Romania reaps golden medals at the Judo Grand Slam in Baku

Romania reaps golden medals at the Judo Grand Slam in Baku

Bucharest, May 9, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Daniel Stroe

Romanian judoka Corina Caprioriu, Olympic Vice-Champion in London, yesterday won the gold medal in the 57 kg category of the Grand Slam competition in Baku, Azerbaijan, after defeating British Nekoda Smythe Davis in the final, on the same day Monica Ungureanu had struck gold in a separate category.

Caprioriu defeated French Helene Recevaux in the round of 16, by waza ari, Serbian Jovana Rogic, in the quarterfinals, by ippon, Russian irina Zabludina, in the semifinals, by waza ari, and British Smythe Davis in the final, by ippon.

Also yesterday, Romanian judoka Monica Ungureanu also won the gold medal in the women’s 48-kg category of the Judo Grand Slam tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan, as she defeated Hungary’s Eva Csernoviczki in a fight.

In the first round, Ungureanu defeated Russia’s Lilia Lotfulina (waza ari), while in the quarter-finals she beat France’s Aurore Climence (waza ari), with the semi-final going her way in a penalty-point win against Brazil’s Nathalia Brigida, according to Agerpres.

Romanian judoka Andreea Chitu on Friday won the silver medal in the women’s 52-kg category of the 2015 Grand Slam tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan, as she lost the final to Brazil’s Erika Miranda.

The 2014 world vice-champion in Chelyabinsk, Chitu managed an ippon win against Australia’s Hannah Trotter in the opening round; in the quarter-finals she defeated Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi, in another ippon win; in the semi-finals she got another ippon win, against France’s Priscilla Gneto, but lost in the finals against the 2013 world champion.

On its website, the Romanian Judo Federation pointed out it is the first time in history when Romania wins three medals on the same day at a world judo women competition. “Romania’s show at the Baku Grand Slam”, read a headline on the website.

Monica Ungureanu and Corina Caprioriu each won a cheque worth 5,000 US dollars (4,000 for the athlete and 1,000 for the trainer) and 500 points in the world ranking, which also count in the scheme for the qualification to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Chitu won 3,000 US dollars (2,400 for the athlete and 600 for the trainer) and 300 points in the world ranking.

The Grand Slam in Baku boasts 154,000 US dollar prizes in total. It the first judo grand slam in 2015, followed by the ones hosted by Tyumen (Russia), paris (France), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and Tokyo (Japan).

Romania will also have three representatives in the men’s competition, Cristian Bodirlau (81 kg category), Daniel Natea and Vladut Simionescu (both to participate in the +100 kg category).