Rafaela Silva gave host Brazil its first gold medal of the World Judo Championships on Wednesday, taking the 57- kilogram title as she beat Oak Harbor’s Marti Malloy in Rio de Janeiro.
Malloy, who made good on her promise that she would reach the World Championship final after winning gold at the Miami Grand Prix, was penalized for breaking grips with two hands as Silva was spurred on by the capacity crowd.
Silva threw Malloy with a ko-soto-gari which earned a waza-ari but the score was amended to ippon as the jubilant Silva ran to hug her coach as the scale of her achievement hit home.
Malloy told the media: “I can’t wait to speak to my family, friends and teammates, everyone back home who I’m sure were going out of their minds hoping for me to win.”
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Malloy reached the final with a victory over Miryam Roper of Germany.
Central Washington, which will begin its first season under coach John Picha, has been picked to finish second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference coaches’ poll.
The Wildcats received two first-place votes and 19 point. Humboldt State, with three first-place votes and 22 points, was picked to win the GNAC.
The Wildcats finished 7-4 last season, winning the GNAC title with a 7-3 record.
CWU returns a total of 31 lettermen and 10 starters, with the defense expected to be its strong point in 2013.
Former Idaho starter Conrad Scheidt joins a cast that includes five 2012 GNAC selections, including GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.
From team reports.