Piovesana quickfire ippon ups Britain’s medal tally with a second bronze in Miami!

Bronze European Cup medallist Lubjana (Lulu) Piovesana (-63kg) claimed another bronze accolade for Britain at the 2013 World Cadet Championships in Miami yesterday, scoring four ippons and following in the footsteps of her team-mate Peter Miles.

Her final fight saw the 16-year old from Birmingham take victory with an ippon inside 46 seconds. She stormed onto the mat against Liudmyla Drozdova of Ukraine – opening with an attack but unfortunately without a score.

It was second time lucky though as the same advance resulted in her throwing her opponent for ippon in under a minute.

It seemed Piovesana had unfinished business, making up for her narrow semi-final defeat in the dying seconds of the match against top seed Szabina Cercsak of Hungary, who claimed ippon during golden score.

And earlier she was unstoppable scoring three ippons in her contests, after a bye in her first round. First Piovesana beat South African Kirsten Chananie, holding her down for ippon and then claimed another victory by ippon against Brigette Carabali of Colombia. This set her up for a quarter-final with Tea Tintor of Serbia in which Piovesana dominated and went a waza-ari and a yuko up before triumphing with a strangle-hold for ippon.

Describing the experience, Piovesana could not contain her excitement: “It was just amazing,” she said. “Everyone thought I would not win a medal so when I kept on winning, it just felt surreal, but great – especially that final ippon. I went onto the mat strong and just thought its now or never.”

Furthermore, it seemed fitting for Piovesana to emulate Pete’s result, especially after commentating on his bronze medal fight on the first day of the competition.

“It was really cool because Pete and I are good friends,” she added. “For us both to achieve bronze medals is fantastic. “My first go at commentating was on his bronze medal match and it was an amazing experience. I have been asked to commentate again tomorrow and also to talk about how it felt to win my medal.

“Being in Miami is great. It is my first time here, but I am loving every second. The weather is fantastic, so we are off to celebrate with a swim in the pool and a barbeque!”

Meanwhile, it was an early exit for Jodie Caller (-57kg) who after a bye in the first round, went through to the third after her opponent Ariel Bezalel of Israel was disqualified when appearing to punch Caller in the face. It later transpired that the Israeli, who at that time was leading by waza-ari and yuko, had gone in for a strangle that went badly wrong. However, the Briton’s run in the competition ended in the next round, when despite putting up a good fight against Brazilian Gabriela Bitencourt, a yuko in a golden score ended Caller’s challenge.

Caller exited the competition, following in the wake of team-mate Neil MacDonald yesterday. MacDonald had a tough first round opponent in Khalilov (AZE) who defeated him by waza-ari.

GB coach Gary Edwards, who leapt off his seat when Piovesana scored her final ippon, said: “So far to get two medals out of four is great and I feel immensely proud of Peter and Lubjana, but I have to say it has been a competition of highs and lows. “I have never seen such happy people as Lubjana and Peter. They fought fantastically and they deserve success.

“However for Jodie and Neil the results were not to the best of their ability, but I think they were suffering a bit from jet lag.

“Overall, I have been amazed by the spirit, both within the team, and for the team by outsiders. They have all supported each other and we have had comments about how popular the team have been.

“Today sees the last of the GB judokas fighting in Miami with Sarah Hill. She is a confident young lady who believes she will medal and she has trained hard for it.

“Her first match is beatable, her second draw is a bit tricky as she is the silver medallist at this level.”

Words by Donna Richardson.

Images courtesy of Joe Morgan Team GB.