The top seeded player for this division is Japan’s Akari Ogata while the 2010 World Champion was USA’s Kayla Harrison. These two were expected to meet in the final although France’s Audrey Tcheumeo, seeded fourth, could be a stumbling block to Harrison as she was on the same side of the draw as the American.
As expected, Ogata topped Pool A while Brazil’s rising star, Mayra Aguiar, came through to top Pool B. Harrison and Tcheumeo topped Pools C and D, respectively, which means they would be meeting in the semi-final.
Ogata soundly defeated Aguiar by ippon to earn a place in the final. The match between Harrison and Tcheumeo was not as decisive with the French player edging ahead with a well-time ouchi-gari that scored yuko midway through the contest.
The explosive Tcheumeo often runs out of steam if her matches run the full course and in the second half, she began to become defensive. Harrison piled on the pressure and Tcheumeo got her first shido. One more shido would mean Harrison would get a yuko as well. But this was not to be as time ran out on Harrison. It would be an Ogata-Tcheumeo final.
Bronze Medal Matches
The youthful Aguiar, who just turned 21, managed to defeat the experienced German Heidi Wollert, to win Brazil its fifth medal in the championships so far. The other bronze medal went to Harrison after a hard-fought match with Holland’s Marhinde Verkerk. Harrison wept while bowing out. Whether they were tears of joy for winning the bronze or tears of frustration for failing to make it to the final is perhaps something only she would know.
Tcheumeo showed her class and delighted the crowd by pulling off a perfectly-timed footsweep to floor Ogata in the final. It was a clear cut victory and one that sent the crowd into a frenzy as the French had won two gold medals today.
OGATA, Akari (JPN) vs. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
OGATA, Akari (JPN) vs. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)
HARRISON, Kayla (USA) vs. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
Bronze Medal Fights
VERKERK, Marhinde (NED) vs. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
WOLLERT, Heide (GER) vs. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)
VERKERK, Marhinde (NED) vs. JOO, Abigel (HUN)
IKEDA, Hitomi (JPN) vs. WOLLERT, Heide (GER)
1. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)
2. OGATA, Akari (JPN)
3. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
3. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)
5. VERKERK, Marhinde (NED)
5. WOLLERT, Heide (GER)
7. IKEDA, Hitomi (JPN)
7. JOO, Abigel (HUN)