Day one has seen the rise of the unseeded, and the fall of the most promising medallists.
Not in all categories of course, and most importantly for the host nation, PUPP Reka secured a final place after defeating the constantly improving Mascha BALLHAUS (GER), applying shime waza for the submission. Pupp’s final opponent is arguably unexpected, Guilia CARNA (ITA) took junior world silver last year and bested the current -52kg European champion Chelsie GILES (GBR) in the British athletes opening round and then continued to work her way through the preliminaries, meeting up with Angelica DELGADO (USA) in the semi final.
In the -60kg, the seeding worked out precisely as we will see the top two seeds; Jorge VERSTRAETEN (BEL) in the final against Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO), though not an easy road by any means.
Top seed in the -48kg, Shira RISHONY (ISR) accepted defeat to China’s GUO Zongying, and Milica NIKOLIC (SRB) felt the pain of Spain’s youngster Mireia LAPUERTA COMAS who will compete for bronze. However half of the top four did not waver and will now face each other in the final; both Julia FIGUEROA (ESP) and TONAKI Funa (JPN) demonstrated their capabilities, but it was the Spanish who stamped her mark with successive ippon wins.
Though one might be optimistic for Europeans in the final of the -66kg category, today was not that day. The closest was Walide KHYAR (FRA) who stumbled at the final hurdle when defeated by ABE Hifumi (JPN) in quite colossal fashion, however he will now compete for bronze against Tel FLICKER (ISR).
World ranked number one Timna NELSON-LEVY (ISR) came in on a high, following a European title and bronze in the first qualifier in Mongolia, but fell short in her quarter against Arnaes ODELIN GARCIA (CUB) and will face Telma MONTEIRO (POR) for bronze. This will be Europe’s only medal in the -57kg category. Monteiro reached the semi final but was defeated by FUNAKUBO Haruka (JPN).
The final block will take place at 17:00 and can be found at live.ijf.org.
Author: Thea Cowen