Trends are gradually emerging in judo, even if there is still a long way to go to Tokyo and between now and the Games the level will rise further with each competition. What is certain is that after the long year of uncertainty that all countries have lived through, all have found their way back to the tatami and the athletes can once again express their potential.
There is still work to be done to be ready for the June World Championships in Budapest and in July, as we head to Tokyo for the Games.
In the category U57kg in Tashkent it was Tamaoki who finally went for gold, after she applied a shime-waza on Lien for ippon. Winner of her Grand Slam at home two weeks ago, Timna Nelson Levy is in good shape. Today she believed for a long time she'd be able to repeat her performance on Uzbek soil, but it was without taking into account the determination of Lien Chen-Ling (TPE), who during the golden score of the semi-final succeeded with a perfect sequence on the ground to nail the Israeli using an unstoppable sankaku-jime (triangle choke). Lien therefore qualified for the final and would face the Tamaoki Momo (JPN), winner of the Osaka Grand Slam in 2019.
In the first match for the bronze medal, we found another member of the Serbian delegation, an athlete making a showpiece of her endurance, Marica Perisic (SRB). There she faced Timna Nelson Levy (ISR). Half way to the end, the Israeli was leading by waza-ari from a superb counterattack. Initially it was announced as ippon and Nelson Levy had already celebrated, but as the score was downgraded, she had to re-concentrate and maybe that offered an opportunity to Perisic to score on the edge, also a waza-ari. Taking the momentum over her opponent, the Serbian kept it to win with a second waza-ari from the shoulder throw.
For the last bronze medal of day 1 in Tashkent, Kim Jisu (KOR) met Theresa Stoll (GER), who failed at the foot of the podium just two weeks ago in Tel Aviv. This time the German concluded in a perfect manner, with an effective combination on the floor and an ippon win.