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Leibnitz delivers serious judo practise for world juniors
3 Jun 2019 13:40
The Austrian judoka can still lean on the current experienced generation, but for the future there’s barely any talent. For the second time in a row Austria didn’t take any medal at its own Junior European Cup in Leibnitz. Obviously this is one of the top events in the European Junior Tour and with 581 athletes from 34 nations, it’s not so easy to gain a few medals.
With the participation of athletes from Japan, Brazil, Kazakhstan and top European nations such as Russia, France and Italy Leibnitz definitely is a good test at junior level. A gold medal counts in Leibnitz.
Russia was the most efficient nation with three gold medals, zero finals lost and five bronze medal bouts won. Winning your last game is a state of art and the Japanese prove to be masters at it, but the Russians seemed to understand what it takes. Three gold medals for Russia and all in the men’s division: Georgii Elbakiev won the U73g class against Mattia Prosdocimo in the final with 85 men in this amazing field. Mirzo Shukoriev won the U81kg class and heavyweight David Babayan took gold against Frenchman Tieman Diaby.
Renan Torres still in the lead
World Ranking leader Renan Torres of Brazil started strong U60kg for Brazil and built out his leading position. Torres defeated Kazakh Bolat Bilal and also U66kg Kazakhstan lost its final bout against Japanese Yuji Aida. In the women’s lightweight class Kazakhstan captured gold though U48kg by Akmaral Nauatbek and defeated Brazilian top talent Laura Ferreira, a good warning for the World Championships in Marrakech in September.
Georgia’s Mikheili Bekauri won U90kg and he was able to surprise Japanese Kosuke Mashiyama. Emils Gerkens is not a surprise anymore on the top of the podium. He also won in Kaunas this year and bronze in Lignano. This time he bested Italian Enrico Bergamelli.
Faiza Mokdar superb
France was the best nation among women with gold for 17-year old Faiza Mokdar U52kg and she defeated Japanese Yuri Nakauchi. The French senior champion will defend her European title in September and was fifth at the Worlds in Nassau last year and debuted in the senior IJF World Tour.
Lea Fontaine won France’s second gold +78kg. Japan lost gold U52kg but claimed the victory U57kg by Mizuki Kagawa in the final against Serbian Marica Perisic who recently also felt the bathwater in the IJF World Tour.
All Croatian final
Two Croatian girls fought the final U63kg on Saturday. 17-Year old Katarina Kristo surprised Croatian senior champion and Dubrovnik winner Iva Oberan where Oberan led until two seconds in regular time. It was the first Croatian victory in the Junior European Cup since 2014. This category contained 43 female athletes. Kristo became the youngest medallist of the weekend.
Petersen closes 5 years draught
The same is applicable for Great Britain that saw Kelly Petersen Pollard win the gold in Leibnitz U70kg. It was the first victory in this weight since Ebony Drysdale Daley won in 2014. Petersen defeated Marlene Galandi of Germany in the final.
Germany is always strong in these categories but the women’s U78kg is exceptional and the Germans saw Christina Faber beating Rafaella Igl. The U18 generation seems to move forward successfully at junior level.
The next stop is Paks (HUN) in three weeks’ time. Still six events to go in Europe for the continental championships followed by the world championships.
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Jesse Van Buel (NED)