Thursday, August 28, 2014

Women's -63kg

Pool A
France’s top hope Clarisse Agbegnenou had some difficulty in her first match, against Sweden’s Anna Bernholm and won by just a narrow yuko point while conceding two shidos. Her second match, against Wen Zhang of China, also went to full time but she managed to get two Yukos from counters against Zhang’s uchimata attempts. Her fight against Italy’s Edwidge Gwend was the third match to go to time and won by a yuko, from an ouchi-gari. Agbegnenou had had tough preliminary rounds but she was through to the semifinal.

Pool B
France’s second player Anne-Laure Bellard threw her first opponent, Spain’s Isabel Puche, three times with sumi-gaeshi. First for yuko, then for waza-ari and finally for ippon. For her second match, against Brazil’s Mariana Silva, she scored first with ouchi-gari for yuko then later in the match pinned her opponent for ippon. Against Austria’s Kathrin Unterwurzacher, she scored waza-ari in the opening seconds with a rolling uchimata that was done one-handed. Although Unterwurzacher later scored back with uchimata-sukashi, it was only awarded a yuko, so Bellard was through to the semifinal.

Pool C
Israel’s Yarden Gerbi is one of the biggest throwers in her category and she displayed her massive throwing skills in her first bout, against Portugal’s Ana Cachola, first launching her with a hip throw for waza-ari and then a textbook uchimata for ippon. She then smashed Cuba’s Maylin Del Toro Carvajal with a massive hip throw for ippon. In her quarterfinal match, against Slovenia’s Tina Trstenjak, she made her hip throw seem effortless as she whirled her opponent over for ippon.

Pool D
Japan’s newcomer Miku Tashiro won her first match, against Algeria’s Imene Agouar, through a strangle for ippon. She also relied on groundwork, a pin this time, to defeat her next opponent, South Korea’s Bak Jiyun. Her next match, against top seed Anicka Van Emden of the Netherlands, was a tough one that was scoreless at the end of time. However, in Golden Score, Tashiro managed to pull off a driving ouchi-gari that scored ippon. For her quarterfinal match, against Germany’s Martyna Trajdos, it was back to groundwork and she pinned the German for yet another ippon.

Semifinal 1
The first semifinal was an all-French affair. But unlike the non-fight that we saw when Mikhail Pulyaev met Kamal Khan-Magomedov in the semi-final of the -66kg division, this one was an all-out fight. Agbegnenou proved the more dominant, throwing Bellard with ashi-guruma for waza-ari and then pinning her for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon.

Semifinal 2
Those hoping for a Gerbi vs Agbegnenou final were nearly disappointed when Tashiro scored with a very deep uchimata that scored waza-ari, although it could easily have been ippon. Ironically, Gerbi’s lease of life happened during a groundwork exchange. Tashiro was trying to turn Gerbi into a hold when she got countered and Gerbi ended up holding her instead. It would be a Gerbi vs Agbegnenou rematch after all, in the final.

Bronze 1
The first bronze medal was won by Tashiro who stuck to her newaza specialty and pinned Gwend for ippon.

Bronze 2
Trstenjak’s fight with Bellard was a tough one with the only score happening in the last minute when Slovenian unleased an incisive kouchi-gari that scored waza-ari.

    Agbegnenou gets her revenge against Gerbi

Final
In their last world championship final in Rio, Agbegnenou was thrown by Gerbi who then proceeded to strangle her for ippon. This time around, it was Agbegnenou who would be doing the throwing. She opened up the accounts with a low koshi-guruma that scored yuko. Then she came in with a huge tsuri-goshi that scored ippon. She had gotten her revenge.

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