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World Champ Tushishvili makes golden comeback

World Champ Tushishvili makes golden comeback

2 Jun 2019 21:20
Oliver Sellner

Guram Tushishvili is back after a suspension of two months by the IJF after competiting at a non-Judo official event. More importantly, he captured the gold medal at the European Open in Cluj, Romania. In the heavyweight final he defeated home fighter Mircea Croitoru. He wasn’t the only Georgia with gold. All men won gold on Sunday, taking four medals.

Four gold medals for Georgia on Sunday, three gold for the Italian men on Saturday. Elios Manzi won his category U60kg. The 2016 Olympian faded away on the IJF World Ranking, but this victory will give him some confidence and just like in 2016, he can make a fast move forward as in Italy the U60kg is still totally open. Manuel Lombardo is ruling the U66kg division, but in Cluj Biagio Stefanelli won the gold against Matteo Piras in an all Italian bout. Loic Korval celebrated his return with a bronze medal together with Frenchman Robin Corrado. In France, Kilian Le Blouch has the best papers for qualification for the Games in 2020, but Korval is still ambitious after we thought his career was over and he converted into a coach.

Triple gold for Italy

The category U73kg Leonardo Casaglia if Italy bested Victor Sterpu (MDA) in the final with 40 men competing in Cluj. Georgian Vladimir Alkhatsi (19) won gold U81kg against Stuart McWatt (GBR). 18-Year old Lasha Bekauri overcame Joachin Bottieau of Belgium U90kg and Onise Saneblidze captured the gold U100kg against Miklos Cirjenics in the U100kg division.

Italy had a strong start of the tournament with All Italian finals U66kg but also in the women’s U48kg two Italian women were opposed. Francesca Milani took the gold against Sofia Petito and two Azeri women took the bronze, but U52kg there was gold for Azerbaijan. Gultaj Mammadaliyeva defeated Reka Pupp of Hungary. France won three gold medals in the women’s division, the first on Saturday by Gaetane Deberdt U57kg. She prevented Italian gold for Samanta Fiandino.

Comeback Time for Van Krevel

Remarkable was the return of Larissa van Krevel (NED) U63kg after an injury of 20 months since her European Junior title U57kg in 2017. Last week she took silver at the European Cup in Celje and this time she reached the final again. With refreshing judo she defeated 2012 Olympic runner-up Corina Stefan. In her new category Van Krevel was this time opposed to Polish teen Angelika Szymanska (19). Szymanska was the first to score wazari, Van Krevel countered back and was about to win the bout after oseikomi, but Szymanska escaped and converted the situation into an armlock where Van Krevel had the time to escape but in the end had to tap for silver. Gold for Poland U63kg.

German battles

On Sunday there was gold U70kg for Germany’s Alina Boehm against compatriot Sarah Maekelburg. The youth takes over although this is European Open level. Motivating gold for Boehm, but on a higher level Miriam Buttkereit, Giovanna Scoccimaro and Laura Vargas Koch are still battling for an Olympic spot, and we won’t forget Szaundra Diedrich as outsider. Boehm though showed her skills in the senior division.

Triple French women’s gold

Fanny Estelle Posvite is in a good shape and took gold in Hohhot last week and this weekend in Cluj she took another gold medal U78kg. She was the oldest winner of the weekend. Posvite defeated Maike Ziech in the final and gives France an alternative for Madeleine Malonga or Audrey Tcheumeo, what a competition in France for this spot. Posvite isn't the only one who made a succesful step up to a higher category. In the first year this is usually fruitful, also Dutch woman Natascha Ausma captured another medal at European Open level and came from U70kg last year.

The third French gold was for heavyweight Marine Erb against Mercedesz Szigetvari.  Many young winners this weekend with an average age of 21.5 years says enough of these challenger tournaments at European level. Still a World Cup level, but a good platform for the new generation or comeback level as the 100 points for gain are not significant enough to make a move in the World Ranking, but a move to gain confidence.

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