GOLDEN REBIRTH FOR SAYIT AT THE TATNEFT ARENA

European Judo Championships 2016 Kazan

The individual part of the 2016 European Judo Championship came to a close today. It was a day that saw surprise and disappointment for some of the top stars and, in the case of unseeded Kayra SAYIT (TUR), a terrific performance that saw her take gold in the +78kg category. It could easily be considered as a rebirth of her career.

Kaya’s story goes back a long way as she had previously represented France for several years at international level. Like a number of others, Kaya decided to switch nations, in her case to Turkey. After a very emotional and distressing period, she chose today to bounce back to where she had earlier shown signs of belonging.

The 27 year old judoka had last stood on the podium at the European Championships in 2007 when she won bronze in the Open weight division. During this qualification period Sayit has won two Grand Prix tournaments whilst carrying the Turkish flag. However, what will really help her towards her ultimate goal, which is the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, is being able to claim her first European title. The former French judoka began her day with a bye before facing young, yet talented, Hungarian judoka, SZIGETVARI Mercedesz. A quick waza ari and an immediate transition into osaei komi waza helped Sayit to move onto the next stage. This win brought about an eagerly awaited match up against title holder, and former team mate, Emilie ANDEOL (FRA). A single penalty, was sufficient to move Sayit to the semi final. “I never really had any big emotions with regard to this contest. My intention was not at all to prove anything to anyone because it’s not the first time I’ve her face and it’s not the first time that I’ve defeated her [Andeol]. I didn’t come here to beat her in particular, I came here to win for myself and I just wanted to show my best today”, said Sayit.

Santa PAKENYTE (LTU) Sayit’s semi final opponent, where the contest was level until the last minute. It was at that point that the Lithuanian judoka attempted a poor sutemi waza. Sayit used that momentum to take advantage and to hold down her opponent for Ippon. The final contest saw a match up between Sayit and number two seed, Svitlana IAROMKA (UKR). The Turkish fighter threw Iaromka for waza ari and immediately followed up with her transition skills again as she managed to secure an osaei komi waza once more. Sayit expressed her feelings after the final: “You know, I got up this morning and I said to myself I just want to be the best for today. I am really happy and it is really important that I won the gold medal today but what is more important for me is to be able to achieve my dream and to aim to win the gold medal in Rio. All in all, it was a beautiful day today and I hope there is a bright future ahead of me.”

For other athletes, it was a lucky number three as both, Varlam LIPARTELIANI (GEO) and Audrey TCHUMEO (FRA) won their third European titles today. But it is Teddy RINER (FRA) who remains ahead of them all as he won his fifth European title. All in all, unsurprisingly, France claimed the top spot on the medal table with five gold medal winning performances. Georgia followed in second place with the Netherlands in third place.

Tomorrow the team event will start at 12.00 (local time). Check out the TEAM DRAW and WATCH LIVE via eju.net


-78 kg

1. TCHEUMEO, Audrey (FRA)

2. STEENHUIS, Guusje (NED)

3. MALZAHN, Luise (GER)

3. POWELL, Natalie (GBR)

+78 kg

1. SAYIT, Kayra (TUR)

2. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR)

3. KAYA, Belkis Zehra (TUR)

3. KUELBS, Jasmin (GER)

-90 kg

1. LIPARTELIANI, Varlam (GEO)

2. TOTH, Krisztian (HUN)

3. KUCZERA, Piotr (POL)

3. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)

-100 kg

1. GROL, Henk (NED)

2. NIKIFOROV, Toma (BEL)

3. KORREL, Michael (NED)

3. MINASKIN, Grigori (EST)

+100 kg

1. RINER, Teddy (FRA)

2. SASSON, Or (ISR)

3. MATIASHVILI, Levani (GEO)

3. NATEA, Daniel (ROU)

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