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Dutch World silver medallist Guusje Steenhuis showed why she’s ranked number one in the world as the Dutch star powered to glory in the U78kg category. Steenhuis defeated familiar foe and world number three Natalie Powell (GBR) in the final with a makikomi effort which was worth a waza-ari score.
The Netherlands judoka is entering her prime in the run up to Tokyo 2020 while 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Powell will be pleased to return to the medal podium after misfiring at the Worlds and at the Cancun Grand Prix a fortnight ago.
In the first semi-final Steenhuis beat Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Anna Maria Wagner (GER) with a juji-gatame for ippon after four minutes of golden score. In the second semi-final Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist Karen Stevenson (NED) lost out to Powell by ippon from a o-uchi-gari.
The first bronze medal contest was won by former Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Ma Zhenzhao (CHN) who thwarted Stevenson after 70 seconds of golden score. Ma, who finished fifth at the World Championships in September, earned her first Grand Slam medal with an o-soto-makikomi to clinch China’s second medal of the Grand Slam.
The second bronze medal was won by Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Beata Pacut (POL) who surprised Wagner. Poland’s Pacut won her first Grand Slam medal by squeezing past her leggy German rival by a waza-ari from a seoi-nage which was the only score of the contest.
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