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French hosts seal record medal haul with team double

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-28

France delighted the home crowd with a winning double on the last day of the Judo World Championships on Sunday as local hero Teddy Riner (pictured right) sealed victory over Brazil in the men's event, just hours after the women beat Japan.

AFP - Teddy Riner was the hero again as France secured a memorable team World Championships double at the Palais Omnisport de Bercy here on Sunday.

Their women beat Japan in the first final of the day before Riner stepped up in a dramatic sudden death period of golden score to give the men victory over Brazil in the decisive rubber.

Five-time world champion Riner will grab the headlines for his crucial intervention at the death but in truth France's heroes were the diminutive Dimitry Dragin and Riner's understudy Matthieu Bataille.

In fact, the French team even acknowledged Bataille's contribution by hoisting him above their heads after the final even though he didn't take part in that match.

Earlier in the day, though, it was he who had won the crucial decisive fights against Russia and Japan just to get France to the final.

And Dragin, who was not even selected for the individual competition, produced the highlight moments for France, winning four fights out of four by a maximum ippon score, beating the world champion and runner-up along the way.

In the final he faced world under-66kg finallist Leandro Cunha and slammed him with seoi-nage to give the French the perfect start.

Then the crowd played their part as Ugo Legrand beat Bruno Mendonca courtesy of a penalty in a bout in which neither player was more deserving of punishment than the other.

That was a crucial advantage for the hosts with Riner to come in the final bout.

France almost snatched it in the third bout when Alain Schmitt came up against world number two at under-81kg Leandro Guilheiro.

But incredibly after five minutes of fighting and an extra three minutes of golden score, the Brazilian took a split judges decision exactly as he had done against the Frenchman in the individual competition.

The hosts were ready to celebrate with Romain Buffet leading Tiago Camilo and the crowd counting down the final five seconds only for the Brazilian to level things with a desperate last throw of the dice as the clock reached zero.

Following golden score, again Brazil received a reprieve as Camilo took a unanimous decision.

That only served to heighten the tension and expectation as Riner strode on to face Rafael Silva.

After five tense minutes this fight too went to golden score but Riner would not be denied and struck with an outer sweep (osoto-gari).

Japan and South Korea took the bronze medals beating Georgia and Russia respectively.

In the women's competition Japan struck first blood as world under-52kg champion Misato Nakamura edged out Priscilla Gneto on a penalty.

But then France levelled up the scores as former European junior champion Automne Pavia stunned world champion Aiko Sato (under-57kg) by a minimum yuko score.

Now it was France's turn to roll out their own world title holders.

And for the second time this week Gevrise Emane beat Yoshie Ueno to give France the lead having already stripped the Japanese of her world under-63kg title on Thursday.

Then it was the turn of Lucie Decosse and she didn't disappoint as she scored a minimum yuko from a valley drop counter (tani-otoshi) on Haruka Tachimoto to give the hosts an unassailable 3-1 lead.

In the dead rubber Ketty Mathe, another former European junior champion, wrapped up France's dream day by beating open weight world champion Mika Sugimoto with a body drop (tai-otoshi).

Date created : 2011-08-28

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