JudoInside – News – Grand Slam debutant Izumi Mao provides Japan with gold

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Japanese Izumi Mao won her country’s first gold medal at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam 2019 with victory over double Olympic bronze medallist Mayra Aguiar of Brazil in the U78kg final. World number 67 and Tunis Grand Prix winner Izumi submitted former world champion Aguiar with a strangle outside the area to deny the Brazilian back-to-back Grand Slam gold medals.

In the first semi-final 17-time Grand Prix medallist Natalie Powell (GBR) lost out to Izumi by ippon. In the second semi-final Aguiar saw off Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Bernadette Graf (AUT) by a waza-ari score.

The first bronze medal contest was won by Graf who rolled over Tel Aviv Grand Prix bronze medallist Aleksandra Babintseva (RUS) for her second waza-ari score with 37 seconds left on the clock. The second bronze medal was won by Cancun Grand Prix winner Takayama Rika (JPN) who dismissed Powell after a hip throw and a holddown.

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