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Mark Pickering – IJF
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation
Number four seed Melanie Clement of France produced the performance of her life to defeat Daria Bilodid (UKR), judo’s youngest world champion of all time, in the -48kg final. Marrakech Grand Prix bronze medallist Clement scored twice without reply to upset the 18-year-old prodigy on her return.
The reigning senior and junior world champion, who was competing for the first time since October, was thrown for a waza-ari with a o-osoto-gari and was then rolled over in the closing seconds for a second and match-winning waza-ari.
The 38-fight winning-streak of the teenager was ended by France’s world number 15 who in turn recorded her first Grand Prix victory and jumped into the arms of her coach and London 2012 Olympic champion Lucie Décosse.
In the first semi-final world number one Munkhbat Urantsetseg (MGL) disappointed against Clement as the Mongolian was disqualified after picking up three penalties. In the second semi-final Bilodid beat London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Eva Csernoviczki (HUN) who was disqualified after going out of the area. The Ukrainian led with a waza-ari from an o-uchi-gari but was then thrown with a sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for a waza-ari before the Hungarian slipped off the pace and received her third shido.
The first bronze medal contest was won by Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Nathalia Brigida (BRA) who tapped out Csernoviczki with a strangle in the opening contest of the final block.
The second bronze medal was won by Munkhbat who held down world number 62 Blandine Pont (FRA) and the Frenchwoman elected to tap out with no way out of the osaekomi-waza from the ne-waza expert.
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