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Majlinda Kelmendi wins rematch against Giuffrida

24 Oct 2019 19:05

 Mark Pickering - IJF    JudoHeroes
20191024_abudhabi_jh_52_majlinda_kelmendi

Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo extracted a degree of revenge for losing the 2018 Abu Dhabi final against Olympic silver medallist Odette Giuffrida (ITA) by beating her long-time rival to win the 2019 edition. Kelmendi extended her one-sided winning record over Giuffrida to 7-2 by countering a desperate harai-makikomi effort after five minutes of golden score.

Kosovo’s 10-time Grand Slam medallist is still getting back to her best form and was given a stern test by the game Italian who followed up on her Brasilia gold with hard-fought silver on day one in Abu Dhabi. 

In the first semi-final Kelmendi was made to work by European Games bronze medallist Chelsie Giles (GBR) who narrowly lost out to Kosovo’s hero by a waza-ari score from a ko-uchi-gari.

In the second semi-final Marrakech Grand Prix bronze medallist Estrella Lopez Sheriff (ESP) was second best against Giuffrida who prevailed by a waza-ari score.

The first bronze medal was awarded to world number 22 Park Da Sol (KOR) who beat Lopez Sheriff by a waza-ari score. Park threw beautifully with a ko-uchi-gake for the one and only score of the contest.

The second bronze medal was won by GILES who defeated world number 44 Tetiana Levytska-Shukvani (GEO) to win her second Grand Slam medal. The 22-year-old Coventry Judo Club product looks set to break into the world’s top 10 in the near future and is now poised to make her Olympic bow in 2020.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) - Grand Slam Abu Dhabi (2019, UAE) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Odette Giuffrida (ITA), Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS), Chelsie Giles (GBR), Da Sol Park (KOR) - Grand Slam Abu Dhabi (2019, UAE) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Odette Giuffrida (ITA), Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) - Grand Slam Abu Dhabi (2019, UAE) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation

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