First day of the European Seniors Championships in Sofia (BUL) and the host could already clinch the first medal. The home crowd in the Armeec Arena has dreamed of the first European title for Bulgara since 1981 (Georgi Petrov, -78). Yanislav GERCHEV came close. He defeated on his way to the final of the – 60 kg category top-seed Artem LESIUK (UKR) and number 4 Jorre VERSTRATEN (BEL), but could eventually not overcome titleholder Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) in the gold medal bout. The 32 year-old Bulgarian, who has won two silver European Seniors Championship medals already, lost by Ippon.
“To fight in front of the home crowd was terrific, it was probably my best experience in Judo ever – my whole family was here, including my wife and my baby-girl”, emphasized Yanislav Gerchev. “Of course I wanted to win gold for Bulgaria, but Francisco was much stronger than me. He deserved to win. I am still satisfied with my effort today.”
It was the 29th medal at European Senior Championships for the host (1 gold, 10 silver, 18 bronze). Number 30 might follow on this weekend too.
Author: EJU Media