After having to forfeit her bronze medal match at London 2012 when she suffered a serious ankle injury in the semi-final, France’s Sandrine Martinet made amends at Rio 2016.
Unlike four years ago, everything went right for Martinet as a loud and colourful crowd cheered her on at Carioca Arena 3.
Martinet’s ankle was still heavily strapped, but no hint of hesitation impacted her performance as she defeated Germany’s London 2012 champion Ramona Brussig by 12 points to claim the 52kg title
“I’m very happy. It was a lot of sacrifice, with injuries and family commitments,” she said. “Today I felt good mentally and that makes the difference. Today was my day.”
There was also disappointment for Brussig’s twin sister as Carmen Brussig fell in the final of the 48kg class to 2014 world champion Li Liqing of China.
For Li, the victory was emotional after a tough contest with Brussig.
“It was very exhausting,” she said. “I thought I could win. I was confident, but the result was very close. I was surprised by that. I thought I was winning by more. That also explained my emotions at the finish.”
photos Janos Schmidt