The final U70kg was won by the amazing strong Kim Polling of the Netherlands. Polling scored the first yuko of the match after 100 seconds, although Bolder had a good and offensive start. Despite Polling’s form of this year everyone estimates her as undefeatable after her impressive victory at the Grand Slam of Paris against Lucie Decosse.
But Bolder played a good match and didn’t hide. She tried to beat Polling on the ground but couldn’t break through the defense. With one minute to go both fighters had one shido and Polling led by yuko. The dominance of Polling during the day was seems to be over in the final after facing a flue last week. But she could still defend her lead of a yuko, despite a second shido. Bolder kept attacking but couldn’t make a difference and left the European title to Polling. The 22-year old Dutch took over the title of Edith Bosch who retires on Sunday after the team event where the Olympic bronze medallist will fight +70kg. Bolder will fight U70kg on Sunday.
Polling: “This is my first European Championship and I couldn’t have had a better one. It hasn’t set in yet that I am the European Champion. All season went well, I did three tournaments and I won all of them. Maybe it is because of the rule changes, because my judo is to do something. It wasn’t my favorite Final against Bolder. She is a nice girl and I know how much she wants to win, but I want to win as well.”
Bolder has an amazing career with the European and World title for Juniors in 2010, but after that she suffered a number of injuries. She won the World Universiade title in 2011 but was most impressing in this spring with victories in Sofia, Paris and Düsseldorf, three in a row. Not just the victories but the offensive and powerful style of judo was most impressive.
Bolder: “I had lots of injuries, on my ankle, my shoulder. I am happy and sad at the same time. Silver is still a good result after my injuries. It is harder to fight an opponent from your own country, but my hardest match today was in the quarterfinal against Juliana Robra.”
Today she defeated Fanny Posvite (FRA), Barbara Matic (CRO) and Bernadette Graf, another former World Junior Champion.
Linda Bolder who won the Grand Prix of Tokyo by the end of last year suffered with an ankle injury and couldn’t fight anymore since her last bronze medal in Sofia this year. Her victories against Megan Fletcher (GBR), Juliane Robra (SUI) were less surprising although last year she had lost to Robra. Her semi final was more impressive against the talented German Laura Vargas-Koch. Bolder was European U17, U20 and U23 champion and was close to the quartet today.
Laura Vargas-Koch needed only 19 seconds to defeat Barbara Matic by a strangle in the bronze final.
Bernadett Graf was the bronze medal winner in an exciting thriller against Swiss Juliana Robra. After five minutes Robra had two shido, Graf one which made the difference. Finally some joy after Thurday’s deception in the final U57kg where Filzmoser broke her arm.
The Netherlands is enjoying a good competition between two excellent fighters and is eager to take the World title U70kg, the last was in 2005 by Edith Bosch who now left space for the development of these fighters who deserved to start in Budapest.