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France dominates first European Open in Luxembourg
30 Sep 2019 15:25
The French team was just amazing at the European Open in Luzembourg. At the first edition of a Euro Open in the small country close to France, the French athletes took 10 out of the 14 gold medals. Germany, Hungary, Azerbaijan and neighbor Belgium captured gold as well. Besides that the French captured 29 medals. Only five countries with a gold medal doesn’t happen so often, the last time was at the Grand Slam in Osaka in 2018 where Japan dominated. In Luxembourg it was clearly France.
In four categories three French stood on the podium, but there was no clean sweep though. U60kg Rashad Yelikiyev (AZE) was the only non French in the top give. The division was won by Cedric Revol. Kevin Azema defeated Robin Corrado in the category U66kg with a participation of 47 men. Mickael Dubois took gold U73kg against Lukas Vennekold. Also in this category 40 men were fighting.
In the event 354 athletes took part from 47 nations which is a very hopeful number of the centrally located event that hosted athletes from all five continents.
On Sunday France continued with the fourth gold medal in a row for men. Alpha Oumar Djalo won U81kg against Jonathan Allardon. Former cadet world champion Falk Petersilka won his division U90kg against Hugo Grandhaie. Cedric Olivar took gold U100 against Zalan Ohat of Hungary. For Olivar it was the third victory in a World Cup meeting this year.
The second non-French gold was taken by Imran Yusifov who won the heavyweight category, but there was always a Frenchman in the final. Yusifov was the youngest champion of this weekend aged 20.
In the women the domination was not different. On Saturday the French women won all gold medals U48kg, U52kg, U57kg and U63kg. The Gneto sisters both won their divisions, but the gold rain started with lightweight Marine L’Henry U48kg. Astride Gneto (23) and sister Priscilla (28) both defeated a French opponent to capture the gold medal in Luxembourg. Agathe Devitry prevented Nadja Bazynski (GER) from winning two gold medals in a row.
On Sunday only one gold medal for France as heavyweight Marine Erb defeated Valentine Marchand in the final. Hungary cheers for Szabina Gercsak who is on her way back after a long period of injuries. Not an easy road for former Junior world champion Gercsak but this level is perfect for her to find her form and she showcased good judo and bested Julie Hoelterhoff in the final U70kg. It was her first victory since her European U23 title in 2016, what a relief.
Germany was a bit unlucky with three lost finals by their women as also U78kg there was silver for Teresa Zenker after Sophie Berger gave Belgium the victory in Luxembourg. The average age of the medallists was 23 years, which says enough about the challengers. Usually a young generation trying to make the step up to Grand Prix level. Some athletes proved this weekend to have an added value at that level.
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Aine Schmidt (BRA)