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The rise of new judo countries at Euro Open in Prague

4 Mar 2018 21:35

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Two Belarussian super talents took gold at the European Open in Prague. With two gold, two silver and two bronze medal Belarus had an excellent weekend in the Czech capital. On Sunday Yahor Varapayeu and Mikita Sviryd won their weight categories. The final U100kg was the climax for Belarus between Sviryd and European U23 champion Daniel Mukete.

Although Daniel Mukete won the last battle this time it was Sviryd who convincingly won the contest in his characteristic style. In his weight category U100kg 21-year old Svyrid won his four contests. The first match wasn’t the easiest against Zauri Kenchadze with a victory in the golden score. Danylo Hutsol. (UKR), Olivar Cedric (FRA) and Daniel Mukete were defeated in approx. 100 seconds each. An excellent day for Sviryd who had to keep his concentration after he had seen his teammate Varapayeu winning the final U90kg.

David Klammert was the home favourite for the crowd in the final U90kg. Against Varapayeu, not the most familiar judoka in Czech Republic it was an exciting match but Varapayeu was more efficient in the golden score and claimed a wazari and knew immediately he took the gold in the lion’s den. Varapayeu won the European Open in Minsk last year and won silver at the European U23 Championships in November. The 21-year old no-nonsense judoka is a humble young men, always concentrated, always focused and this helped him in the final were the home crowd fanatically supported Klammert who was the number one seed.

Moldova celebrated a gold medal by Dorin Gotonoaga, one of those attractive athletes of the new generation in his country. The European U23 Champion claimed the gold U81kg after he won all his contests by ippon, although twice in the golden score. In the semi final he won an important stepping stone match against Robin Pacek, one of his toughest battles. In the final he bested Damian Szwarnowiecki of Poland, the U23 European Champion of 2012.

It was for the first time since 2011 that Moldova won a gold medal at a qualification tournament. Three of the previous Moldovan winners are now fighting for the UAE. Victor Scvortov was the last one before Gotonoaga hit the jackpot in Prague. There’s a good competition going on in Moldova in this weight category where Valeriu Duminica, Dorin Gotonoaga and Nicon Zaborosciuc fight for the number one position. Gotonoaga is now the highest seeded for his country from today.

Iran created another miracle. After Saeid Mollaei last week in Düsseldorf, this time Mahjoub Javad showcased Iran as reborn judo country. In Prague Javad stunned Lukas Krpalek in the semi final +100kg. Javad took over Krpalek and the crowd was astonished. Krpalek won bronze after all and celebrated the third medal of the day with the fans. The final though was for Javad who was opposed to Aliaksandr Vakhaviak, another Belarussian, who won bronze at the Grand Slam Paris three weeks ago. But also Mahjoub is not new, he won thirteen World Cup medals since 2011 including a Grand Slam in 2013 and 8 medals at Grand Prix level. Also this European Open was a target for Mahjoub and with Mollaei, Iran is creating the best ever year for Iran with the World Championships to follow this year. Prague delivered new judo lessons to think about, rising judo countries, stunning results and Takato who can win U66kg.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Dorin Gotonoaga (MDA) - Grand Prix Düsseldorf (2017, GER) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Javad Mahjoub (IRI) - Grand Prix The Hague (2017, NED) - © JudoInside.com, judo news, results and photos
  • Lukas Krpálek (CZE) - Grand Slam Paris (2018, FRA) - © Christian Fidler

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