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Julia Tolofua draws her own plan in Antalya

Julia Tolofua draws her own plan in Antalya

31 Mar 2024 23:50
IJF Media team by Nicolas Messner and JudoInside
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

Julia Tolofua (FRA) won her second Grand Slam in her career. The final for heavyweight women in Antalya between Shiyan Su (CHN) and Julia Tolofua (FRA) was all-action right from the first seconds. The vice world champion did what she had to do and won the gold medal although Su began with a ko-soto-gake, avoided by the French judoka, both moving at high speed.

Technical gripping and a variety of attacks continued until Julia Tolofua made a play for gold and threw the Chinese athlete for ippon with one of the best uchi-mata's one could hope to see.

Shiyan Xu (CHN) has now been in the upper echelons of the category for some time. The closer the Games are, the stronger she seems to be and the more confidently she confronts each challenge.

With Xu at 5th on the Olympic ranking list ahead of Antalya, her teammate Xin Su, ranked 8th, had some work to do to allow her chance to qualify the Games to stay alive. Su did her job and did it well, throwing Ozdemir with a very fast osoto-gari inside the first minute. A hold cemented the win to put China’s number 2 into this grand slam semi-final.

The home nation held their breath in the contest for bronze. Kayra Ozdemir threw with a lovely ko-soto-gake early on and had to work hard and intellignetly to avoid being thrown by the Korean. She did earn herself two penalties but tactically and in a well timed way, allowing her single score to be the difference between bronze and 5th place.

The second bronze medal would go to either Fontaine (FRA) or Ozturk. Having seen her teamamte take the first bronze it became even more important for Ozturk to perform here and she did everything for the right result, attacked first in each exchange, reacted fast in transition and stuck to her plan. It was a tough contest but she took the win in the end to join Ozdemir on the podium.

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