Joanne van Lieshout has won the world title at the World Junior Championships in the class U63kg. On the isle of Sardinia in the city of Olbia, the only 18-year-old Dutch youngster was too strong for Laura Vazquez Fernandez in the final.
Joanne van Lieshout qualified for the final by winning successively in the preliminary rounds against the Russian Zalina Zuraeva (two waza-ari’s) and the Dominican Ariela Sanchez. In the quarterfinals, the reigning European champion U23 years managed to beat Szofi Ozbas from Hungary with a waza-ari who was also among the favourites for a gold medal. The Hungarian recently managed to reach the eighth finals during the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In the semi-final against the French Melodie Turpin, Van Lieshout forced her opponent to be knocked off after inciting a strangulation. So she was allowed to prepare for the World Championships final against Spanish Fernandez.
Van Lieshout comes from a true judo family and showed her skills from a young age. She claimed the gold medal at the EYOF in Baku in 2019. She was Dutch national champion in various age categories U15, U18 and U21. This year she bagged a silver medal at the European Open in Zagreb in 2021.
Van Lieshout captured the tenth World title for the Netherlands in the history. In 1996, 25 years ago, three athletes won world gold including Edith Bosch, who was the only of the ten who won the senior World title. The last Dutch World Champion was Sanne Vermeer in the same category in 2018.
Tamara Meijer, Emmy Schapendonk, Edith Bosch, Marvin De la Croes, Kim Polling, Do Velema, Frank De Wit, Amber Gersjes, Sanne Vermeer and Joanne van Lieshout became Junior World Champion.
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