Anriquelis Barrios withstood the pressure until the semi-final where she faced Gabriella Moraes of Brazil and this was probably a little bit too much for her today as she had to bow out and move to the match for the bronze medal.
Thus it was the Brazilian judoka who reached the final to face the local Barbara Timo. Twice a world medallist, Timo is a safe bet for the Portuguese delegation. After the disappointment of Catarina Costa on day 1, who couldn't repeat her feat of last year, Timo had the chance to offer a first medal to the host nation, a medal that was indeed guaranteed; only the colour was unknown. What was sure is that she would get the full support of the public, who on this Saturday were more numerous than yesterday.
The home nation has its Champion! Barbara Timo 🇵🇹🙏🏼🥇— Judo (@Judo) January 28, 2023
Follow the action at https://t.co/Gupw1a0ll6 📺#JudoPortugal #Judo #Portugal #Sport #Olympics #RoadToParis2024 #Judo #OlympicQualifiers pic.twitter.com/73CbjnP3X4
As expected, the noise level in the venue rose suddenly as the two finalists stepped onto the tatami. For Portugal, their chance to win a gold medal was now and Timo had to take it, which she did after Gabriella Moraes was penalised for a second attempt on Timo's arm in the standing position, which is not permitted. As the Brazilian competitor had already one shido to her name, 1+2 counting 3, she was disqualified and the public could let their happiness explode. Gold for Timo and for Portugal. A job well done!
The first bronze medal contest opposed Amina Belkadi of Algeria and Cristina Cabana Perez of Spain. It was a pretty close match until the last 30 seconds, when Belkadi changed her tactics a little, trying to grab her opponent on the back. That was a mistake indeed, since Cabana Perez was just waiting for this to engage a powerful o-uchi-gari that propelled Belkadi flat on her back for ippon. The Algerian judoka was close, very close to winning a medal but not this time and this was a first medal for Cristina Cabana Perez in a grand prix, after three times ending up at fifth place.
After her defeat in the semi-final, Anriquelis Barrios (VEN) still had one chance to reach the podium as she was opposed to Iva Oberan (CRO) for the bronze. For Barrios, winning was a way to save her day after she was top seed of the category. For Oberan, it was an opportunity to win a second medal in a grand prix. Almost five minutes in the golden score period were necessary for Oberan to score a waza-ari with a counterattack. A bronze medal went to Iva Oberan.
Final (-63 kg)
Bronze Medal Fights (-63 kg)
Final Results (-63 kg)
More images of the Grand Prix Portugal 2023 - CLICK HERE
Day 2 medalists of #JudoPortugal
Day 2 medalists of #JudoPortugal 🇵🇹🎉 pic.twitter.com/LyNmFJFd5a— Judo (@Judo) January 28, 2023