There were numerous performances to highlight on the second day of the World Championships 2021 but the stand out emotion and success came from yet another Spanish athlete, Ana PEREZ BOX.
Taking her first world medal, she was so ecstatic she couldn’t put it in to words, perhaps the enormity of her achievement will take some time to sink in. But this success hasn’t come easy to the -52kg athlete, she is not new to the circuit and we are all aware of her abilities having seen her in the final block of countless events, but today she was the best version of herself.
The technique was there, the preparation perfected, but it was her conviction, her belief in herself that took her to the final against SHISHIME Ai (JPN). Though she felt like she could beat anyone set in front of her, the disbelief on her face after scoring in the semi final was evident. It was swiftly followed by overwhelming emotion and joy as she flew off the tatami to her coach and then in to the stands to celebrate with her team, two of whom had already medalled on the previous day.
A seoi nage to secure her place in the final of the World Championships 2021.
Regardless of the eventual outcome, the satisfaction was there for Perez. Competing against a left-handed opponent in her semi final – Fabienne KOCHER (SUI) – was a difficult situation for her to overcome, but golden score and the knowledge that she was so close gave her that drive to pull out a blinding seoi nage.
It just so happens that her left-handed opponent struggle would continue in the final against Shishime. It was a long haul, both putting up great defences in to the final minute, but it wasn’t to be for Perez as her opponent executed a waza ari scoring uchi mata and transitioned in to osae komi.
Final of the -52kg category.
Ana PEREZ BOX (ESP) World Championships 2021 silver medallist (-52kg)
Not the gold medal she was fighting for, but a lifetime best performance and world silver medal around her neck, it wasn’t a bad day at work and she returned home more confident than ever, ready for the Olympic Games.
Author: Thea Cowen