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Sanne Verhagen and Ali Kurzhev taste gold in Madrid
31 May 2014 19:10
The European Open in Madrid saw all medals being spread across several different countries. Holland's participants looked the most happy with Sanne Verhagen as player of the day in the team.
21 Year old Sanne Verhagen was among 26 competitors in the U57kg category. As silver medallist from the Junior world championships in 2011, she started her day against Stephanie Inglis (GBR) defeating her by ippon. She then faced Ukrainian Shushana Hevondian, that by all accounts was her hardest fight. “I only won by shido. We know each other, so it is always difficult”, said Verhagen.
In the final she defeated the French winner of last year, Helene Receveaux. It was also the first gold medal for Verhagen at a European Open. The Netherlands also won a second gold medal this time it was Jeroen Mooren U60kg. This leaves the Dutch leading the medal table after the first day.
Male player of the day was Russian Uali Kurzhev. He won all of his contests by ippon. “Some of them were really hard”, said the 25 year old athlete, who is also world champion in sambo 2012. In his category there were 35 players. His first fight was won in style against number two seed Patrick Dawson GBR. After the victories against Dutchman Sam Van T Westende and eventual bronze medallist Andre Alves of Portugal, Kurzhev defeated Belarussian Vadzim Shoka after only one minute. In the final Kurzhev defeated another Portugese, Jorges Fernandes. “ I just did my job and wanted to show good judo”, said a satisfied winner.
The other gold medals went to Sumeyye Akkus, U48 kg from Turkey, Odette Giuffrida, -52 kg from Italy and to Dzmitry Shershan, U66kg from Belarus. Only one gold medal left Europe and went to Asia. It was the Chinese woman Yang Junxia. She was victorious in the under 63 kg.
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Matthias Casse (BEL)
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