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Natig Gurbanli captures hattrick win in St. Petersburg
15 Apr 2017 20:25
Japan was again the strongest nation at the first day of the European Cup for Juniors in St. Petersburg. This junior event is one of the strongest around always with the Japanese junior team attending. With three titles the Japanese youngsters topped the table.
Host nation Russia won two titles followed by Georgia, France and Azerbaijan. A total of 290 judoka are fighting in St Petersburg, 200 men and 90 women from 17 countries.
The Russian women took the first gold medal U44kg by Viktoriia Vasilchenko in an all Russian final, but lost the final U48kg by Ekaterina Dolgikh. Aya Sakagami defeated Dolgikh in the final. Also Japanese Chishima Maeda was strong and bested French Blandine Pont in the final U52kg. France however took the last title among the junior women when Sarah Leonie Cysique defeated Russian Kristina Shilova.
Four different winning nations in the men’s division and Azerbaijan took the first, almost traditional, medal U55kg. Natig Gurbanli continued his medal hunt in St. Petersburg. The former World Cadet Champion won the tournament in St Petersburg three times in a row. Russian Ramazan Abdulaev defeated Japanese Yuta Higuchi in the final U60kg, his first IJF Tour victory after silver last year in St Petersburg. Shalva Gazashvili of Georgia bested his compatriot Bagrati Niniashvili in the final U66kg. Japan won the title U73kg. Former Asian junior champion Ryushiro Shimada won his category with a victory against Tato Grigalashvili in the final. The weight category U73kg was the toughest with 31 judoka, but U66 and U66 both had 30 fighters, also not bad.
The World Junior Championships will not be held in North Korea and most likely in Antalya in Turkey this year.
Three time winners in St. Petersburg
Natig Gurbanli (AZE)
Mikhail Igolnikov (RUS)
Arsen Galstyan (RUS)
Magomed Nazhmudinov (RUS)
Sanne Van Dijke (NED)
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