HISTORICAL MOMENT FOR POLAND WHILST GEORGIA REGAINS THEIR TEAM TITLE

European Judo Team Championships 2016

According to tradition, the flag handover ceremony took place today as part of the official closing of the event. This marked too the announcement that Warsaw [Poland] had been awarded the right to host the 2017 European Judo Championships. It may very well have been an omen as both the Polish men’s and women’s teams went on to win medals.

The final day of competition at the European Judo Championships in Kazan was reserved for the staging of the team events. The total number of 23 teams across 17 nations took to the mat in search of the precious title. By the end of the day, the Polish women’s team had made history by winning their first European title whilst the Georgian male team regained their European Team title.

The women’s team event involved a total number of 7 teams, and began with Poland taking on Hungary in the first round which was effectively already a quarter final. The Hungarian crew started off with a strong performance from the SZABO sisters. For Hungary, having a bye in the -57kg category put the pressure onto GERCSAK and SZIGETVARI to perform. Neither of them managed to bring the team back into it and this allowed Poland to reach the semi final stage, where a slightly bigger challenge lay ahead of the Polish team as they faced the elite of Germany. Leaving no stone unturned, a strong first trio [PERENC, PODOLAK, OZDOBA] secured a win each that booked the team a direct place in the final.

Poland faced the host nation Russia in the final. The contest brought everyone onto the edge of their seats. RYZHOVA and DAVYDOVA took a point each for Russia before wins from PODOLAK and KLYS levelled the scores. The final contest was poised on a knife edge with Ksenia CHIBISOVA and Katarzyna FURMANEK both facing a serious amount of pressure. “I didn’t think of anything in specific before the contest. I just kept on telling myself, I have to win and we have to win as a team because we are better and we are the best”, remembered Furmanek after the final contest, where she threw Chibisova for Ippon with a spectacular tomoe nage. At that exact moment, the Polish fighter dashed the hopes of Russia taking the gold medal. “I am really happy that our team won. We had bronze and silver from big team events but we had never won gold before. I am so happy that we are able to go back with an historical achievement especially leading up to next year’s European Championships which will be held in Poland”, the woman national coach, Aneta Szczepanska expressed her thoughts after the final. 

Russian hopes of taking the men’s gold medal were also crushed this time by the powerful Georgian team. Before reaching the final stage, Russia defeated Lithuania, Czech Republic and France. Meanwhile, Georgia overcame Hungary, Greece and Poland. The final match up between Russia and Georgia began with a strong performance from Anzaur ARDANOV as he stunned Vazha MARGVELASHVILI planting him flat on his back. The following two contests were won by Nugzari TATALASHVILI and Avtandili TCHRIKISHVILI which meant a narrow lead for the Georgians. Next up was Said Emi ZHAMBEKOV (RUS) vs Varlam LIPARTELIANI (GEO). Liparteliani struggled to settle with his favoured grip which caused problems for the three-time European Champion [Liparteliani] to score. Whilst the Georgian judo ace was busy with finding the best kumi kata, Russia’s Zhambekov used a perfect moment to throw his opponent for a yuko. Until the last 30 seconds of the contest, it looked like as though the heavy weights would be left the final decision. It was at that moment that Liparteliani managed to throw for Ippon with a right sided harai maki komi. “It was very sad for us last year as we finished in second place when we lost against France in the final. Now we are delighted to regain our European team title”, said Liparteliani. 


Women Team Event Final results

1) POLAND

2) RUSSIA

3) FRANCE

3) GERMANY

Men Team Event Final results

1) GEORGIA

2) RUSSIA

3) AZERBAIJIAN

3) POLAND