Cécile Nowak

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Cécile Nowak (born April 22, 1967 in Valenciennes ) is a former French judoka . She was Olympic champion in 1992, world champion in 1991 and European champion from 1989 to 1992.

Athletic career

The 1.62 m tall Cécile Nowak started until 1992 in the super light weight up to 48 kilograms. In 1986 she was European team champion with the French team and won the student world championships, in 1987 she was again European team champion. In 1989 she won the World Cup in Paris for the first time. In the final of the European Championships in 1989 , she won against the British Karen Briggs . At the Judo World Championships in 1989 she lost to the British in the semifinals, but won a bronze medal with a victory over the Cuban Legna Verdecia . In 1990 she won again at the Tournoi de Paris , in the final of the European Championships she defeated Karen Briggs. In 1991 she won her first French championship title and for the third time the Paris World Cup. She won her third European title with her third final victory over Brit Briggs. At the Judo World Championships in Barcelona in 1991 , Nowak met Briggs again in the final and won the title. In early 1992 Briggs defeated the French woman in the final of the Tournoi de Paris . At the European Championships in Paris in 1992, Cécile Nowak won the final against the Spaniard Yolanda Soler . In 1992, women's judo competitions were on the Olympic program for the first time, at the Olympic tournament in Barcelona Nowak won against the Argentinian Carolina Mariani , the Turkish Hülya Şenyurt , the Italian Giovanna Tortora and in the semi-finals against the Algerian Salima Souakri . In the final, Nowak met the Japanese Ryōko Tamura and won with a small score.

In 1993 Nowak started in the half-light weight category, up to 52 kilograms, and won her second French championship title. After a victory at the Tournoi de Paris , she met the Spanish Almudena Muñoz in the finals of the European Championships , the 1992 Olympic champion in the lightweight division won gold ahead of Nowak, the Olympic champion one weight class below. In her last major international competition, the Judo World Championships in 1993 , Nowak lost to the Cuban Legna Verdecia in the quarter-finals, but then fought her way through to the bronze medal with three wins in the round of hope.


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