Wednesday, August 17, 2016

+78kg Overview

The heaviest women's category of +78kg also had the smallest number of participants at 17. The top gold medal prospects were Yu Song (CHN) and Idalys Ortiz (CUB) but Emilie Andeol (FRA) and Kanae Yamabe (JPN) were strong contenders too.

Pool A: Yu (CHN)
Yu started off impressively, throwing Sonia Asselah (ALG) with a massive harai-goshi for ippon. She had a harder time against Kayra Sayit (TUR) though. Up til the last 15 seconds of the match, both players were even with two shidos each when Yu struck with her trademark soto-makikomi which scored yuko. She then clamped on a pin that got her a waza-ari after which the Turkish player tapped out. So, within the last 15 seconds of the match, Yu scored yuko, waza-ari and ippon.

Pool B: Andeol (FRA)
Andeol had a really difficult time against Vanessa Zambotti (MEX) and only managed to win after the Mexican player flopped and dropped during Golden Score and got a shido for it. The clearly frustrated Andeol was seen crying as she got off the mat, even though she had won the match. And it wasn't tears of joy. Her second match of the day, against Nihel Cheikh Rahou (TUN) was hardly any better. It too went into Golden Score and as with the first match, was won by the French player after her opponent flopped and dropped, earning herself a shido. It had not been a good morning session for Andeol but she was through to the semi-finals.

Pool C: Ortiz (CUB)
Ortiz provided some excitement for the fans with a fantastic ura-nage throw for ippon against her first opponent, Ksenia Chibisova (RUS). Her second match, against Kim Minjeong (KOR) was just as exciting. She first threw her opponent with drop seoi-nage for yuko. Then she followed that up with a very gutsy yoko-guruma for waza-ari, and immediately clamped on a pin for waz-ari-awasatte-ippon. Thus far, she looked to be the most exciting prospect for gold thus far.

Pool D: Yamabe (JPN)
Yamabe had a difficult time against Santa Pakenyte (LTU) and was down by a shido when in the last minute she pulled out an osoto-gari that felled her much larger opponent for ippon. That brought her up against Tessie Savelkouls (NED), whom she threw with soto-makikomi for yuko and then harai-goshi for ippon.

Although Turkey's Sayit was smaller than Tunisia's Cheikh Rahou, it was the Turkish player who scored. She came in with a forward attack which prompted the Tunisian to initiate an ura-nage counter. Sayit then countered that ura-nage by taking Cheikh Rahou straight down, for a waza-ari and then pinned her for an ippon score.

In the other repercharge, Kim was down on penalties before she started attacking Savelkouls aggressively, throwing her twice with drop sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for yuko each time. Then she pinned the Dutch player with sankaku for ippon.

After a disappointing morning session, Andeol performed superbly in her semi-final throwing Yu for ippon. She had initiated a forward movement causing Yu to pull backwards. Andeol then did an ouchi-like movement and landed on top of her opponent for an ippon score.

In the second semi-final match, Ortiz showed off her throwing skills by throwing her Japanese opponent with a big hip throw which score yuko. A little bit more rotation could have easily given her an ippon. But this was enough to win her the match.

Yamabe scored early with a very low osoto-gari for waza-ari and then held on til the end of the match, accruing three shidos along the way. She had won Japan yet another bronze.

In the other bronze medal match, Yu used her favorite soto-makikomi to throw Kim for ippon.

There was no score in the Andeol vs Ortiz gold medal match during regular time, so it went into Golden Score. After nearly three minutes of no big action, Ortiz went for broke and tried to rotate Andeol with a yoko-guruma. The attack failed and Andeol clamped on a pin for ippon and a gold for France.

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