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Toma Nikiforov claims European Open gold in Madrid
1 Jun 2014 19:10
Belgian heavyweight Toma Nikiforov won the European Open in Madrid U100kg. The tall Belgian talent won the final against Jevgenijs Borodavko and became the player of the day.
Nikiforov won all of his fights by Ippon in the U100 kilo category whilst defeating two of his opponents who are ranked in the top 20 on the world ranking. “Today I felt very good. In the beginning I was a bit tired, but once on the mat I felt very good. Before the fights I spoke a lot with my coach, and we found out the best strategy” - reviewed the 21 year old fighter against the EJU reporter.
The Belgian judoka had a bye in the first round and following that he took advantage against Guram Tushishvili from Georgia. In the quarter-final he beat the experienced Egyptian Ramadan Darwish. In the semi-final Toma Nikiforov overcame the number one seed, Martin Pacek from Sweden. In the final he showed powerful judo again and defeated the Latvian Jevgenijs Borodavko.
Nikiforov recalled the final: “He has good judo and I so do I. In the end I caught him by surprise. I am happy about that” He added to the EJU: “I always fight better against high level players and I hope that soon I will be seen as part of them.”
Although Toma Nikiforov colected 100 points for Gold, he tries only to focus on each contest first. “You have to think step by step and fight by fight. But these 100 points are a good start. Of course, Rio 2016 is in my head and it means a lot to me.” - explained the Belgian judoka.
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