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Natalia Kondratieva grabs gold at Georgian soil
21 Mar 2014 17:05
Former Moscow Grand Slam runner-up Nataliya Kondratieva (RUS) won the first Tbilisi Grand Prix gold medal by defeating Warsaw European Open winner Maryna Chernyak (UKR) in the -48kg final. Kondratieva did well to protect her arm and hold off a committed juji-gatame attempt by her rival in the opening minute and never looked back. Kondratieva scored a waza-ari with a sankaku-gatame hold and went back to the same position to produce to same score after some methodical ne-waza to win by wazari-awasette-ippon.
The Russian had stormed through her semi-final with a blistering performance which left European u23 Championships silver medallist Kristina VRSIC (SLO) in her wake. The emerging Slovenian held out for as long as she could before the Russian seized her arm and forced her to submit to a juji-gatame after just 75 seconds. In the second semi-final Chernyak bested Almaty Grand Prix winner Kristina Rumyantseva (RUS) by an osoto-gari which earned ippon after two minutes as her initial shido for passivity had no influence on the outcome of the contest.
The first bronze medal was awarded to Israel’s impressive debutant Amelie Rosseneu (ISR) who saw off losing semi-finalist Rumyantseva in golden score. Rosseneu was penalised with a shido in regular time for going out of the area while the Russian earned a penalty for passivity which sent the contest into golden score where the former scored a yuko from an uchi-mata. The second bronze medal was won by Casablanca African Open bronze medallist Dilara Lokmanhekim (TUR) against Slovenian ace VRSIC who finished fifth at the Almaty Grand Prix. Lokmanhekim went behind to a yuko from an o-goshi after 30 seconds and VRSIC doubled her advantage with a second yuko before the Turkish judoka stunned her opponent and spectators alike by powering forward with a ouchi-gari for ippon with 66 seconds remaining.
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Leonid Gasyuk (UKR)
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