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Russia strong at last day of European Cadet Championships
6 Jul 2014 19:10
Russia, Germany, Ukraine and the Netherlands collected the last five gold medals as the European Cadet Championships in Athens, Greece, wrapped up Sunday in the Olympic Center of Ano Liossia with the men’s -81kg, -90kg and +90 kg as well as with the women’s -70kg and +70 kg.
Russia was the most successful nation with four gold, five silver and two bronze medals overall. Germany overtook France in the medal standings with a total of three gold, one silver and four bronze medals. France ranked third with two gold, one silver and three bronze medals. Overall 20 countries took medals at the Championships.
The final of the -81kg was a Russian affair with top seeded Turpal Tepkaev defeating his teammate Zaur Ramzanov for the gold. The two Russians were evenly matched, but Tepkaev received two shidos and Ramzanov had one. With 22 seconds to go, Tepkaev threw Ramzanov for waza-ari and defended this lead to the end.
“All opponents are difficult, but a Russian opponent is the most difficult”, Tepkaev commented. “We’sve met six times before, with me winning four times. So I was confident I would win this time. Now I will move up to the junior level”, the newly minted European Cadet Champion added.
“Obviously I wanted the gold medal. I was a little unlucky, I didn’t construct the fight the right way and I made a mistake at the end”, Ramzanov admitted. “We know each other very well and we’sve been competing against each other the whole year and that makes it difficult to fight each other. My next goal is to compete in the under 21 and to improve”, the 2013 World Cadet Champion (U73kg) concluded.
Second-seed Eduard Trippel and Sergiy Krivchach (UKR) overcame their loss in the semifinals to claim the bronze medals. Trippel beat Matthias Casse (BEL) and Krivchach prevailed over Tony Persehais (FRA).
This category featured 31 athletes.
Under the eyes of his compatriot and Athens 2004 Olympic silver medallist Roman Gontyuk, Zelim Kotsoev (UKR) struck gold in the -90kg. Giorgi Gvelesiani (GEO) settled for the silver medal.
Kotsoev took the lead with a throw that earned him a waza-ari 47 seconds into the match. Both players showed some action then, but there was no score until Gvelesiani marked a yuko with a little over a minute to go. The match was intense and both judoka visibly tired, but then Kotsoev was able to perform another throw to achieve Ippon just a few seconds before the end.
“I prepared a lot for this event and I really wanted to win here. Everything worked out for me”, Kotsoev said. “The final was the hardest fight today. I didn’t expect that I would be so tired, I never was that tired. But I was able to pull myself together, I told myself that I have to win and I threw him.” Kotsoev plans to continue to compete in the cadets. “Zelim Kotsoev is our biggest hope in Ukrainian judo”, coach Kazbek Tsagaraev pointed out. “He is from northern Caucasus, from Vladikavkaz. He will step by step join the junior team. Now we will prepare for the World Junior Championship that will take place in the USA”, the coach added.
“To be the champion would have been better obviously, but second place is also not bad. It was my third time at this event and last year I was fifth”, Gvelesiani noted. “It would have been nice to win the gold here in Athens, where Zurab Zviadauri of Georgia won the gold in the -90kg”, he added.
Aaron Fara (AUT) beat Martti Puumalainen (FIN) to take the bronze medal. “I am very satisfied. During my preparation I was injured, I got stung by a bee and I am allergic to that, but everything went well here. To win a medal is a dream come true”, the Austrian shared.
Daviti Ramazashvili (GEO) secured his third consecutive medal at the European Cadet Championships after silver in 2012 and bronze in 2013 when he beat Musa Shakarmaliyev (AZE) in the other bronze medal match.
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