The latest Judo News offered by

Big judo clashes lead to surprises U66kg at Europeans

19 Nov 2020 10:50

   IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation

Surprises all over in the category for men U66kg at the first day of the European Judo Championships in Prague. The long break in judo is definitely relevant and the obvious winners can be surprised. JudoInside already wrote it in its preview, today anything can happen in the category U66kg. On paper Manuel Lombardo is a major favourite to win his first European title, but the Italian lost to Orkhan Safarov who proved to be in shape in Budapest.

The Azeri defeated the Italian in the first round of the Championship. Safarov came from the U60kg category and first had big issues to get traction in his new category but slowly managed to adjust his skills. The victory could give him a jumpstart to the quarter final, as in his pool also Abdula Abzudzhalilov got an asskick by Sebi Seidl (GER) who defeated the Russian in the second round..

Also another huge surprise Baruch Shmailov from Israel didn’t seemed to be fit enough after his Covid-19 infection. He lost in is first round to the super talented Bogdan Iadov of the Ukraine. Iadov is the second Ukrainian potential medallist in this category alongside Georgii Zantaraia who also survived his first contest but both Ukrainians failed to win their seond battle. Iadov got spanked in his second fight against Dai Perez of Spain who sent Iadov back to the hotel room. Zantaraia  struggled with Strahinja Buncic from Serbia and knocked out the multiple European Champion in round two. 

A super tasty match between Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia and triple vice world champion Mikhail Puliaev (RUS) ended in a victory for Margvelashvili as expected. Margvelashvili is our first favourite although Denis Vieru look good after his victory against Martin Gaitero (ESP) and the Moldovan fighter should also have a stake in the medals today. However Vieru missed the opportunity to qualify for the final block as Strahinja Buncic is in the shape of his life. Serbian Judo again showed this autumn its development with young athletes coming through at the European podium, not just in this male category. Buncic though lost to Orkhan Safarov, who is eager to win a Europea title in his "new" category as he won three medals U60kg in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Twice he lost the final, perhaps he has the recipy to strike this time.

This article will be continously updated

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO) - Grand Slam Düsseldorf (2020, GER) - ©, judo news, results and photos
  • Denis Vieru (MDA) - World Championships Tokyo (2019, JPN) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Strahinja Buncic (SRB) - European Cup Belgrade (2018, SRB) - © Serbian Judo Federation

Related Judo News


Manuel Lombardo rewards himself for five-star showing

24 Oct 2019 18:35

World number 10 Manuel Lombardo of Italy won all five of his contests by ippon as he charged to his first Grand Slam title. The 20-year-old outperformed former World Judo Masters winner Orkhan Safarov (AZE) in the final as the Italian scored with a ippon-seoi-nage and a modified kata-guruma respectively to win by two scores without reply. Read more


Azerbaijan to the Worlds without Orkhan Safarov

6 Aug 2019 13:40

With 18 medals for Azerbaijan in the history of this young country is strong in judo. The men dominate with fifteen medals and one world title for Elkhan Mammadov, the current head coach of the men’s team. Last year in Baku the team won two medals, in 2017 a best ever with four medals including two finals for Rustam Orujov and Orkhan Safarov, the man who is missing in this edition in Tokyo at the end of this month. Read more


Preview men lightweights U60kg European Games Minsk

19 Jun 2019 09:15

The European Games is the top event once every four years in this continent which obviously continues the annual European Championships. The category U60kg has a few new guys in the pack that might make this category exciting without the interference of Asian or Pan American top athletes. Europe (Russia) won the Olympic titles of 2012 and 2016. Read more


Judo World Championships Preview Day 1 U60kg and U48kg

19 Sep 2018 16:20

Only two times the World Championships had more fighters U60kg then this edition. In a field of 68, only the 2010 Tokyo and 2011 Paris edition had such an amount of class players. The quality is awesome but we’re also missing some guys here. Read more


Preview: Asia vs Europe in men's U60kg class

19 Sep 2018 14:30

The men’s U60kg category is somewhat devaluated without a lot of tough guys. Like Smetov, Urozboev and some more talents. The 68 athletes will for sure make a party tough, but one side is more Asian oriented, the other more Eastern European. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Prague19 Nov
1Budapest25 Oct
Result City Date
2Prague19 Nov
7Budapest25 Oct
5Abu Dhabi2019


First description Second description Third description Four description