British fight again but Anka Pogacnik completes Slovenian gold rush
It is a well known feature that being a top seeded athlete is not a 100% guarantee to reach the final, but it helps a lot and this is what happened to Anka Pogacnik (SLO), a five-time grand prix medallist prior to this edition in Zagreb. With no record on the World Judo Tour, Kelly Petersen-Pollard (GBR) was not scared to be an underdog. She also reached the final to open her prize list at that level.
Petersen-Pollard began the final bravely and was not afraid of the top seeding position of her opponent. After four minutes, as nothing was logged on the scoreboard, the golden score period started and again the British athlete launched several strong attacks. The last was not prepared enough and because of a potentially dangerous control on her opponent’s arm, Petersen-Pollard was disqualified, offering the gold to Pogacnik for the second time in her career.
Great Britain was on fire in the category, as a second athlete competing with the Union Jack sewn on her judogi reached the final block. Katie-Jemina Yeats-Brown (GBR) was opposed to Alina Lengweiler (SUI) for a place on the podium, to join her teammate, but this did not happen as Yeats-Brown was thrown twice for waza-ari, her attacks and counterattacks clearly lacking control and therefore offering opportunities to the Swiss judoka, which she didn't let go of.
In the second bronze medal contest, 2017 u23 European champion, Hilde Jager (NED) met with Katarzyna Sobierajska (POL), to guarantee a first medal in a grand prix for one of them. This turned out to be for Sobierajska, as the Polish competitor opportunistically scored after a few seconds in the golden score period, with a right-handed classic ippon-seoi-nage from her knees.