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Bernadett Graf takes gold at Grand Prix Mongolia
4 Jul 2015 15:40
Austrian Bernadette Graf has taken the gold medal at the Grand Prix of Ulaanbaatar. Graf gave another indication of her growing threat for world honours as she won gold in Ulaanbaatar.
The 23-year-old has greater expectations with every event and is savouring her position as she continues to excel on the World Judo Tour. Graf defeated Asian Championships bronze medallist ZHOU Chao (CHN) in the final by ippon with 12 seconds remaining having led by a yuko. Chao (CHN) who had shown some nice throwing skills earlier in the day. But despite a plucky effort from Zhou the Chinese was unable to make any real impression on Graf who countered Zhou for waza ari then held her with kesagatame to take the gold. “I have to say that Zhou gave me my toughest fight of the day. She was always trying something and when I tried something she also appeared ready to counter me,” said Graf. When asked who of her opponents was likely to prove hard to beat on the road to Rio Graf answered, “It is a very strong category and it is difficult to name just one or two, but definitely Kim POLLING (NED), ARAI Chizuru (JPN) and any of the German girls.” Graf has her sights firmly set on the world championships in Astana and, injury free and on form it looks as though her time is coming.
In the first semi-final contest the European Games bronze medallist bested Qingdao Grand Prix winner Iljana Marzok (GER) by ippon while in the second semi-final European Games bronze medallist Fanny Posvite (FRA) was beaten by Zhou by ippon after 74 seconds.
The first bronze medal was claimed by world number 20 Antonia Moreira (ANG) in a historic feat for her country as the first World Judo Tour medal for Angola. The 33-year-old veteran triumphed against Posvite and was thrilled by the result which she will look to build on at the Tyumen Grand Slam and August’s World Championships where she will be supported by the IJF. The second bronze medal contest was won by Marzok who is doing everything she can to remain in the reckoning for the race to Rio 2016 as she battles to catch up to her teammates on the World Ranking List. Marzok defeated African Championships silver medallist Assmaa Niang (MAR) by ippon in a vital result while Niang produced another credible showing for the African continent.
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Aykhan Tanriverdiyev (AZE)