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What happened so far at Day 2: Favourites progress
26 Aug 2019 10:35
At the second day of the Judo World Championships in Tokyo the favourites have progress to the final phase. Especially in the women’s tournament all big names were able to stand the pressure. French world number one Amandine Buchard will now face Rio bronze medallist Natalia Kuziutina of Russia in the first semi-final, followed by a super clash between Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo and Uta Abe.
In the repechage finals we will see Joana Ramos of Portugal against Belgian Charline van Snick ad Chelsie Giles (GBR) and Ai Shishime of Japan form the second repechage match. Shishime lost to Kelmendi in a revenge match of the 2017 Worlds semi-final in Budapest when Shishime won the world title. Now Kelmendi came back strongly but will now face the even better Uta Abe, the defending World Champion. Abe defeated Chelsie Giles in the quarter final, the British overcame Evelyne Tschopp (SUI). Abe also defeated Brazilian hope Larissa Pimenta but against Abe probably only Kelmendi can give her a good match.
The group of Kelmendi can be named as the pool of death with SHishime, Kuznetsova, Park and Reka Pupp who defeated Park and Chitu. Shishime beat Pupp to face Kelmendi who was on an easier side of the table.
Kuziutina had a tough match against Odette Giuffrida but was always in control and finished the contest successfully in the 1/8 final which meant a farewell for the Olympic silver medallist from Italy. French world ranking leader Amandine Buchard had no problems reaching the last four and defeated the surprising veteran Joana Ramos, one of the oldest in the field.
Kelmendi and Abe never faced each-other before, it’s the clash of all clashes! Buchard and Kuziutina know each-other very well, they met five times and a convincing 5-0 will give Kuziutina the trust to progress to the final, on the hand it could be a trap as most of the victories were in 2017 or older.
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Christian Storto (ITA)