On the second day of the Almada Grand Prix 2023 in Portugal, the home crowd had reason to celebrate thanks to a gold medal win from their -63kg heroine, Barbara TIMO.
In Timo’s quarter she found herself, as one of the seeded athletes, with a first round bye and made light work of her opening contest, securing the win in less than a minute. Then it was time to take on the Balkan states, initially against Anja OBRADOVIC (SRB) followed by Iva OBERAN (CRO) and it seemed neither could find a way to defend against the drop seoi nage of Timo.
Unfortunately in her semi final against Cristina CABANA PEREZ (ESP), Timo couldn’t find the opportunity to score, however her Spanish opponent couldn’t find the opportunity to attack and her defence was a little too extreme which resulted in the accumulation of three shidos and a place in the final for the Portuguese.
A similar fate gave Timo the gold medal against Gabriella MORAES (BRA) with the Brazilian penalised thrice. With the support of the crowd, Timo was well prepared to take on her opponent, who would in fact have been a team mate five years ago when she was still a representative of Brazil. Since 2019, Timo has gone from strength to strength under the Portuguese flag and is now flying it whilst the national anthem plays through the arena.
The 31 year-old has claimed world silver and bronze medals since 2019 and notably in two categories, having formerly competed in the -70kg category, she looks and claims to feel strong and happy in her new weight, the results would agree.
Hajiyev (AZE) couldn’t believe he was in to the final.
As for the men, in the 81kg category, the 2022 junior European champion Eljan HAJIYEV (AZE) took his place in the final against the number one seed LEE Joonhwan (KOR), the only other European to become a finalist. It was a calculating contest between the two athletes but Hajiyev picked up two shidos going in to golden score, then only 13 seconds in, Lee secured the win.
Author: Thea Cowen