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Ai Tsunoda delivers Spain the first ever cadet world title

28 Sep 2019 16:15

 Pedro Lasuen - IJF and JudoInside    IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

Ever a Spanish fighter was in a final of the Cadet World Championships but on the last day of the individual tournament AI Tsunoda even won the gold medal. She already was Cadet European Champion and is the undisputed number one of the world.

In the women’s U70kg category Japan was looking for their fifth gold medal. In blue judogi, Kuwagata Moka was expecting to produce the same quality judo that brought her to the last contest. In white judogi, Tsunoda Roustant Ai wanted to win the first medal of the competition for Spain. Tsunoda is the current European champion and was also brilliant all day long by defeating by ippon all her opponents, including Netherlands and world number one Yael Van Heemst in the semifinals.

The final was tight and tough. Fourty three seconds before the end, Tsunoda executed a spectacular o-goshi who made Kuwagata fly. The sound of ippon once again and the first gold medal for Spain.

“I made lots of mistakes at the beginning”, Tsunoda explained. “I should have attacked from the start. But I did not want to reach the golden score, so I decided to place my move just before”.

When we asked her about the future, she smiled and said that “sky is the limit”.

On the podium she received her medal from the International Judo Federation Education and Coaching Director Mohammed Meridja.

Germany has been very discreet during the whole week but woke up in the final day. Elisabeth Pflugbeil won the first bronze medal for her country by defeating Poland Katarzyna Sobierajska.

But only one because in the second contest for the bronze medal, Netherlands and world number one Yael Van Heemst defeated Anna Monta Olek (GER) by waza-ari in the golden score. A tremendous success again for the Dutch girl coached by talent coach Ge van den Elshout which is a fine chemistry delivering many medals. Van Heemst had won bronze at the European Championships as each time current World Championships blocked her way to the final. Sara Rodriguez was the last and first Spaniard to take a medal at the cadet worlds before Tsunoda hit the pot with gold.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Ai Tsunoda (ESP), Vanesa Arenas (ESP) - Cadet World Championships Almaty (2019, KAZ) - © IJF Fawaz Alenezi, International Judo Federation
  • Ai Tsunoda (ESP), Moka Kuwagata (JPN), Elisabeth Pflugbeil (GER), Yael Van Heemst (NED) - Cadet World Championships Almaty (2019, KAZ) - © IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio, International Judo Federation
  • Ai Tsunoda (ESP), Moka Kuwagata (JPN) - Cadet World Championships Almaty (2019, KAZ) - © IJF Fawaz Alenezi, International Judo Federation

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