Belgrade European Open Gold for student Acelya Toprak

A University of Wolverhampton student has topped the medal rostrum at a top international judo event.

Acelya Toprak secured gold at the 2017 Belgrade European Open in Serbia on Saturday 23 September.

Toprak’s gold was her first senior world ranking medal and came off the back of her silver at the 2017 Junior European Championships in Maribor just a week earlier.

The judoka, who trains at the British Judo Centre of Excellence at the University’s Walsall Campus, started her day with a solid win over Sakina Zayirova (AZE) with Toprak forcing the Azerbaijani judoka to tap after some strong newaza. She followed that up against home judoka Marica Perisic (SRB), throwing her opponent for waza-ari in golden score.

Israel’s Maayan Greenberg was next up in the semi-final and the British judoka looked stronger from the start. With little under two minutes left a lovely bit of ashi-waza threw Greenberg for ippon to secure Toprak’s place in the final.

French judoka Amelie Guihur was a former European Open gold medallist from 2015 and was the more experienced of the two fighters. In a close contest neither judoka could get a score in regular time.

The contest went into golden score with both judoka coming close to scoring. Eventually Guihur picked up a second shido which gave Toprak the win and the gold medal.

Photo Credit: Kostadin Andonov EJU

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