It has been a strong day for the current European champions; Nikita YUDANOV (UKR/-90kg), Ramazan AHMADOV (AZE/+90kg) and Tuana GULENAY (TUR/-70kg), however Leonie MINKADA-CAQUINEAU (FRA/+70kg) saw an early exit at the hands of LEE Hyeonji (KOR).
The first of these champions to take a place in the semi final was Yudanov. The Ukrainian athlete stormed his quarter final block and then his semi final lasted only 30 seconds as he quickly secured the osae komi, and is now in with a chance to take his second major title in 2023, totalling less than four minutes on the tatami. Yudanov’s final opponent will be Cristiano MINCINESI (ITA), who had a tough contest against Aslan KOTSOEV (AZE) but in the end, a head diving infringement disqualified the Azeri athlete from the contest.
Gulenay continued on her quest for the world gold medal by defeating Ukraine’s Anna OLIINYK-KORNIIKO, it was a quick score in the first 20 seconds of the contest with o goshi that she had to defend for the full length of the battle but she succeeded in the end.
On the other half of the draw, Aleksandra ANDRIC (SRB) surprised all who lay in her wake today. The world ranked #21 wasted little time in her semi final and dominated against Mushtariybegim AFSALOVA (UZB), eventually winning the head to head with a waza ate score, attacking with o soto gari, changing direction to throw with harai and then ending it all in ne waza. Yesterday the team of Serbia took a gold medal and she will be looking to continue the success story.
It will be another all-European final in the +100kg category as Ibrahim TATAROGLU (TUR) takes on Matheo AKIANA MONGO (FRA) for the cadet world title. For Tataroglu, it was a rematch of the cadet European final with Ahmadov in his semi final contest, only this time he managed to turn the tables, seemingly quite easily with uchi mata and a huge hip entry. Similarly, Akiana Mongo made it look like light work against Georgian Shotiko GOSHIASHVILI, initially scoring with a counter attack and then a wonderful driving o uchi gari for the win and giving France possibility for their first gold of the event.
Europe’s only chance for a finalist looking at the semi final head to heads was Celia CANCAN (FRA), however she was faced with INOUE Tomoka (JPN) and was unable to secure her win for the French team as she was held down for the 20 seconds.
The final block will take place at 16:00 local time and is live streamed at JudoTV.com.
Author: Thea Cowen