Angelica Delgado took an important step forward by winning her first medal at a judo grand slam event, claiming silver in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Competing in the 52 kg. division, the 2016 Olympian entered the tournament ranked No. 23 in the world. She defeated 125th-ranked Chelsie Giles of Great Britain in the quarterfinals, then downed Giles’ teammate Kelly Edwards, ranked No. 41 in the world, in the semifinal.
With her first grand slam medal assured by earning a spot in the gold-medal bout, Delgado squared off against Astride Gneto of France, a two-time world junior championships bronze medalist ranked No. 62 in the world. Using her quickness, Delgado pressed the attack throughout the match, while Gneto seemed content with a defensive strategy, looking for an opportunity to exploit. She found it with just over a minute remaining, catching Delgado off balance to score an ippon.
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In addition to being Delgado’s first grand slam podium finish, the medal is her best international showing. It comes five weeks after winning her first grand prix medal, a bronze in Zagreb, Croatia. A first-generation American, her father, Miguel, was a member of the Cuban national judo team.