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Amazing weekend for Belgian juniors in Kaunas

14 May 2017 20:10

   Fijlkam - Emanuele Di Feliciantonio

It’s a long time ago that Belgium won the medal table of an international event. At the Junior European Cup in Kaunas the Belgians took five gold medals and didn’t lose any of the finals. In total eight winning nations but the Belgians where phenomenal which is a good sign for the follow up for their senior athletes. Belgium didn’t win any medal at the senior European Championships, but the junior today had a good effort in Lithuania. Not the strongest event, but it’s a good sign of the development.

It was the best Belgian performance at junior level since 2008 when they won five gold medals as well in Coimbra. The first gold was for Lois Petit U44kg. The Belgians won three gold medals in the women’s division; Myriam Blavier won the category U52kg and U70kg Gabriella Willems won her final against Hilde Jager (NED).

Jorre Verstraeten was Belgium’s golden boy U60kg, his third victory at a European Cup but the first U60kg. On Sunday Matthias Casse showed his candidacy for the European title this year. Casse won gold U81kg against Tim Gramkow. For Casse it was his fourth European Cup victory and the second this season.

Four nations won two gold medals. The Ukraine  won U66kg by Oleh Ovcharenko and U90kg by Vitalii Shepel in an all Ukraine final with three Ukrainians on the podium. Kazakhstan claimed gold U55kg by Bauyrzhan Narbayev, also in a Kazach final. U73kg Madiyar Sembayev bested Hiervorh Manukian (UKR). The Belarussian men showed a great performance today in Kaunas with gold for Daniel Mukete who won his three matches U100kg and took the second victory of the season. Heavyweight Yahor Kukharenka didn’t give Ignas Mecajus a real chance to win gold for the host nation. Kukharenka won by three scores difference. The Netherlands claimed two gold medals, Larissa van Krevel won her first gold U57kg against European Champion Pauline Starke (GER) and with a strong podium. Also U63 there was a premier gold for Jessica Gorissen (NED).

The German team though won gold U78kg by youngster Christina Faber (17) U78kg. Italy’s Sofia Petitto claimed the gold U52kg and heavyweight Mercedesz Szigetvari of Hungary took the last title among junior women. Host Lithuania lost two finals. In July the best European talents come to Kaunas for the Cadet European Championships.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Jorre Verstraeten (BEL) - Junior European Championships Malaga (2016, ESP) - © Menno Lesterhuis
  • Gabriella Willems (BEL) - European Championships Warsaw (2017, POL) - © Alan Marchal, L'Avenir
  • Daniel Mukete (BLR), Mukhammadkarim Khurramov (UZB) - World Junior Team Championships Abu Dhabi (2015, UAE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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