaris Mestre Alvarez (CUB), Julia Figueroa (ESP), Sarah Menezes (BRA) - Grand Prix Havana (2014, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Julia Figueroa (ESP) - Grand Prix Havana (2014, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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