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Just like last week, France was the best performing European country at this weekend’s Qingdao IJF Grand Prix. In the Chinese harbor city, that is dressed up to welcome the fighters, two French fighters won gold at the first day.
Today it was the turn of Priscilla Gneto (FRA) U52kg. Last week rookie Clarisse Agbegnenou took the gold U63kg, now it was youngster Gneto, also a teenager whose attacking and explosive style proved too much for the rest of the field. After a first round bye 19 year-old Gneto defeated Kitty Bravik (NED) and team mate Penelope Bonna (FRA) to set up a semi final match with No. 1 seed Laura Gomez (ESP). It was a hard fight with plenty of big attempts to throw, mostly from Gneto, one of which ended up throwing Gomez for ippon. The final with Kagaya Chiho (JPN) did not really test Gneto who won the contest on a single yuko and was able to celebrate her first senior international medal. The French were able to celebrate another gold medal when Ugo Legrand (FRA) threw Murat Kodzokov (RUS) with te guruma for ippon in the final of the U73kg category. A full European podium where Dirk van Tichelt finished fifth. With Legrand’s victory it did not stop for the French. There were silver medals as well for Laetitia Payet (FRA) and Automne Pavia (FRA) -57kg, whilst Sarah Loko (FRA) and Benjamin Darbalet (FRA) took bronze medals to put France at the top of the medal table at the end of day one.
Gneto was awarded as best female fighter this weekend.
Russian success for experienced Alim Gadanov won took the gold medal U66kg defeating his compatriot Kamal Khan-Magomedov in the final.
By IJF Media team