Although they had a small team in Moscow, Belarus had an excellent tournament in Moscow at the IJF Grand Slam. In the Druzhba sporthall nine athletes from Belarus participated, and two of them in even one weight category fighting for qualification for the World Championships later this year in Rotterdam.
Siarhei Shundzikau and Aliaksandr Stsiashenka both reached the final. Stsiashenka had a good start by beating 5 times European Championships medalist David Kevkishvili. In the semi final Korean Song, winner of the Grand Slam in Paris was beaten, but his compatriot Shundzikau was able to make more scores than Stsiashenka. Shundzikau, former European Champion of 2006 beat Olympic Champion Ole Bischof (GER) in the semi final and is back on track for a successive year. Earlier this year he won the World Cup of Warsaw (also against Stsiashenka) and this time he won his 8th big international tournament in an all Belarus final.
In Tbilisi at the recent European Championships Belarus also performed excellent with three medals, gold amongst them for Andrei Kazusionak, who finished second this weekend in Moscow.
Belarus was the best performing European country in Moscow and is steaming up towards the worlds in august.
Profile Siarhei Shundzikau (BLR)
2 European medals: 1st 2006, 2nd 2007
10 World Cup medals, 6 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze
1 Grand Slam victory
Major rivals: Aliaksandr Stsiashenka (BLR), Guillaume Elmont (NED), Robert Krawczyk (POL), Ole Bischof (GER), Ivan Nifontov (RUS), Dae-Nam Song (KOR), Masahiko Tomouchi (JPN).
Previous all Belarus finals
2009 Warsaw U81 Shundzikau beats Stsiashenka
2007 Bucharest O100 Rybak beats Kavaleuski
2004 Minsk O100 Rybak beats Makarov
2000 Minsk U52 Barilova beats Paim
By Hans van Essen, EJU Media and PR Director