Tuesday, August 16, 2016

-63kg Overview

There were 26 players in the women's -63kg category which saw top players like Tina Trstenjak (SLO), Yarden Gerbi (ISR) and Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA) competing.

Pool A
Pool A belonged to Trstenjak, not always the most stylish player but one who is very tactical and effective. She won her first bout, against Edwige Gwend (ITA) with two shidos. That brought her up against Yang Junxia (CHN), whom she pinned for ippon. This was no mean feat as the Chinese player is a good newaza fighter.

Pool B
Pool B was supposed to belong to Gerbi (ISR) but she had trouble from her very first bout when Maricet Espinosa (CUB) used a hip technique to score yuko. The Cuban made the mistake of trying to defend for the rest of the match. That gave Gerbi the chance to do her techniques and she eventually threw Espinosa with osoto-gari for waza-ari and pin her for waza-ari-awasatte-ippon.

Things went south for Gerbi when she came up against home favorite, Mariana Silva (BRA), who gave it everything that she got to drag Gerbi into Golden Score. There a flurry of attacks culminated in a drop technique that scored yuko.

Pool C
Agbegnenou (FRA) fought well in her first match, throwing Busra Katipoglu (TUR) for yuko and then proceeding to pin her for ippon. Agbegnenou looked set to win her bout against Anicka Van Emden (NED) through a yuko score from soto-makikomi when in the last seconds of the match, she scored ippon through a massive ura-nage counter against Van Emden's last-ditch hip throw attempt. It was a good way to enter the semi-finals.

Pool D
Miku Tashiro (JPN) handily beat her first opponent, Katherina Haecker (AUS) with three kosoto-garis, scoring waza-ari, yuko and ippon respectively. Her next opponent was Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT) who gave her a harder fight. Tashiro also relied on kosoto-gari for a yuko win.

Gerbi, well-known for her throwing power, beat China's Yang with soto-makikomi for waza-ari.

Van Emden meanwhile, scraped through with a yuko win through her special seoi-nage/ouchi-gari hybrid that landed Unterwurzacher on her side.

Trstenjak dashed the hopes of the home crowd for a Brazilian finalist when she threw Silva with a drop seoi-nage for yuko and then pinned her for ippon.

The Tashiro-Agbegnenou semi-final bout was a hard battle that was decided by only a shido, incurred by the Japanese player when she stepped outside.

With Gerbi and Tashiro both capable of big throws, their bronze medal match promised to be an exciting one and they didn't disappoint. Tashiro attacked first with uchimata that had Gerbi up in the air but the Israeli player managed to ride it. Gerbi returned fire with a hip throw that scored yuko. Tashiro then tried uchimata again but this time, Gerbi managed to counter it for waza-ari. And all this action happened within the first minute! Gerbi then switched gears and fought a tactical and defensive game for the remaining three minutes. She incurred three shidos but managed to ride the time out and claim her bronze.

The home crowd was hoping for another Brazilian bronze from Silva who had done better than most people had expected her to. But Van Emden dashed their hopes when she threw Silva with her special drop-seoi-nage/ouchi-gari hybrid that scored yuko.

Agbegnenou is the bigger thrower of the two but Trstenjak was ready for her. When the French player attempted a kosoto-gake, Trstenjak countered for what looked like a waza-ari but a yuko was given. The Slovenian player then proceeded to do groundwork. She managed to extract her leg and pin Agbegnenou briefly before the French player escaped. But Trstenjak continued with the newaza and eventually secured a second pin, this time for ippon.

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