15 November 2013

Romania impresses with double European U23 titles

Green Hill European U23 Championships

Romania impresses with double European U23 titles

Twelve nations won a medal at the first day of the European Championships U23 in Samokov. Russia claimed four, but Romania was the most efficient with two gold medals.

Hungary’s Gabor Hagyo surprised with gold, and Ebru Sahin took her third European title, one in each age category. Ebru Sahin takes the triple Ebru Sahin added another European title to her impressive list of honour. The Turkish judoka won the gold U48kg. Previously she won a European gold medal in the Cadets (2008) and Junior (2011) category. Now she has the triple and will look forward to the European Senior title next year in Montpellier. The Turkish women have a reputation at the European U23 Championships. Sahin is the fifth woman of Turkey to win the title, Tugba Zehir won even two titles. Sahin started with a quick victory over Olga Smolska stating she was ready for the gold. In her second match she defeated Mara Kraft (AUT) and overcame Sonja Wirth (GER) in the quarter final. Evgeniya Demintseva was put aside in the semi final. In the gold medal match threw Kristina Vrsic of Slovenia after 75 seconds by ippon with a powerful combination. Vrsic had never medalled in this age category at European Championships. She was European Junior Champion in 2008 and won bronze in 2010 at junior level, so also Vrsic is still booking progress. Her semi final victory over Noa Minsker proved that as well. German Sonja Wirth and Israelian Noah Minsker kept eachother in balance for four minutes, and only in the last seconds it was Wirth who received her second penalty which delivered Noah Minsker the bronze. Russian Maria Persidskaya had to fight her compatriot Evgenia Demintseva, the former Cadet and Junior European Champion. Persidskaya scored a waza-ari after 2 minutes in the match and added a yuko not far after her first score. She was able to maintain her lead during the remainder of the match and took the bronze. Aram Grigoryan first athlete to keep his European title The final in the category U60kg delivered gold for Russia. It was an all Russian final, so a successful start for the Russian team. Albert Oguzov received three penalties and not much later Grigoryan scored a yuko making clear he was the new European Champion in this category. He countered the last attacks of Oguzov to a successful end of the final. Grigoryan is the reigning champion of 2012 and was the first of the tournament to keep his title. Since 2008 Russia has always won a medal in the U60kg division. Grigoryan was the winner of his pool with victories over Fabio Basile (ITA) and Philip Graf (GER). In the semi final he defeated Valentin Rota (SUI). The bronze was for Finnish Vadud Balatkhanov after 50 seconds in the match when he defeated Lukasz Kielbasinski with a choke. The Fin took his first European medal and he confirmed that the development in his country is going well, especially in the lightweight category. Balatkhanov is the first man for Finland to medal in the European U23 Championships. Swiss Valentin Rota was convincing with a ippon just after a minute in the match throwing Bernard Azinovic of Croatia. Rota won two European Cups this year and was the highest seeded. He defeated Balatkhanov in the quarter final but came short in the semi final against Grigoryan. Alexandra Florian continues to improve Alexandra Florian needed only 23 seconds to throw Gili Cohen for ippon in the final U52kg. In a fast match it was clearly that Florian was better prepared and dominated her grip which led to a powerful uchi-mata on the side of the tatami. The 2011 European Cadet Champion, now proceeds with a new European title despite her age of just 18. Last year she was close at the fifth place. This year the expectations were high in the junior category where she lost twice in the final stages but won a bronze medal twice at European and World Championships. This European title is the icing on the cake for Florian. In this category she is the successor of Andrea Catuna who won gold U52kg in 2008, however in 2010 it was Andreea Chitu who won the European title for Romania U57kg. After 45 seconds in the bronze final match it was Distria Krasniqi who the bronze medal representing the IJF, she was the youngest of the day aged 17. Krasniqi continues her European medal hunger and just like last year she claimed the bronze. She defeated Barbara Maros (HUN) in the match