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Astride Gneto steps up to next level judo

Astride Gneto steps up to next level judo

17 Feb 2022 19:20
IJF Media team by Nicolas Messner
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

French judoka Astride Gneto followed a faultless course through the preliminary rounds. Above all, by showing her power, she eliminated the favourite of the public, Gefen Primo of Israel, in the semi-finals. After a close match which was decided on penalties and qualified for the final against Reka Pupp.

For her first international competition in 2022, the Hungarian Reka Pupp arrived as the top seed in the category. Holding her rank at the beginning of the competition, she passed the first two rounds with focus, before falling to Ryoko Takeda, one of the four Japanese representatives entered here in Tel Aviv. Although the latter was not among the favourites, the dynamism of her judo nevertheless offered a ticket to the final where she found one of the two Gneto sisters, the other being entered in the higher category at Grand Slam level.

There was a big question before the final: would Gneto be able to control the ever-moving-and-jumping Japanese judoka, who so far won all her matches by imposing an impossible pace on her opponents. Clearly, as the bout started, the French judoka showed that she was the boss on the tatami. It was with a perfectly executed combination of ko-uchi to o-uchi-gari that Gneto won, propelling Takeda flat on her back for an indisputable ippon; a second gold for France.

The first match for a bronze medal was undecided between the double Olympic medallist, Odette Giuffrida (ITA) and Gefen Primo (ISR), who was no doubt dreaming of different metal here in Tel Aviv. The public assisted as a very tough kumi-kata battle ensued, where neither  competitor seemed capable of imposing their grip enough to throw. Several sequences were on the verge of being penalised as especially Giuffrida was very close to attempting an attack across a straight arm. One minute into golden score and the Italian champion eventually dropped under her opponent with sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for a waza-ari. Odette Giuffrida is one of the most experienced competitors on the circuit, especially when it comes to tactics. Today, once again she proved to be a serious client for a medal, a bronze one in this case.

Disappointed by her failure in the semi-finals, the number one seed, Reka Pupp, was in the bronze medal match against Diyora Keldiyorova, who represents the future of women’s judo in Uzbekistan. With two shido each, the athletes started a new golden score. Diyora Keldiyorova seemed to take control after the first part of the match was led by Pupp. After only twelve seconds, the top seeded competitor negotiated a beautiful change in direction. After a missed attack on her knees from Keldiyorova, Pupp engaged an uchi-mata, immediately combined with o-uchi-gari in the other direction for waza-ari and a bronze medal.

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