IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation
Quite unexpected Korean judoka Cho Mok-Hee took the gold medal U63kg at the Grand Prix in Montreal. She defeated Amy Livesey (GBR) and in the semi final Gili Sharir (ISR).
The first final of the day opposed Amy Livesey (GBR) and Cho Mok-Hee (KOR), although the Canadian public hoped to see top seed of the tournament, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard, compete for gold. But the 2019 Pan-American champion was eliminated by Amy Livesey in the semi-final, as the British had an amazing way to the final since the morning, winning all her matches by ippon. In the second half of the draw, Cho Mok-Hee was the surprise of the day, successively defeating Lubjana Piovesana (GBR), Katharina Haecker (AUS) and Gili Sharir (ISR) to go for gold.
It was right-handed Livesey who scored first against the left-handed Cho, thanks to an uchi-mata, valued waza-ari on the edge of the tatami. Perhaps a bit too confident, the Brit launched her favorite technique again. But this time Kim was waiting at the corner of the wood and she dodged intelligently to mark in turn a waza-ari. The third uchi-mata was almost the good one for Livesey, but the Korean managed inextricably to land on her stomach. Time for Golden Score had come. It was written that the match would end on a victorious uchi-mata or with a counterattack of the latter, and that’s what happened. Livesey launched her favorite technique again, but, perfectly positioned, Cho countered for a smug Ippon.
The first bronze medal contest of the day opposed the 2018 Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist, Alexia Castilhos (BRA) and the 2018 Hohhot Grand Prix silver medallist, Gili Sharir (ISR). After four minutes of intense battle to throw, none of the athletes were able to score. It is Castilhos who finally launched a left handed eri-seoi-nage for waza-ari to win her fourth medal in a Grand Prix.
The second bronze medal match saw Katharina Haecker (AUS), silver medallist in Marrakech in March, and the 2019 Pan-American Champion Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (CAN) compete for a spot on the podium. Being the first Canadian to enter the tatami during the final block of this second day of competition, the sound level suddenly raised in the arena. Smaller than her opponent, the Canadian still imposed a frenzied pace, chaining the sequences of kumikata and attacks, so much so that the Australian was penalized with a shido. Effective on the ground as well, Beauchemin-Pinard ended up finding the opportunity to overthrow Haecker and immobilize her for Ippon.