for the medal. Last year her compatriot Majlinda Kelmendi took the European title, and later the world title. An exciting bronze final it was between Shira Hayat of Israel and Odette Giuffrida, the current European Junior Champion. Both women needed the full time to convince the referee who was the winner, the Italian talent kept the most stable as Hayat received two penalties. Bronze for the 19-year old Italian who was already third of the world in the juniors recently and fifth at the Senior European Championships. What a development this year. Gabor Hagyo surprises Hungarian tradition with U23 title Hungary is traditionally strong in this age category, but most over in the women’s division. It was a surprise to see Gabor Hagyo in the final U66kg. Despite his national U23 title and European Cup victory in Bratislava he wasn’t the favourite to take the European title. But in the tradition of Hungary also he added to the success. It was his first ever European medal, and this one counts as the highlight in his career. In the final Hagyo defeated Emanuele Bruno, also for him an excellent silver medal. Hagyo was clear that he needed less than a minute to defeat his last of five opponents. Zsolt Gorjanacz won bronze for Hungary last year in the same category. Hagyo is the seventh Hungarian men to win the title, Barna Bor won three European U23 titles, for the 22-year old Hagyo this was his last chance. Emanuele Bruno came in form winning silver at the European Cup in Sindelfingen, a good warning for his opponents in Samokov. He defeated the second ranked Adrien Bourguignon in his first match and surprised Yakub Shamilov in the semi final. Both opponents were more expected in the final which was a surprise. Andraz Jereb won the bronze by a splendid throw against Akil Gjakova. Jereb took the bronze and was happy. At least he won his last match, in 2010 year he lost the final U66kg at the European U23 Championships, followed by silver at the Junior Europeans in 2011. The second bronze was won by Russian Yakub Shamilov who kept away Cunnar Kops of the Netherlands in the bronze bout. Shamilov was able to score waza-ari and yuko and temporized the match waiting to counter the Dutchman. His efforts weren’t awarded with a score and it was Shamilov who took home the medal. Ohai captures second Romanian women’s gold The gold for women U57kg was as well for Romania. Loredana Ohai led the match after she scored a waza-ari after two minutes against Lola Benarroche. The French also won a silver at the 2008 European Junior Championships and gave everything to prevent the same colour with three minutes to go. But the 21-year old Romanian Ohai is experienced enough to keep Benarroche off the gold. Ohai improved her bronze medals of 2011 and 2012 and turned bronze into gold. Ohai is the fifth Romanian to win this European title. Also in the seniors the women are still amazingly strong with sometimes double European titles, most over in the light and middle weight categories. It is already the best ever European U23 Championships for Romania since the start in 2003. Ohai started today’s series well with a victory over Ilkiv (UKR), Seyis (TUR) and Ilieva (BUL) in the semi final. Bennarroche defeated very strong opponents in her road to the final with Fanny Malmborg (SWE), Noa Snir (ISR) and EVelyne Tschopp (SUI) as tough opponents, perhaps she gave her best in the road to the silver success. The bronze medal fight was a clear bronze for Switzerland as two fighters qualified for the bronze bout: European Junior Champion Fabienne Kocher was in the lead in the second half of the match against 22-year old Evelyne Tschopp and was not in danger to take the bronze. It was her first medal in this age category. Bulgaria cheered hard for Ivelina Ilieva who took the bronze medal for her country. In the final she needed almost the full five minutes to defeat Italian Martina Lo Giudice. Ilieva is one of the greatest hopes for Bulgarian judo and she continued her bronze medal of last year in Prague. It was her third medal in this age category, in 2010 she also won bronze when she was 19. 11 athletes with different European Cadet, Junior and U23 titles Ebru Sahin (TUR) **NEW** Tugba Zehir (TUR) Barna Bor (HUN) Bernadett Baczko (HUN) Natalia Kuzyutina (RUS) Tariel ZIntiridis (GRE) Franziska Konitz (GER) Linda Bolder (NED) Margot Wetzer (NED) Juul Franssen (NED) Alice Schlesinger (ISR) Watch all the action in our photo gallery:
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