European judo Open Odivelas 2017

The second day of the European Open here in Odivelas, Portugal saw Axel CLERGET (FRA) take gold in the -90kg category. In a performance displaying unswerving focus Clerget confirmed both his consistency and his brand of attractive judo. A great deal was expected of Clerget not only because of his being seeded number one at this competition but also as he had been in such good form throughout last year and, in particular, toward the end of the year.

That good form was continued here in Odivelas where not one of his four appearances on the tatami went to time, the final included which, admittedly, was a walk-over as his opponent, Quedjau NHABALI (UKR) failed to appear due to an injury sustained in the semi final. However, Clerget’s dominance in the earlier round, in particular in newaza, was total. After a first round bye Clerget faced Hannes CONRAD (GER). Clerget was bustling and probing whilst Conrad was watchful and defensive. After collecting a shido, Conrad made a weak ko uchi gari attack that Clerget exploited, taking the German to the ground wher he executed a neat turn over initially into kuzure kesagatame but, at the same time applying a shime waza from which Conrad submitted. Batuhan EFEMGIL (TUR) must have missed seeing the Conrad contest as he made the same mistake and his weak effort at throwing Clerget ended up with the Turkish fighter being caught with and having to submit from sangakujime. Clerget’s semi final was against Nodari BBERIANI (GEO) who. Like those before, found himself caught in newaza by the skillful Frenchman who came up with another smartly applied sangakujime for ippon.

When asked to give his thoughts on missing out on selection for Rio Clerget answered, “Of course I was disappointed not to be selected for the Games [in Rio] but that is the past and I want to concentrate on what is to come. I am healthy and feel that I still have good years ahead of me. So of course my ultimate goal is to represent France in Tokyo. But we will see.” Clerget will compete next in his favorite Paris. His opponents would be well advised to take care when tangling with him on the ground.

-81 kg

1. PENALBER, Victor (BRA)

2. KALININ, Denis (RUS)

3. MUENNICH, Benjamin (GER)

3. BRIAND, Etienne (CAN)

-90 kg

1. CLERGET, Axel (FRA)

2. NHABALI, Quedjau (UKR) 

3. IDDIR, Alexandre (FRA)

3. BERIANI, Nodari (GEO)

-100 kg

1. ILYASOV, Niyaz (RUS)


3. DELVERT, Clement (FRA)

3. ARIANO REBOUKA, Nell Honore (FRA)

+100 kg

1. BRACHEV, Anton (RUS)

2. BUGHADZE, Onise (GEO)

3. TUMENOV, Musa (RUS)

3. HEGYI, Stephan (AUT)