Friday, August 29, 2014

Women's -78kg

Pool A
France's Audrey Tcheumeo is the top favorite here and she blew away all opposition convincingly. She defeated her first opponent, USA's Samatha Bleier with a slick kouchi-kosoto combo for waza-ari. Then an osoto-gari for yuk. Finally a pin for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. Against Spain's Mart Tort Merino, she first scored with kouchi-gari for yuko, then osoto-gari for ippon. With Cuba's Yalennis Castillo, she used a te-waza counter for yuko. Then she pinned her for ippon. Her preliminary rounds was a masterful performance.

Pool B
North Korea's Kyong Sol was the sensation at the 2013 Rio World Championships but as she did not take part in many IJF World Circuit events, she was not highly ranked. Nevertheless, she would of course be a force to contend with. Her performance this year was not as impressive though. She defeated her first opponent, Ukraine's Victoriia Turks (UKR) with a low uchimata for yuko and held onto that lead until the end. She beat the Netherlands' Guusje Seenhuis with an osoto-counter for yuko at the end of their match. There was signs of her old self in her match against Portugal's Yahima Ramirez, where she utilized her trademark two-hands-on-one sode-tsuri-komi-goshi to score waza-ari. Her opponent had grabbed her trousers and thus got a hansoku-make disqualification.

Pool C
USA's Kayla Harrison was making a comeback here. But all comebacks are inherently difficult and it showed in her first match, where she scrapped by with a penalty win against Canada's Catherine Roberge. She countered Taiwan's Szu-Chu Wang for a yuko then in groundwork, used a sankaku to pin her for ippon. Her most impressive performance was in her third match, against Slovenia's Anamari Velensek, whom she threw with a standing ippon-seoi-nage for waza-ari and then pinned her for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon.

Pool D
Brazil's Mayra Aguiar was on top form. She was strong and she was peaking. In her first match, she executed a very low tai-otoshi to score waza-ari against Italy's Assunta Galeone, then she pulled off a well-timed uchimata-sukashi for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. She threw Spain's Laia Talarn with kosoto-gari twice, once for waza-ari and once for yuko. Then, against Russia's Alena Kachorovskaya, she threw with kosoto-gake for ippon.

Semifinal 1
Last year's world champion Sol was no match against the determined Tcheumeo who smashed her with harai-goshi for ippon.

Semifinal 2

The 2012 Olympic champion Harrison was no match against Aguiar whose low tai-otoshi caught her for yuko. A desperate ouchi-gari got by Harrison got countered for waza-ari.

Bronze 1
Harrison defeated Ramirez through a shido penalty. She had just won the bronze but she was crying on her way off the mat. Like Liparteliani, she felt nothing but gold was good enough.

Bronze 2
Velensek defeated a lacklustre Sol with a kosoto-gari for yuko. The North Korean was a shadow of her former self.


    Aguiar used a low tai-otshi throughout the day
It was a battle of titans but Aguiar won out with her trademark, low tai-otoshi done from a high grip which scored waza-ari, which was enough to clinch her the match.

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