Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Women's -52kg

Pool A
There's no bigger favorite in this category than Majlinda Kelmendi. It took her less than two minutes to dispatch her first opponent, Vanessa Cortesia of Venezuela with her trademark uchimata for ippon.

Her next opponent, Bundmaa Munkhbaatar, proved harder to throw and Kelmendi had to rely on penalties to get her through to the next round. But it wasn't a close fight. The Mongolian had racked up three shidos by the end of the match.

Perhaps incensed by her inability to throw her opponent in the last match, Kelmendi gave it all she got to Cuba's Yanet Bermoy Acosta of Cuba, throwing her first with uchimata for waza-ari and then a counter for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. And with that, she topped her pool.

Pool B
Like many Japanese female players, Yuki Hashimoto is a groundwork specialist and true to form, she won her first match, against Tunisia's Hela Ayari with a pin that transformed into an armlock for ippon. Hashimoto also relied on newaza for her next win, pinning France's Priscilla Gneto for ippon. She didn't have a chance to work her newaza magic on Russia's Natalia Kuziutina though, as she got thrown with the biggest hip throw for an ippon that had the crowd roaring.

The Russian had earlier defeated Ukraine's Oleksandra Starkova with a pin for ippon and Germany's Romy Tarangul through penalties.

Pool C
Brazil's Erika Miranda defeated her first opponent Gulbadam Babamuratova of Turkmenistan with a sankaku hold down for ippon. She scraped through her second match, defeating Spain's Laura Gomez with a rolling hip throw that scored yuko. Her next match, against China's Yingnan Ma, was more decisive with an ippon win from a strangle. She was through to the semi-final.

Pool D
The top seed in this pool was Germany's Mareen Kraeh but it was Romania's Andreea Chitu who prevailed. Chitu had a harrowing first match though against Christianne Legentil from Mauritius who threw her with ouchi-gari for waza-ari (ippon was initially called but it was downgraded by the video judges). Chitu fought back and threw Legentil with a sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi for waza-ari. In the last minute, Legentil struck again with ouch-gari, this time scoring yuko. All seemed lost when Chitu pulled out a stunning uchimata that landed the Mauritian for ippon.

She made short work of her next opponent though, Odette Giuffrida of Italy, throwing her first with uchimata for waza-ari, then a massive kosoto counter for ippon. She was just as impressive in her next match, against top seed Kraeh, throwing her with a very low, rolling uchimata for waza-ari, and then another remarkably low uchimata for ippon.

Semifinal 1
Kelmendi had a tough time with Kuziutina and it was only in the last minute that she scored the decisive yuko point, through a counter, to win her the match. It was a close one.

Semifinal 2
Miranda scored early with an ouchi-gari that scored waza-ari and held onto her lead until the last minute when, at the edge of the mat, Chitu whips out another of her very low uchimata that scored ippon.

Chitu showed some impressive throwing power

Bronze 1
The first bronze medal match was a scoreless one and in the end, Miranda defeated Bermoy Acosta by penalties.

Bronze 2
A yuko score from sumi-gaeshi was enough for Kuziutina to defeat China's Ma. The home crowd had something to cheer for.


    No one can match Kelmendi's throwing abilities.

Chitu, who had shown remarkable form throughout the day, was simply outclassed by Kelmendi, who threw her with a hip throw for waza-ari and then an uchimata for yuko. It wasn't an ippon win but it was a solid victory nonetheless. Kelmendi had her second world title.

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