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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Golden Ruri Takahashi dominates heavyweight class


Japanese heavyweight Ruri Takahashi captured the gold medal at the Grand prix Upper Austria at the closing day. It’s a well known fact that Japanese judoka and especially women are almost unbeatable on the ground. For sure Asya Tavano knew it but it did not change the outcome of the contest. After a first contact and a left tai-otoshi from Takahashi for no score, the Japanese judoka kept control of the arm to pin Tavano for ippon. With this gold medal, Japan secured their place on top of the medal rankings.Giovanna Santos (BRA) and Larisa Ceric (BIH) battled for the second bronze medal. Santos took the lead with a clever change of direction from right to left and scored a waza-ari with a sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi, but Ceric is an experienced judoka who knows that everything is always possible. She began to attack systematically before her opponent could engage, pushing Santos to be penalised twice for passivity. She was close to getting the third shido, but suddenly the gong echoed in the TipsArena offering a first medal on the World Judo Tour to Giovanna Santos. Brazil is already preparing their next women’s heavyweight generation.Karen Stevenson (NED) long thought she could join Takahashi in the final but she finally had to bow out to the Italian Asya Tavano, who arrived from her seventh place in Doha a week ago.Renee Lucht (GER) and Karen Stevenson (NED) met in the first match for a bronze medal. Totally dominated, Lucht was penalised twice, while Stevenson also scored a waza-ari with a rolling kata-guruma. The contest then became a little more tactical, the bronze eventually going to the Netherlands for Stevenson’s 11th medal on the World Judo Tour.

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