THE BALL – Bárbara Timo gives gold to Portugal in the Grand Prix (Judo)
The Portuguese Olympic judoka Bárbara Timo, 31 years old, 16th in the ranking, won the gold medal at the Portuguese Grand Prix this Saturday afternoon, by winning in the final of the competition, the dispute in Almada, in the -63 kg category Brazilian Gabriella Moraes, 22 years old, ranked 105th in the world competition, in what was the fifth fight of the day for a national athlete.
The gold for Portugal, won by the Benfica athlete, naturalized Portuguese and competing for our country since 2019 (she was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for which she competed between 2013 and 2018) arrived after three punishments were awarded to the Brazilian, 3 minutes had passed and 9 seconds of combat.
It is the first medal of the Selection in this second edition of the national stage that, since last season, started to mark the beginning of the world circuit.
The Benfica judoka, bronze at the last World Cup (Tashkent-2021), and who, curiously, just over a week ago had her participation in the Grand Prix in doubt, due to having suffered an injury in the 2022 final- prevented her from go to the Jerusalem Masters in December -, and with the possibility of, next week, attending the Grand Slam in Paris, he added the seventh podium on the circuit (between Grand Slam and Grand Prix competitions) since, in 2019, started to represent Portugal.
Bárbara Timo had also given Portugal bronze at the Lisbon-2020 European Championship. While fighting for Brazil, from 2013 to 2018, she got five podiums.
Taking into account last season, where Catarina Costa (-48 kg) and Jorge Fonseca (-100 kg) won gold and Joana Diogo (-(52 kg) and Telma Monteiro (-57 kg) bronze, the team now has five podiums in the competition portuguese.
It should be remembered that, a year ago, Bárbara had to stay on the bench to watch and applaud the performances of her friends and teammates, for having fractured a toe in training, getting it stuck between two mats. A fracture that eventually forced surgery and delayed the start of the season.
Exempt from the 1st round in Almada, Bárbara started the day by eliminating Angolan Diassonema Macungui (100th in the ranking) in just 44 seconds. Then, she imposed herself on the Serbian Anja Obradovic (33rd of the authority) by ‘wazari’.
In the ‘quarters’, two ‘wazari’ in 2 minutes and 56 seconds came to beat the Croatian Iva Oberan (22nd in the ranking) before guaranteeing the fight of the final in the ‘half’, against the Spanish Cristina Cabana (24th in the ranking) of the world table) in a confrontation that dominated from beginning to end, but in which, without having managed to score, ended up winning by imposing the third punishment of the rival at eight seconds of extra time.
Bárbara Timo was born in Rio de Janeiro, and after being capped by Brazil, she acquired Portuguese naturalization in early 2019. Since then, she has strengthened a unique career, which has already led her to fulfill her Olympic dream at the Tokyo Olympics -2020 (played in 2021) and also the first of his two medals in World Championships: silver, in Tokyo-2019, but when he was still playing in the -70 kg category (and not in the -63 kg).
With none of the remaining 11 Portuguese judokas competing on that day making it to the fight for the medals, João Fernando’s ninth place in the -81 kg category (two wins and one defeat) stands out – he too returning from an injury at the Tashkent-2021 World Cup – by Wilsa Gomes at -63 kg (one win and one loss) and Joana Crisóstomo, in the -70 kg category (one win and one loss).
On Sunday, the last day of the Portuguese Grand Prix, ten national judokas will be competing, with emphasis on the Olympic athletes Patrícia Sampaio (-78 kg) and Rochele Nunes (+78 kg) and great expectations for the day, regarding the return of Célio Dias to the circuit world after more than five years of absence (-100 kg)