Dutch athlete takes bronze in judo

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Anicka van Emden (Photo: @anickavanemden/Twitter). (Anicka van Emden (Photo: @anickavanemden/Twitter))

Dutch judoka Anicka van Emden snagged a bronze medal in the up to 63 kilograms class at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. "I'm so happy. This was the only thing I wanted, and I knew it was now or never. This is my first and probably my last Games", the 29-year-old Van Emden said to NU.nl.

The battle for third place came down to a fight between Van Emden and Brazilian Mariana Silva. Somewhat of a disadvantage for Van Emden as the Brazilian judoka was massively supported by the home crowd.

"I was booed from the beginning, but you how it is in the lion's den. Those Brazilians are super fanatical and emotional. I also think they're a good public, because they also clap for other counties, except when they compete against a Brazilian. But oh well, I wasn't bothered. I just pretended they cheered for me."

Van Emden was feeling good, both physically and mentally. "I was nervous, but I had it under control", she said. "When I won the first round I felt strong and knew that a medal was possible. Despite the nerves I was sharp and alert. I think that I therefore mostly won mentally.

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