Judo Grand Prix: Courageous Costa fights back to win gold in women’s +70kg final

Carolina Costa came back from a strong start by China’s towering Hongyu Wang, left, to snatch victory in the women’s +70kg final

On the second and final day of action in Baku, it was gold for Italy’s Carolina Costa, Nafisa Sheripboeva from Uzbekistan and Mexico’s Lenia Ruvalcaba Alvarez

Italy’s Carolina Costa needed to summon every ounce of her skill and endurance to win gold after a dramatic final in the +70kg category at the IBSA Judo Grand Prix.

Despite her edge in the ranking, Costa’s opponent Hongyu Wang dominated the early part of the match, using her advantage in height and weight to full effect. Costa last met Wang in Portugal last year, where she was beaten by the Chinese judoka at the World Championships.

But it was a different story this time. Costa survived the early onslaught and as Wang tired, scored an outstanding second waza-ari for ippon in the closing moments of the match to clinch an emotional victory in Baku.

Azerbaijan’s Dursedef Karimova gains the upper hand in her bronze medal contest with Rebeca Silva from Brazil

Brazil took both bronze medal places on the podium, with Meg Emmerich beating Nyamaa Altantsetseg from Mongolia and Rebeca Silva from Brazil defeating Azerbaijan’s Dursedef Karimova.

In addition to the top-weight +70kg category, the second day of the Grand Prix saw action in two other women’s weight categories: -63kg and -70kg.

In the -63kg category, Uzbekistan added another gold medal to their growing haul when Nafisa Sheripboeva defeated Russia’s Olga Pozdnysheva. In a fast-paced fight, Sheripboeva scored an early point and held on for victory.

A delighted Khanim Huseynova from Azerbaijan, left, embraces Duygu Cete Artar after their bronze medal contest

Azerbaijan took the first -63kg bronze medal thanks to Khanim Huseynova, who took just 60 seconds to see off her opponent Duygu Cete Artar. The other bronze went to China’s Yue Wang.

In the final of the -70kg category, 10 seconds was all it took for Mexico’s Lenia Ruvalcaba Alvarez to score a point over Alana Martins from Brazil. The Mexican went on to win gold in under two minutes.

In the contest for bronze, Uzbekistan picked up another medal when Vasila Aliboeva defeated Azerbaijan’s Zulfiyya Huseynova. Olga Zabrodskaia from Russia beat Croatia’s Lucija  Breskovic to win the other bronze medal.

  • Italy’s Carolina Costa fights to free herself from a hold by China’s Hongyu Wang
  • The determination shows on the face of Itay’s Carolina Costa
  • Uzbekistan’s Vasila Aliboeva on her way to bronze against Azerbaijan’s Zulfiyya Huseynova
  • Azerbaijan’s Zulfiyya Huseynova
  • Brazil’s Meg Emmerichon her way to bronze against Nyamaa Altantsetseg from Mongolia
  • Mexico’s Lenia Ruvalcaba Alvarez

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