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Manuel Lombardo makes it three in Lignano
10 Apr 2017 13:15
It was not a surprise that the Italian team was the best at the European Cup for Juniors in Lignano. With four gold medals and 8 medals in total, the Italian judoka had a good performance, the best since 2011. Germany followed with three gold medals, all in the women’s division.
Manuel Lombardo was happy with a third victory in Lignano, all in three different categories. In 2014 U55kg, last year U6okg and now U66kg. The Italian women were strong with three victories for Anita Cantini U57kg, Nadia Simeoli who defended last year’s title U63kg successfully and Italian champion Alice Bellandi who won U70kg. The 17-year old Simeoli was also the youngest winner in Lignano.
Also the German women captured three gold medals. Patrycia Szekely took the gold U52kg and Germany’s two heavyweight women Teresa Zenker (U78kg) and Ina Bauernfeind (+78kg) won the title. Easy to say as those two finals were all German, both categories even three medals for Germany but the Germans sent a team of 27 young women to Italy and 33% won a medal, nine in total.
The remaining two titles among women were for Belgium with Lois Petit who won her first European Cup in her career. Spanish Laura Martinez won the gold U48kg. In the first three finals for women all French opponents had to deal with a silver medal. Also Turkey lost three finals, but among the men.
Among men Hungarian Daniel Monori captured the first gold followed by Tomer Golomb of Israel who won U55kg. Lombardo won in a field of 55 men, but the category U73 was amazing with 61 participants and Martin Hojak of Slovenia as the winner against Bilal Ciloglu (TUR) who defeated Esposito in the semi final. Most of these top young men have yet gained some experience at senior level. Hojak for instance won the African Open last year and took bronze in 2017. Matthias Casse recently won the European Open in Katowice and was expected to win the U81kg class in Lignano, and so he did. Polish Jakub Ozimek grabbed gold U90kg. Serbia was the most successful nation in the men’s division with two gold medals. Milos Mandic bested Dominik Majowski (POL) whilst Aleksandar Krsmanovic, who recently won bronze in the seniors in Dubrovnik, took gold in Lignano.
With 465 participants the organization was happy to be close to the record of last year (474) but at least a record number of participating nations (30). These records give Lignano a second place behind Leibnitz that last had 511 judoka and 33 countries. Manuel Lombardo only watched his own record, three medals in Lignano. His target will be the European title this year in Maribor.
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Daniel Matei (ROU)
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