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Lien (TPE) takes historical gold medal at GP Budapest
13 Jun 2015 18:25
It was the first time in the history that Chinese Taipeh won a Grand Prix gold medal. Asian Championships runner-up Lien Chen-Ling (TPE) stepped up the podium after her victory in Budapest. Lien had shown a great form this year at previous tournaments. She won the European Open in Prague, was second of Asia and showed that she could meet with the best at the GP Dusseldorf.
Lien set her goals clear now of winning the world title this year. The Tokyo-based Lien is a member of the popular Komatsu team. In the final she was victorious against Samsun Grand Prix winner Viola Waechter (GER) in the U57kg final as she scored a waza-ari and then a yuko from an ouchi-gari.
The winners said: “I am so happy to win my first Grand Prix gold medal and the first for my country is something I am so proud of. My goal is gold at the World Championships this year and I will compete again in July at the Tyumen Grand Slam.”
In the first semi-final Lien surprised Olympic bronze defeated Marti Malloy with a single shido against the latter separating the judoka after four minutes. In the second semi-final Waechter impressively dispatched Asian Championships winner and Junior world champion Tamaoki Momo (JPN). The 20-year-old Japanese fighter was penalised twice for passivity while her German opponent had an unblemished record after both had registered respective waza-ari efforts.
The first bronze medal was won by Tamaoki against Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Camila Minakawa (ISR) in a nail-biting contest which required two and half minutes of added time in the form of golden score. Tamaoki attacked with ouchi-gari but Minakawa was wary of the imminent threat and blocked it before being penalised for dropping in the next exchange to settle the contest in the favour of the young Japanese athlete. The second bronze medal was won by Malloy after a titanic tussle against Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Karakas Hedvig (HUN). The superior conditioning of Malloy was evident as she was still moving forward at every opportunity in golden score. Karakas was penalised with a shido for passivity after two minutes and 13 seconds to hand the medal to the American judoka who noticed she wasn't the most poular girl around from that moment.
The home crowd demanded a medal for Karakas but had to deal with the drive of Malloy. “To be honest it was a little intimidating, but I thought if I can win under normal circumstances, it helped me to motivate me to win if no one believes in me, or if they don’t want me to win."
In Zagreb Malloy lost the final against Nekoda Davis, but since is wearing a cast around her thumb. “It’s not that I tore a ligaments in my thumb at the Zagreb Grand Prix, but I jammed it. Since then I wear the cast, it looks kind of serious, but it just helps me to stabilize it, so that is heals faster. I had it taped in really well and I haven’t thought about it, so that’s good.”
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