Brazil comes first in Judo Grand Slam, Cuba finishes fourth

Brasilia, Oct 9 (Prensa Latina) The Brazilian judo team shone in front of its home audience to dominate the medal table of the Judo Grand Slam in Brasilia, in which the Cuban delegation also saw a good performance.

Brazil led the medal table with four gold, nine silver and four bronze medals, ahead of Japan (2-0-2), the United Kingdom (1-1-2), Cuba (1-1-1), Italy ( 1-1-0), Russia (1-0-4), France (1-0-3), Portugal (1-0-2), Spain (1-0-2) and Colombia (1-0-0).

The gold medals of the Brazilians, out of a total of 14 up for grabs, ratified the country as a world power in this sport, and went to Allan Kuwabara in the 60 kg division, Daniel Cargini (66 kg), Ketleyn Quadros (63 kg) and Beatriz Souza (+78 kg).

In the case of the Cuban judokas, they saw an improved performance in the final leg of the event after the gold medal for Kaliema Antomarchi (78 kg), who came third in Budapest 2017; second place for Ivan Felipe Silva (90 kg), champion at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games; and bronze for Maylin del Toro (63 kg), also champion in the Peruvian capital.

The event provided points for the qualifying ranking to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, scheduled to take place from Friday, July 24, to Sunday, August 9, and in which more than 10,000 athletes from around 200 countries are expected to participate.

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Cuba have won 38 Grand Slam medals since the foundation of the IJF World Tour in 2009, only four gold medals and those four were captured in the last 365 days. Kaliema Antomarchi became the second ever of her country to win a Grand Slam. Idalys Ortiz had already won three.

At the Grand Slam of Brasilia Kaliema Antomarchi defeated Welsh star Natalie Powell (GBR) after 56 seconds of golden with a ura-nage for ippon. Powell, who has won 19 Grand Prix medals, was countered in added time as Former world bronze medallist Antomarchi topped a Grand Slam medal podium for the first time and added to Cuba’s medal haul on day three. World number five Powell and world number 13 Antomarchi are always there or there abouts on the IJF stage and will no doubt renew acquaintances in the near future.

In the first semi-final four-time Grand Prix winner Chen Fei (CHN) was disqualified against Antomarchi after going out of the area to receive her third and final shido.

In the second semi-final Powell launched world number seven Anna Maria Wagner (GER) with 42 seconds left with a huge ura-nage for ippon and a place in the final.

The first bronze medal contest was won by Wagner who threw world number 11 Luise Malzahn (GER) for ippon with 62 seconds left on the clock. The Tokyo 2020 candidates travelled to the other side of the world together and ended up fighting each other in their last respective contest of the day. Wagner underlined that she has the edge over the more experienced Malzahn in the race for the Olympics with te-waza before the compatriots showed their respect for each other with a handshake and a hug.

The second bronze medal was won by two-time Olympic medallist and former world champion Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) after an insipid display from Chen. The Chinese judoka disappointed against the out-of-form Frenchwoman who bagged a return to an IJF medal podium for the first time since July 2018 after Chen was disqualified for picking up three penalties.

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Eight Cuban judokas to participate in Dusseldorf Grand Slam

Eight Cuban judokas will participate this weekend in the IJF Dusseldorf Grand Slam 2019, in Germany, after attending last week the Paris Grand Slam on French soil.

In France, they only won a gold medal in the women's +78 kg division through the Olympic and world champion Idalis Ortiz.

In addition to Ortiz, the other womens are Nahomis Acosta (52), Maylin del Toro (63) and Kaliema Antomarchi (78), while the men's squad includes Osniel Solis (66), Ivan Silva (90), Jose Armenteros (100) and Andy Granda (+100).

The Dusseldorf Grand Slam 2019 will be attended by 698 athletes - 414 men and 284 women - from 98 nations.

The main objective of the Cubans is to continue training for the 2019 Pan Am Games, in Lima, Peru, and adding points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ranking. (ACN)

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