JudoInside – News – Giuffrida wins rematch of Olympic final after injured Kelmendi is forced to withdraw

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 IJF Media Team / IJF

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Italian Olympic silver medallist Odette Giuffrida won the rematch of the Rio 2016 Olympic final in Abu Dhabi. Both champions were unseeded here and had to work their way through the preliminaries to the final after a testing day for both.

Eight-time Grand Prix winner Kelmendi was making her first appearance on the IJF World Judo Tour this year after 12 months on the sidelines through injury. Kosovo’s hero suffered a clash of heads in the preliminaries and was troubled by it during the remainder of her day. Kelmendi had to leave the final on two occasions to receive medical treatment after a ne-waza exchange and the doctors stopped the action with the owner of the gold backpatch deemed unable to continue after a complete bandage wrap could not halt the adverse effects from a laceration on her nose. 

In the first semi-final Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Joana Ramos (POR) lost out to Giuffrida after three minutes of golden score. The Italian threw with a low morote-seoi-nage for ippon. In the second semi-final Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Chelsie Giles received her third shido against Kelmendi after 44 seconds of golden score and was disqualified.

The first bronze medal was awarded to Giles who countered an uchi-mata from Junior World Championships silver medallist Gefen Primo (ISR) for a waza-ari score just four seconds from the end of the contest. Giles won her first Grand Slam medal by striking at exactly the right time as Primo had no time to respond and missed out a second podium finish in as many weeks.                                                        

The second bronze medal was won by 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Gili Cohen (ISR) who matched her performance in 2018 by beating Ramos in golden score. Portugal’s Ramos was disqualified after three minutes of added time for her third shido in a scoreless contest.

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