The World Judo Tour is back with the Grand Prix of Portugal in Almada.
The Portuguese already have all reasons to cheer from the start as Catarina Costa claimed the first gold medal for the host country. Costa won her third gold medal in the IJF Tour.
What better way to start the season than by entering the final of the first grand prix of the year. This is what Catarina Costa did and doing it at home certainly had an even better flavour for the Portuguese judoka. In the final she found Hyekyeong Lee, a representative of the bloated and successful Korean delegation.
Supported by the public, concentrated and determined, Costa began the match with gold as the only option. During normal time, a little dominated by the strong grip of her opponent, she was nevertheless the more active player on the tatami and Lee was penalised twice.
As golden score commenced Costa was also penalised but immediately after the penalty she executed a perfect de-ashi-barai for a waza-ari that was confirmed by the video playback. Lee landed on the whole side of the body at 90 degrees or more to the rear. According to the new regulations, there was no discussion.
Catarina Costa declared:
“I came here to get sensations. I’m far from being at 100% but my head was right, much better than the body. It always helps to have the crowd on your side but today it was for sure a mental win.”