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Belarussians show off, but Russia takes double gold

12 Nov 2017 20:00

   European Judo Union / EJU / Copyright:

Belarussia had a great day at the last competition day of the European U23 Championships in Podgorica in Montenegro. The gold medal for Daniel Mukete in an all Belarus final against Mikita Sviryd was the highlight of the day for the team of Leonid Sviryd. In fact a big part of the men’s junior team that won a World bronze team medal in 2015.

That World Junior team from Belarus included Dzmitry Minkou who won the gold at day one, the two finalist U100kg and Yahor Varapayeu who captured the silver medal today in his final against Mikhail Igolnikov of Russia U90kg. In each men’s final Belarus was represented as Uladzislau Tsiarpitski captured silver in Podgorica.

Five former European U23 Champions won the Olympic title later in their career, which is a good motivation. Olympic Champions like Ilias Iliadis, Mansur Isaev, Majlinda Kelmendi, Lukas Krpalek and Fabio Basile won the U23 title before.

The gold medal for Mikhail Igolnikov was perhaps sealed after his second round match against Beka Gviniashvili. That match was crucial to cement his first European U23 title. Igolnikov was already Cadet and Junior champion and world cadet champion, but that was a long time ago. Time for new success. On Sunday Igolnikov was the best. Second best was Yahor Varapayeu who won the European Open in Minsk this year. He is just 20 years, Igolnikov 21. Both athletes showed eachother respect after the match won by the Russian.

Daniel Mukete defeated Mikita Sviryd who won silver last year in Tel Aviv. He defeated another favourite, Niyaz Ilyasov (RUS) in the semi final whilst his roomie Daniel Mukete (20) bested Aaron Fara (AUT), two Belarussians in the final, a unrivaled luxury, and no coach (Sviryds father) in the coach seat. It was Mukete who threw Sviryd for wazari in the golden score and he was close a few seconds earlier. Mukete won the second gold for Belarus after great victories over one of the favourites Saneblidze in the first round, against Ohat and Laurin Boehler to reach the semi final.

A second gold for Russia as the relatively small Tamerlan Bashaev won the heavyweight final against Tsiarpitski (BLR) after a seoi nage halfway the contest. Bashaev overcame Gela Zaalishvili in the semi final, the strong Georgian took bronze later as well as Zarko Culum of Serbia, making a strong podium.

Anna-Maria Wagner was the best in the interesting category U78kg. The tall German took over the title from Ukrainian Anastasiya Turchyn who won the title last year and in 2013 when she was 18. Wagner became the second German to win the title as Maike Ziech won the gold in 20114. The tall Wagner defeated Turchyn in 41 seconds and won all her matches by ippon and wasn’t even six minutes on the tatami in all her four contests. She bested Danica Juric (BIH), Jasmijn Lesterhuis (NED) and Beata Pacut of Poland on her way to the final. Pacut took bronze as well as Alexandra Gimaletdinova (RUS).

The heavyweight gold was for Vasylyna Kyrychenko of the Ukraine. Despite the strong heavyweight generation of the Ukraine, they never won the U23 European title. Kyrychenko is the first and most of the previous U23 winners were now fighting at the World Open Category in Marrakech. Kyrychenko was European Junior champion in 2015 and remains her way up. In the final she defeated Raz Hershko who gave up quickly after she tore suffered a hamstring injury after an attempt to block Kyrychenko.

In the medal table Russia won four gold medals and was the best nation followed by Belarus with five finallists and two gold medals. The Netherlands and Germany had strong women with both two winners. 

Watch all stories about Podgorica here.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Daniel Mukete (BLR) - World Championships Juniors Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © Samira Rohn
  • Tamerlan Bashaev (RUS) - European Cup Saarbrucken (2017, GER) - © Klaus Müller, Watch:
  • Anna-Maria Wagner (GER) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © David Finch,

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