Tuesday, August 25, 2015

-52kg Competition Report

In pool A, the top seed was Romania's Andreea Chitu, who was also the top favorite in the absence of Kosovo's Majlinda Kelmendi. She threw her first opponent, Tunisia's Hela Ayari, with a sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for ippon. Her next match, against Kosovo's Distria Krasniqi was a difficult one and she had to rely on penalties for that win. Chitu is known for her throwing capabilities but she proved she was good at groundwork too when she pinned Italy's Odette Giuffrida for ippon.

In Pool B, the top seed was Mareen Kraeh of Germany but she was upset by little-known Gulbadam Babamuratova of Turkmenistan, who had earlier beaten Hannah Trotter of Australia with an impressive standing ippon-seoi-nage. She then threw Kraeh with an equally impressive koshi-guruma for ippon. Next up was Ilse Heylen of Belgium whom she threw with a drop morote-seoi-nage for waza-ari. In the last minute, Heylen struck back with kouchi-gari but it only scored yuko and was not enough to win her the match. This pit Babamuratova up against Mongolia's Tsolmon Adiyasambuu whom she also threw for ippon.

In Pool C, Russia’s Natalia Kuziutina was the top seed but the real favorite was double world champion Misato Nakamura. She defeated her first opponent, Sweden's Jaana Sundberg with ouchi-gari for waza-ari and then proceeded to pin her for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. Next up was Portugal's Joana Ramos whom she also defeated by osaekomi for ippon. Nakamura got her third ippon of the day by throwing Ukraine's Tetiana Levytska with tai-otoshi for waza-ari and then pinned her for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. She had a much harder time against Kuziutina who took her to time with no scores on the board. But Nakamura managed to win the match in Golden Score with a kosoto-gari for yuko.

In Pool D, top seed Miranda Erika of Brazil defeated her first opponent, Armenia's Zhanna Stankevich with a kosoto-gari counter and soto-makikomi for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon. Then, she defeated Kazakhstan's Lenariya Mingazova with a strangle for ippon. She used a similar strangle to win her next match, against Darya Skrypnik of Belarus.

Turkmenistan's Babamuratova had fought impressively all day but against Chitu, she was no match as the Romanian who threw her at the edge of the mat for waza-ari. 

The match between Nakamura and Miranda was a closely-fought one with the Japanese down on penalties when literally in the last second of the match, she scored with a well-timed kosoto-gari which scored waza-ari.

Like many fights in this world championships, the bronze medal match between Miranda and Giuffrida was a tactical one and the Brazilian proved to be the better tactician, winning by penalties.

As if to make up for the less exciting Miranda-Giuffrida match, Skrypnik smashed Babamuratova for ippon with a beautiful uchimata into kouchi-gari combination that had the crowd roaring.

Alas, the final match was also a tactical one with the very experienced Nakamura outwitting Chitu, who is normally a fine tactician too. But Nakamura wasn't a double world champion for nothing. An now with this latest win, she's a triple world champion.

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