GOOD FORM AND RESPECT EARNS GOLD FOR KUCZERA

European Judo Open Men 2017 Rome

The Sportshall Palapellicone was filled with hard work and magnificent effort by every single athlete competing during the second day of the 2017 Rome European Judo Open for Men. After a very competitive weekend, Japan still managed to concur the medal table by three golden performances, whilst Austria, Poland, Brazil and South Korea all earned a gold medal each. In regards to the host nation’s performance, it was Matteo MARCONCHINI [ITA] was the closest for a medal chance. However, Marconchini, who finished 5th place at 2016 Rio Olympic Games had to settle with another 5th place today.

Piotr KUCZERA [POL] delivered an elite performance in the -90kg category. The 21-year-old judoka finished his first two contests just under 2 minutes which immediately indicated his good form today. 

“I felt really good this morning when I woke up and I thought to myself, I am up for a medal today for sure.”

During his quarter-final, Kuczera faced his team mate, Patryk CIECHOMSKI [POL]. World Champion and Olympic Bronze medallist, GWAK Donghan [KOR], the top seed within this weight class faced Kuczera in the first semi-final. The Polish judoka troubled the Korean twice; first with a left sided makikomi before combining the same technique with an osotogari to score twice for waza ari. 

“I have big respect for Gwak. He is a great judoka. Before my fight against him I said to myself that I will do my best to defeat him. Winning against such a great judoka was surely the highlight of my day.”

Tural SAFGULIYEV [AZE] stood opposite Kuczera during the final of the -90kg category. The contest looked tight at first, until up to the moment when Kuczera changed into his throwing gear and disposed of Safguliyev for waza ari by a left sided sumigaeshi. Victory shortly followed with Kuczera’s signature combination, left sided osoto gari – makikomi. 

“This is the first time I managed to win a gold medal at a European Judo Open. It is great success for me and I am happy that all my hard work paid off today. My next competition will be the European Judo Open in Katowice and I would be really pleased to win another gold medal front of home supporters.”

Italian judo fans witnessed another unbelievable performance today which was delivered by Aaron FARA [AUT] in the -100kg category. The Austrian judoka won all five of his contests by ippon and his performance impressed the audience with his gladiatorial throwing abilities. 

Aaron FARA [AUT]: “My ambition is to qualify for the European Championships in April. This won’t be easy because we have four very good athletes within this weight class in Austria, but I hope that by winning today I could be a step closer to my goal.”


 

Podium -81kg 

1. SANTOS, Eduardo Yudi (BRA) 

2. MACEDO, Rafael (BRA) 

3. FUJIWARA, Sotaro (JPN) 

3. BRIAND, Etienne (CAN)

Podium -90kg 

1. KUCZERA, Piotr (POL) 

2. SAFGULIYEV, Tural (AZE) 

3. BURT, Zachary (CAN) 

3. GWAK, Donghan (KOR) 

Podium -100kg 

1. FARA, Aaron (AUT) 

2. FREY, Johannes (GER)

3. PALTCHIK, Peter (ISR) 

3. FLETCHER, Benjamin (GBR)

Podium +100kg

1. OTA, Hyoga (JPN) 

2. KIM, Kyeongtae (KOR) 

3. BASHAEV, Tamerlan (RUS) 

3. HEGYI, Stephan (AUT)

Events


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