The final spots in the Cadet World Championship Mixed Team event were hard-earned by France and Azerbaijan, both semi finals going to a deciding match, and as we got underway, it felt as if we may see the same happen in the final, however it was essentially a slam dunk for the French.
First up in the final were the -63kg women, Emmy GALLUDEC (FRA) and the -52kg world gold medallist, Khadizha GADASHOVA (AZE). A sode maki komi straight in to osae komi put the first score on the board for France, a brilliant start for Team France. Next were DAVID GNAFOUA for France and Aslan KOTSOEV (AZE), the latter kicked off the scoring with a tremendous foot sweep, and later concluded the contest by countering a strong uchi mata from Gnafoua.
Interestingly, the heroin of the semi finals, taking the fourth win for her team in the +63kg category, Celia CANCAN, was not the pick for the final block, instead we saw current European champion Leonie MINKADA-CAQUINEAU take on Kamilla TOHOLIYEVA (AZE). An incredible height difference saw Minkada-Caquineau secure an ippon with uchi mata rather seamlessly, putting team France ahead. Matheo AKIANA MONGO (FRA) was keen to continue the trend in favour of Team France, both himself and Ramazan AHMADOV (AZE) went toe to toe, and ventured in to golden score, then only seconds later, Akiana Mongo took the win with soto maki komi.
Of course this meant that Mel LE CAM of France could be the deciding factor in the -48kg category. In the first minute, Le Cam countered Maryam BAYRAMZADE (AZE) and finished in ne waza for the ultimate win for Team France, reversing the result from the European Championships earlier this year.
In the bronze medal contests, Europe had a single hope of a medal from Team Türkiye as they battled against Brazil. The match started evenly, a 1:1, the win for Türkiye coming from Emir Selim ARI in the -81kg category. Next up, the current -70kg European champion and world silver medallist, Tuana GULENAY, competing in the +63kg category, secured a waza ari early in in ne waza and worked tirelessly, as she actively looked for the second score and secure the win for her team mates.
The winner of yesterdays +90kg category, Ibrahim TATAROGLU (TUR) wasted little time and countered a drop seoi nage by Luis Antonio OLIVEIRA (BRA), using the waza in 19 seconds for a 3:1 result. The pressure was then on for Gizem DINCER in the -48kg category to end the match and take the fourth and final win, however Nicole MARQUEZ (BRA) was equally determined to give her team a chance. Dincer scored first with seoio toshi, followed up quickly by Marquez with a spinning o uchi gari. It was a true battle, the pair going in to golden score. After a further minute and fifteen seconds of contest time, Dincer entered for uchi mata, dropping to one knee but driving her opponent over for the second waza ari, and of course the bronze medal.
Next, Japan took on Uzbekistan for the second bronze. Despite having only five athletes and beginning the medal match at 0:1, Japan won four contests in a row to take their world bronze medal.
This was the perfect way to wrap up what can only be addressed as the perfect week, showcasing some future champions and the development of the young athletes around the world.
Author: Thea Cowen