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Margaux Pinot captures senior European gold in decade of judo

23 Jun 2019 21:30

   Christian Fidler

For many judo fans, Marie Eve Gahie was the favourite for France for the second European Games title. On Sunday it was Margaux Pinot who captured the European title. In 2017 Pinot took the silver against Tina Trstenjak, the usual opponent for golden girl Clarisse Agbegnenou who had just won her fourth European gold medal.

In 2017 it was Sanne van Dijke who won the European title U70kg. This 2019 edition she defeated Marie Eve Gahie in the semi final and was opposed to Pinot who overcame another strong woman, Sweden’s Anna Bernholm in the quarter final.

Pinot is in the business now for ten years fighting at international level. She captured European titles at cadet, junior and now senior level.

For a performance director your title isn’t a surprise.

Pinot: "I think it is a continuation of the years of work we've done on the tatami. I am happy that I am able to keep it up and to progress."

Your opponent has a similar career but already won a European title. What do you think of her?

Pinot: "I worked to be able to beat her. Today I won on penalties but I think technically I had the edge over her. Today I had to be precise and to have my goals on my mind and this is what I did. I am satisfied with this day."

Clarisse Agbegnenou came to see me and encouraged me. She said, 'You go, give it your all'. It is very motivating to see a team-mate winning."

Her opponent Sanne van Dijke was close to defend the European title for the Netherlands that won seven out of nine European titles in this class U70kg with Edith Bosch, Kim Polling and Van Dijke who won the gold in 2017 but now tastes the silver, but wasn’t sad at all. Van Dijke: "I feel good about the day in general although I wished for more in the final."

Van Dijke lost the final on penalties in the golden score which is a sad way of losing a contest.

Van Dijke: "It is really bad, of course. Normally when I lose by shido, I ask myself what I could have done more. But today, I fought my heart out and when it was not enough it just was not enough. I have no regrets. Pinot was technically very strong today but the big picture is that this medal gives a lot of confidence. I was confident when I came here and I believed I could get the gold. Unfortunately, it is the silver, but I think good things are to come for me."

Barbara Matic surprised with a bronze medal in a tight field. Despite her loss against favourite Marie-Eve Gahie of France, she recovered fast in the repechage and fought back against Megan Fletcher (IRE) and Daria Pogorzelec (POL) for bronze. Matic: "This is my third bronze medal in this kind of competitions (2014, 2017, 2019). I'm very glad and happy that I won the bronze at the European Games too. I had five matches and I lost in the quarter-final against Gahie but all the other matches were very good."

Sweden was extremely successful with gold for Tommy Macias and bronze for Anna Bernholm. Although Bernholm was one of the favourites for gold, she had a great day. Bernholm: "I knew it was going to be a really tough match for bronze against Gahie because she is really aggressive in her grip and in her attacks. So I knew I was going to have to be on my toes and have one of my best matches to win. Minsk has been arranged extremely well and everything has run perfectly so far. But winning this medal has really made it all so special for me."

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Related Judo Photos

  • Sanne Van Dijke (NED) - European Games Minsk (2019, BLR) - © Christian Fidler
  • Barbara Matić (CRO) - European Games Minsk (2019, BLR) - © Christian Fidler
  • Anna Bernholm (SWE) - European Games Minsk (2019, BLR) - © Christian Fidler

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