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European Cup in Saarbrücken useful test for top athletes
15 Jul 2018 16:30
Russia have won four gold medals at the European Cup in Saarbrücken. France, Germany and Azerbaijan all won two gold medals. The tournament is followed by a training camp where many international athletes will attend.
On Saturday Daria Pichkaleva of Russia defeated Marine Lhenry in the final U48kg taking the first Russian medal of the weekend. Yago Abuladze followed after he was able to overcome Belgian Jorre Verstraeten. Yulia Kazarina followed the good examples of the lightweights capturing the first place U52kg when she was able to hold of Swiss Fabienne Kocher. The Russian finished with four gold medals after Arman Adamian won the gold U100kg, no surprisingly but still there were some real good players like finalist Alexandre Iddir of France and Germany’s Karl-Richard Frey who finished fifth.
More world top athletes didn’t finish with a medal, some just trained and hold a few opponents but left the tournament. Some of the Georgian top athletes started one weight category higher like Lasha Shavdatuashvili U81kg but he lost his third match from Timo Cavelius who eventually took the silver medal in this category with 45 athletes. In the final he left the gold medal to Stuart McWatt, a good medal for the British judoka in a good field. Gold for Georgia U66kg by Tornike Nagliashvili who won the final against Gusman Kyrgyzbayev (KAZ).
Frenchman Guillaume Chaine captured gold, he remains a favourite wherever he starts and again won a gold medal at this level. Chaine was the best among the 50 men and bested Italian Gabriele Sulli in the final. Nijat Shikhalizada, for the occasion U73kg, finished fifth.
His compatriot Mammadali Mehdiyev did win the gold, Mehdiyev bested Giorgi Papunashvili U90kg. Ushangi Kokauri defeated Shahin Gahramanov in an all Azeri final. That gives confidence for the World Championships in September in Baku.
For many this event was obviously a nice hub to the Grand Prix events in Budapest and Zagreb which are supposed to be the last tests for the Worlds.
Belgium had a good team in Saarbrücken with Mina Libeer who succeeded to win the gold medal U57kg. The women know each-other well but it was Libeer who won the title in the final against Veronique Mandeng. Despite the 100 German athletes, so no many medals for the host team (7). Michelle Benjamins of the Netherlands surprised U63kg with gold in a strong category where also Miryam Roper was in the starting grid for Panama. She won the bronze, and saw her former coach Michael Bazynski in action for the successful Dutch women Michelle Benjamins and Geke van den Berg (bronze). In the final Benjamins defeated Amy Livesey.
Finally gold for Germany on Sunday when Giovanna Scoccimarro opened the gold hunt. In the final she was successful against Alix Renaud-Roy who won the European Cup in Belgrade some weeks ago. Luise Malzahn has a reputation and at this level she should be able to win this, and so she did. Malzahn bested Alexandra Gimaletdinova (RUS) in the final where even Jemima Yeats-Brown started U78kg and won bronze. Valentine Marchand was the best among 5 women taking the gold in the pool +78kg. More action this week in a hot training camp in Saarbrücken.
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Daan Radier (NED)