In the Oberwart European Open 2022, we saw the -48kg category finalists first.
Current European champion, Shirine BOUKLI (FRA) came up against an unknown opponent for her, Vanesa GODINES ALEMAN (CUB). For Boukli this was in fact her first appearance since her title win in Sofia, but was in need of some competition prior to the world championships in Tashkent next month.
It was a difficult day for me, so long without the sensation of a competition, since the European championships. It is hard to feel motivated during this period, my weight was a bit higher and now I adjusted again to be 48. I needed this test before the world championships, to go through the warm up process, to feel the stress, and the environment.
I am happy, I took my time, it was in my mind that my physicality is not the best, I am a little tired from a lot of training camps over the summer.
Training camps are a great opportunity for athletes to come together from all over the world to train with the best, to get the randori they need to test themselves, but for Boukli, she loves the competition.
In particular for this competition I was really looking forward to it, for me to have competition, to have an opponent, I love this. It is why I am here. Training camps are cool but I just love doing this, a lot of the time I’m not so great on the camps because its a hard thing to stay strong all the time. But today was great preparation, to work out my issues here instead of the world championships.
In the final, I hadn’t fought her before and yes it is hard when you don’t know what to expect but also a great opportunity and I wasn’t so bothered it wasn’t won with a score because I’m still testing. Normally I’m against the same girls all the time and we train to beat one another so this is a little different for me and very useful. I saw today things I need to go back and repeat, practice, things that I wouldn’t usually do so it was very important that I could compete to know this.
There was a possibility for another French gold in the -60kg category, however Richard VERGNES had a tough match up with Turkmenistan’s Halberd JUMAYEV and with only 17 seconds left on the clock, Jumayev put a waza ari on the board. It turned out that the final 20 seconds signalled his time to shine, and yet another waza ari came for Turkmenistan, confirming his European open gold.
This win from Jumayev sparked a winning streak for his team, as another gold went to Turkmenistan in the -66kg category, Hekim AGAMAMMEDOV had an excruciating contest against Yermek AMANGELDI (KAZ) for the gold medal. The other continents also continued to collect the gold medals, this time in the -52kg category. Melissa HURTADO MUNOZ (CUB) defeated Fabienne KOCHER (SUI) as the Swiss, world bronze medallist accumulated three shidos.
It wasn’t a case of if, but who from Europe would take the gold medals in the -57kg, -73kg and -63kg categories with all-European battles First up was Ivelina ILIEVA (BUL) and Tihea TOPOLOVEC (CRO). The 31 year-old Bulgarian can boats European Open medals dating back to 2012 when called world cup events, and in this instance it was her experience and strength that brought her the third gold at this level. It was a slow start but she worked tactically in ne waza to secure the win.
The last of the men’s saw Nils STUMP (SUI) and Adrian SULCA (ROU) decide the gold medallist, and a close contest it was. Though the pair have never met in competition, training camps have allowed them to learn enough which lead them in to a golden score situation. Within only 9 seconds, the moment came. Sulca attacked with uchi mata, switching to o uchi gari which was anticipated by Stump and was matched with o uchi gari and driving force to score waza ari.
OZBAS Szofi (HUN) returned today following knee surgery and faced Inbal SHEMESH (ISR) for the -63kg final. In typical Ozbas style she took her time, an initial score of waza ari put pressure on the Israeli but she was unable to compete against the calm and collected Ozbas. With only 10 seconds left of the contest, a submission came from Shemesh.
-48kg Medallists 🥇BOUKLI Shirine 🇫🇷 🥈GODINES ALEMAN Vanesa 🇨🇺 🥉STANGAR Marusa 🇸🇮 🥉POP Alexandra 🇷🇴
-60kg Medallists 🥇JUMAYEV Hakberdi 🇹🇲 🥈VERGNES Richard 🇫🇷 🥉DAVLATOV Sherzod 🇰🇿 🥉PULKRABEK David 🇨🇿
-52kg Medallists 🥇HURTADO MUNOZ Melissa 🇨🇺 🥈KOCHER Fabienne 🇨🇭 🥉VAN DE MEEBERG Rachel 🇳🇱 🥉KADAMBOEVA Sita 🇺🇿
-66kg Medallists 🥇AGAMAMMEDOV Hekim 🇹🇲 🥈AMANGELDI Yermek 🇰🇿 🥉TUTASHVILI Giorgi 🇬🇪 🥉VERHORSTERT Ivo 🇳🇱
-57kg Medallists 🥇ILIEVA Ivelina 🇧🇬 🥈TOPOLOVEC Tihea 🇭🇷 🥉KOVACS Kitti 🇭🇺 🥉ERMAGANBETOVA Nilufar 🇺🇿
-73kg Medallists 🥇STUMP Nils 🇨🇭 🥈SULCA Adrian 🇷🇴 🥉HEG Koen 🇳🇱 🥉POWELL Daniel 🇬🇧
-63kg Medallists 🥇OZBAS Szofi 🇭🇺 🥈SHEMESH Inbal 🇮🇱 🥉VARGA Brigitta 🇭🇺 🥉BAZYNSKI Nadja 🇩🇪
Author: Thea Cowen