Kazbek Zankishiev’s all conquering display of high quality judo was the undoubted highlight on the final day of competition at the Under 23 European Judo Championships here in Wroclaw, Poland. Winning all five of his contests by ippon the 22 year old Russian gave a strong reminder of the talent that saw him win the junior world championships in Cape Town in 2011. Domestic circumstances have kept Zankishiev from a regular place on the international scene. However, his gold medal performance here (ahead of his much fancied team mate Khusan Khalmurzaev) should secure him a place for at the very least a series of senior European Open places. “I’m really pleased to be here, as a winner, and 2011 seems like a long time ago. Today was a good day for me and of course I feel great but I know that I have to look forward,” said Zankishiev. “I will continue to train hard. I didn’t expect to win some fights in ne waza as it has been a long time since I’d executed any armlocks in competition. But I’d practiced a lot at home and it worked out for me today”. Asked about his feelings before the final he said “I’ll admit to being nervous in the final but, in a way, it made me even more determined to win and I managed to put the thought out of my head”. In other results Anton Krivobokov took gold in the +100kg category to place Russia at the top of the final medal table with four gold medals. Italy’s Domenico Di Guida won gold in the -100kg category. There were gold medal wins for number one seed Maike Ziech GER in the -78kg category and for Tessie Savelkouls NED in the +78kg category.
For the rest of the day’s results see: http://www.ippon.org/ec_u23_2014.php
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