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Laura Martinez Abelenda youngest ever winner for Spain
Laura Martinez Abelenda youngest ever winner for Spain
10 May 2019 19:50
Mark Pickering - IJF and JudoInside
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation

Spanish youngster Laura Martinez Abelenda defeated Marrakech Grand Prix winner Julia Figueroa (ESP) to strike gold on the IJF World Judo Tour for the first time. The youngster fought back tears after throwing her teammate and two-time Grand Slam winner Figueroa with a thunderous o-soto-gari for ippon in a time of 37 seconds.

In the first semi-final world number 31 Maria Siderot (POR) lost out to Figueroa by ippon having trailed to a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Catarina Costa (POR) fell to Junior World Championships bronze medallist Martinez Abelenda by ippon from a ko-uchi-gake.

The first bronze medal contest was won by Costa who marginally beat two-time Grand Prix winner Gabriela Chibana (BRA). Costa struck first with a waza-ari score before Chibana levelled the scores and Portuguese scored again after 31 seconds of added time to win the opening contest in the final block.

The second bronze medal was won by eight-time Grand Prix medallist Milica Nikolic (SRB) after Siderot was disqualified for picking up her third shido for passivity.

Martinez Abelenda became the youngest Spanish winner of an IJF Judo World Tour event ever aged 20. Nikoloz Sherazadishvili was the previous record-holder when he won in Cancun in 2017 being 21.