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Beatriz Souza wins all-Brazilian final to reset race for Tokyo 2020

Beatriz Souza wins all-Brazilian final to reset race for Tokyo 2020

9 Oct 2019 08:50
Mark Pickering - IJF
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation

Two Brazilians heavyweights in the final of the Grand Slam in Brasilia. The World number eight Beatriz Souza beat world silver medallist Maria Suelen Altheman (BRA) for the first time on the IJF stage to claim her first Grand Slam gold medal. The 21-year-old defeated world number three Altheman, 31, after throwing for a waza-ari score and pinning down her teammate with a kesa-gatame.

With 90 seconds remaining Souza took her career to new heights and will now close in on the two-time Olympian on the IJF World Ranking List.

In the first semi-final two-time world silver medallist Maria Suelen Altheman (BRA) proved to be too strong for world number 23 and former Brazilian Rochele Nunes, now fighting for Portugal. The contest was tied at a waza-ari score apiece after four minutes and it was Altheman who progressed to the final after flooring her former teammate for a second waza-ari score from a makikomi.

In the second semi-final Souza reigned over Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Julia Tolofua (FRA) after the French judoka was dismissed after picking up her third shido for passivity with 58 seconds left on the clock.

The first bronze medal was awarded to Tolofua who threw Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Jasmin Kuelbs Grabowski (GER) for ippon with an uchi-mata on the edge of the area with 44 seconds remaining.

The second bronze medal was won by former Brazil international Nunes who enjoyed a happy homecoming by beating world number 46 Xu Shiyan (CHN) with a quickfire waza-ari from an o-uchi-gari after only 24 seconds.

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