Sunday, August 30, 2015

-78kg Competition Report

This was a category full of surprises and no defeats were as shocking as the ones that happened in this pool, which had the two top favorites in this category, Kayla Harrison (USA) and Maya Aguair (BRA), jostling for top spot. As it turned out, both got defeated by relative unknowns. Harrison lost to Yoon Hyunji (KOR) while Aguair lost to Daria Pogorzelec (POL) who went on to top the pool. The Polish player's first fight was against Lkhamdegd Purevjargal (MGL), whom she threw with a well-time kosoto-gari for waza-ari. Next, she threw Victoria Turks (UKR) with drop ippon-seoi-nage for ippon. Nobody expected her to defeat Aguair but she did just that, throwing her not once, but twice. First with reverse seoi-nage for yuko and then with drop ippon-seoi-nage for waza-ari. This pit her against fellow underdog Yoon. It was a tough battle but the Polish player prevailed with an osoto-gari attack that scored yuko.

Little-known Mami Umeki (JPN) defeated her first opponent, Zhang Zehui (CHN) with harai-goshi for yuko and followed that up with a pin for ippon. She had a hard battle with Guusje Steenhuis (NED) and prevailed through penalties. Her toughest opponent, however, was Luise Malzahn (GER) whom she also beat through penalties. Nevertheless, she was through to the semi-finals. 

Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) had a tough first match, against Yalennis Castillo (CUB) and had to rely on penalties to win. Against Joo (HUN) she did a lot better, throwing her opponent with tai-otoshi for ippon. She was also in good form in her fight against Marhinde Verkerk, whom she countered with a hand-technique for yuko, then threw with tai-otoshi for waza-ari.

Anamari Velensek (SLO) threw her first opponent, Anastasiya Dmitrieva (RUS) with soto makikomi for yuko and then pinned her for ippon. She also used a pin to defeat Yujin Park (KOR). Gemma Gibbons (GBR) proved to be a harder opponent but she also succumbed to Velensek's soto-makikomi which scored yuko.

Pogorzelec had done extremely well to get to this point but she could not get past Umeki who threw her with osoto-gari for waza-ari and then immediately pinned her for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon.

Velensek's match against Tcheumeo was an extremely tight one with the Slovenian winning through penalties.

Tcheumeo had fought well for most of the day but a half-hearted osoto-gari against Malzahn got countered for waza-ari. The German player then immediately clamped on a pin for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon.

The other bronze medal match, between Verkerk and Pogorzelec was a tactical one and in the end, the more experienced Dutch player won out through penalties.

Velensek fought Umeki well during regular time and brought the match into Golden Score. A careless drop onto the mat allowed Umeki to pin her for ippon and the gold medal.

Velensek, Umaki, Malzahn & Verkerk

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