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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 20:10 GMT 21:10 UK

Pekli edges to victory

By Mike Burnett
BBC Sport Online at the G-Mex

Maria Pekli gave Australia their second judo gold medal of the night by edging Scotland's Jenni Brien in golden score time for the women's under-57kg title.

Tom Hill had won Australia's first judo gold of the evening with his defeat of Cypriot hotshot Christodoulos Christodoulides in the men's under-73kg category.

It was a tougher match for Hungarian-born Pekli, who had to go to extra time against Brien to break the deadlock with an all-important koka.

"It is a great feeling to win"
Maria Pekli

In the under 63kg category, England's Karen Roberts had less trouble against her Scottish opponent Sarah Clark in the second Auld Enemy final of the night.

Roberts put on an accomplished display to deny the Scottish another victory after Graeme Randall's win in the men's under 81kg category less than half an hour earlier.

The 2002 British Open champion, renowned for her groundwork, was quick to secure a submission win with an armlock on Clark.

"I have had a very good year in every tournament apart from the German Open," Roberts said.

"It is especially great to win gold here."

But it was contest between Pekli and Brien that put the audience on the edge of their seats.

Brien refused to be overawed by Olympic bronze medallist Pekli and held her own on the mat.

After five minutes, neither player had found the decisive score and the bout went to 'golden score', where the first person to get any points automatically wins.

"I'm very relieved to have a bronze because I was gutted after losing in the semi-final"
Sophie Cox

Pekli chose her moment and landed the vital koka score with a inside leg sweep.

"This can only inspire me, it is a great feeling to win," said Pekli afterwards.

"Going into golden score I was nervous, but felt I should win."

But beaten semi-finalist Sophie Cox got the loudest cheer of the night when she beat Devi Brojeshori of India to claim bronze.

"I'm very relieved to have a bronze because I was gutted after losing in the semi-final," Cox said.

Canada's Luce Baillargeon claimed the other third place with a fast ippon win over Maryann Ekeaada of Nigeria.

In the under 63kg category, beaten semi-finalists Bllkkisu Yusuf of Nigeria and Claire Scourfield of Wales shared the bronze.

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