6 November 2021

FINAL CONTEST PUSHES RUSSIA TO TOP OF MEDAL TABLE

FINAL CONTEST PUSHES RUSSIA TO TOP OF MEDAL TABLE

Having spectators over this weekend in Budapest has been a pleasure given the great time we have been without. It was certainly welcomed by the Hungarian team who performed amazingly, three of whom medalled in the men’s categories. 

Opening the final block were the -81kg category men, and TOTH Benedek was the first reason the crowd were able to celebrate. He took the first of the bronze medals followed by Giacomo GAMBA (ITA). It isn’t too often that nations have two representatives in the final but Georgia could boast of their strong team today. World silver medallist and IJF tour regular medallist Tato GRIGALASHVILI found himself against team mate and junior world champion, Vladimir AKHALKATSI. An early waza ari score was the difference which gave the former his second U23 title. 

Though we claim it is unusual for nations to have a head to head for gold, it happened for a second time but now in the -70kg category. Italy became quiet in the stands for the first time today as Martina ESPOSITO and Irene PEDROTTI were left to battle it out the U23 glory. A ballistic seoi nage attack from Esposito earned her a waza ari score which was enough to give her the title. 

Irene PEDROTTI and Martina ESPOSITO of Italy in the -70kg final.

Vladimir AKHALKATSI and Tato GRIGALASHVILI of Georgia in the -81kg final.

The Italian takeover continued in the -90kg category as Gennaro PIRELLI defeated Mansur LORSANOV (RUS) in the final, neither judoka came in to the competition in seeded positions. Pirelli had a difficult road to the gold, having to defeat not one but two of the French entries, the latter to take his place in the final. Lorsanov is a truly difficult opponent and neither found themselves able to score which took them in to golden score, Pirelli two shidos on the board. A great last attempt gave him a contested waza ari, and in the end, we would hear the Italian anthem for a second time. 

In the -78kg category it was an emotional finish for Patrica SAMPAIO (POR) who ultimately became the champion. The 22 year old already has two junior titles and has also medalled on the IJF tour, she is a great judoka for the spectators as she attacks with conviction and as she released her emotions at the end, you see her passion. The reason for the outburst on this occasion was her surprise. Due to an injury in the semi final, she was in doubt as to whether she could compete at all.

The -90kg category has a new U23 title holder – Gennaro PIRELLI (ITA).

Patricia SAMPAIO (POR) takes an emotional title win in the -78kg category.

Once again the crowd came alive for the -100kg category as VEG Zsombor stepped up for his final against Ilia SULAMANIDZE (GEO). Though it didn’t go in the Hungarians favour in the end, he was first to put a score on the board, and so a lot of pressure on Sulamanidze. Arguably there is already a great deal of expectation for the Georgian to take gold as he is a senior world bronze medallist and most recently took the junior world title, to go with his double junior continental wins. His experience and abilities brought him the gold and once again we heard the national anthem of Georgia. 

Both nations of Germany and Georgia have been exceptional in this tournament and they faced one another in the +78kg final in the form of Sophio SOMKHISHVILI (GEO) and Elisabeth PFLUGBEIL (GER). It became a tense contest as it went in to golden score, and although Somkhishvili initiated what looked as if it could be the winning score, Pflugbeil was able to control and counter it. A huge ippon and major win for the German team. 

Ilia SULAMANIDZE (GEO) was unstoppable and became the -100kg U23 European champion.

A phenomenal counter attack brought Elisabeth PFLUGBEIL (GER) the +78kg title.

Valeriy ENDOVITSKIY (RUS) dominated the +100kg final.

Last but most certainly not least, was the +100kg category. Admittedly it could have been the most anticipated contest of the final block, especially for the spectators as SIPOCZ Richard came for his third U23 title. He had managed to avoid the Georgian duo who have given him cause for concern but instead was up against Valeriy ENDOVITSKIY (RUS). Two minutes and 58 seconds in to golden score, the pair had acquired two shidos each and it was looking like the Russian was in better condition to go the distance. It turns out, he was. Endovitskiy took the win with some timely  ashi waza, which also sent Russia soaring to the top of the medal table. 

A huge thank you to the Hungarian Judo Federation for executing yet another incredible tournament and tomorrow will continue with the mixed team event which will start at 11:00 CEST. Once again the live stream will be available at live.ijf.org.

-81kg Medallists 🥇GRIGALASHVILI Tato 🇬🇪 🥈AKHALKATSI Vladimir 🇬🇪 🥉TOTH Benedek 🇭🇺 🥉GAMBA Giacomo 🇮🇹

-70kg Medallists 🥇ESPOSITO Martina 🇮🇹 🥈PEDROTTI Irene 🇮🇹 🥉WROBLEWSKA Eliza 🇵🇱 🥉KOK Silja 🇳🇱

-90 Medallists 🥇PIRELLI Gennaro 🇮🇹 🥈LORSANOV Mansur 🇷🇺 🥉BRASNJOVIC Darko 🇷🇸 🥉LENZ Johann 🇩🇪

-78kg Medallists 🥇SAMPAIO Patricia 🇵🇹 🥈PAVIC Petrunjela 🇭🇷 🥉TATARCHENKO Nadezh 🇷🇺 🥉SCHMID Lea 🇩🇪

-100kg Medallists 🥇SULAMANIDZE Ilia 🇬🇪 🥈VEG Zsombor 🇭🇺 🥉SISMANLAR Mert 🇹🇷 🥉CHIKOVANI Giorgi 🇬🇪

europeanjudo +78kg Medallists 🥇PFLUGBEIL Elisabeth 🇩🇪 🥈SOMKHISHVILI Sophio 🇬🇪 🥉OZTURK Hilal 🇹🇷 🥉ESIR Kubranur 🇹🇷

+100kg Medallists 🥇ENDOVITSKIY Valeriy 🇷🇺 🥈SIPOCZ Richard 🇭🇺 🥉ZAALISHVILI Gela 🇬🇪 🥉SCHREIBER Jonas 🇩🇪

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U23 European Team Championships 2021

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Author: Thea Cowen