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Marhinde Verkerk regains her golden taste in Baku
27 Jun 2015 17:00
In the women’s category U78kg it was Dutch Marhinde Verkerk who won the European title at the European Games in Baku. After 75 seconds it was Verkerk who wrapped up the arm of Malzahn and rotated to a wazari.
The World Champion in 2009 suffered a heavy injury over the last year but came back with a great bronze medal in Budapest two weeks ago. With the pressure of Guusje Steenhuis Verkerk still has a preferred position but has to perform at top level. After two lost European finals in 2010 and 2013 now she won the jackpot. She now won the World and European title and why not aim for the ultimate triple in Rio next year.
The final was decided in the beginning by that makikomi of Verkerk but there was no way Malzahn could get nearer to the Dutch who almost strangled the German on the ground. Coach Mark van der Ham won two medals in 10 minutes, I’m sure one of his highlights as a coach. After such an injury this European title is the best possible reward.
Marhinde VERKERK (NED) now won the gold while recently she lost to Malzahn.
"I lost to her in the Rabat Masters recently and I watched the video closely many times. Tonight I was very strong with my left arm and she couldn't get close to me, she wasn't strong enough. I'm very pleased to get revenge. Ten months ago I had a knee injury and needed surgery. I wasn't fighting for six months so I am very happy with this - it's a new medal to add to my collection."
The bronze medal was for another Dutch woman, Guusje Steenhuis who led the match fast against Audrey Tcheumeo of France. The former World Champion and current number two of the world behind Kayla Harrison was thrown by Steenhuis who rolled Tcheumeo halfway on her back.
Ana Velensek of Slovenia won the second bronze medal. Against Natalie Powell it was however the British who led the match the whole time but forgot the last 30 seconds where Velensek waited for her chance and got the British in a hold down, enough for the bronze medal.
It’s a close category with Kayla Harrison (USA) who gives the best impression in this moment, but Tcheumeo (FRA), Verkerk (NED), Velensek (SLO), World Champion Aguiar (BRA), Powell (GBR) and Luise Malzahn (GER) this category is very attractive. Not even mentioning a good Sol (PRK) and possible Asian opposition.
For the Netherlands the mission is succeeded with today’s four medals for Verkerk, Steenhuis, Elmont and Grol, added to the gold of Polling on Friday.
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