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France dominates first day European Cup Uster

10 Mar 2018 19:30

   Menno Lesterhuis
20160130_ArlonJ_Veronique Mandeng

At the European Cup in Uster, close to Zurich, France leads the European Cup with three gold medals and 14 medals in total. With two all French finals, it was a domination by the French. Two finals though didn’t have any French contestant.

Lukas Vennekold of Germany remains an excellent fighter at this level. Again he was in the final of an international event. In this division today 56 men and Vennekold had to win six matches to secure the gold. In February he lost the final in Visé, but this time he won the final against compatriot Schamil Dzavbatyrov.

The gold medal U63kg was for Ivelina Ilieva though. It was about time, the former super talent is now 26, just missed the Olympic Games and couldn’t get to her previous level. This gold medal in a higher category will give her some confidence that she still has it in her. The former World Junior bronze medallist won her final against Maria Centracchio of Italy, also for her a motivating medal in Uster.

Dutch 2015 European Junior champion Roy Koffijberg won his class U60kg. In the final he bested Moahmedi Kamel of France. He won five contests including the semi  final against Borislav Yanakov. For Koffijberg a welcome victory as since his European title he hadn’t won a European event. Frenchman Vincent Manquest captured bronze as well as Miguel Pisco (POR).

Vang-Si Nzaou of France won gold U66kg in the final against Dutchman Owen Corzilius. Also for Nzaou it was his first international win. Corzilius was the only non-French on the podium.

At the podium of the lightweight women only French, all four qualified for the semi final. Mallaurie Mercadier defeated Faustine Bernard for the gold medal. The category U52kg had a surprising winner and Julie Kemmink gave the Netherlands the second place in the medal table behind France after she overcame Gabrielle Wuillot of France. French strong woman Vernique Mandeng captured the gold medal U57kg in the final against Morgane Arthuis in an all French final. Mandeng was the best of 22 women in this competitive weight class for France.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Roy Koffijberg (NED) - Grand Prix The Hague (2017, NED) - © JudoInside.com, judo news, results and photos
  • Ivelina Ilieva (BUL), Daria Mezhetskaia (RUS) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Lukas Vennekold (GER) - Belgian Open Championships Visé (2018, BEL) - © Carlos Ferreira, FFB, Fédération Francophone Belge de Judo

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