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Telma Monteiro grabs her fifth European title defeating Hedvig Karakas

25 Jun 2015 19:10

   Emir Incegul / Turkish Judo Federation
20150625_Baku_Telma Monteiro3

The World’s number one Telma Monteiro did the ‘ almost’ impossible, not just taking the gold medal at the European Games, but with astonishing groundwork. But most over she defeated her nemesis Automne Pavia, the 2014 European Champion. After three losses the Portuguese was finally able to beat the tall French again at the European Games in Baku which led to the final against Hedvig Karakas.

That Monteiro would survive her pool wasn’t a great surprise although in May Monteiro lost to Sanne Verhagen who was her opponent in the quarter final, but the world ranking leader who lost four World Championships finals, but also won four European titles, didn’t want to lose again.

In the top half of the sheets U57kg it was Automne Pavia who qualified for the semis, also not a surprise, although it’s her first event after an injury. The European Champion defeated Irina Zabludina (RUS) and was then opposed to Sabrina Filzmoser, always an interesting fight, but the eventual winner is always Pavia, also this edition. It was a strong pool though with Nekoda Davis who lost to Zabludina and Filzmoser who beat Waechter who’s in a good shape, but couldn’t stand today’s quality field.


On the other side of the table Corina Caprioriu should be the logical winner but despite a victory against 2008 Olympic Champion the Romanian vice Olympic champion lost to the talented European U23 Champion Nora Gjakova.

Hedvig Karakas lost for bronze two weeks ago in Budapest but it apparently helped her to be sharp today. She beat Zeltner (AUT) and stopped last year’s finalist Miryam Roper (GER) in the quarter final.

In the semi final she had to fight Nora Gjakova and reached the final. Karakas and European Championships have never been a very happy marriage but today she reaches her best ever position with at least silver. She won European bronze in 2009 and 2010. In 2009 she also won World bronze and the World Junior title. Today she can crown herself European Champion if she can defeat Telma Monteiro who beat Pavia in a tough match.


Monteiro was clear on paper with a 4-0 score so far and Monteiro was absolute favourite in the odds for her fifth European title and 11th medal. She hates the silver and she showed all her tears at the podium when she was releaved with this important Gold medal standing on the highest stage.


Nora Gjakova of Kosovo won the first bronze medal for her country at European Games. Supported by Majlinda Kelmendi she defeated World bronze medallist Sanne Verhagen (NED) for the bronze final. The second bronze medal was in advance a repetition of last year's final U57kg although Roper had other ideas about that and surprised Pavia with an armlock that only Monteiro could finish with the same speed and accuracy.


Quotes Telma MONTEIRO (POR) - gold

On crying on the podium even though she has already won four European championships:

"It's unbelievable because the first match was so tough and I felt so tired, and at the same time it gave me preparations mentally for the hard day. I understood that I could fight to this limit until I have nothing more to give."

"It was a really hard day and for me to win a gold medal in the European championships and the first European Games is very special because I was thinking of all the work I’ve put into it.

"When you finish, everything seems so easy, but there’s so much work behind each victory, especially against Automne PAVIA (FRA) to whom I have lost three times. I was trying something new this time and that worked."


On which match during the day was the toughest, having won the first one against Jovana ROGIC (SRB) on a shido in golden score and beaten European champion PAVIA with less effort:

"Physically and mentally the first one was the most difficult. But if I think of all the work I’ve done, it was against PAVIA. I’ve worked really hard to be able to beat her since the judo rules changed, so I was really happy that that moment came today."

On having beaten gold medal match opponent KARAKAS in their four previous fights:

"It’s something that happens. I really respect her and I think that the reason I can beat her so many times is because I never underestimate her but treat every match as a new one."


On the competition in which she is still trying for a medal:

"Until I’m done competing I will fight for that Olympic medal, because I think I deserve it and I’ve worked for it. It is special and with all the work I put in every day I must think I can do it."

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Telma Monteiro (POR) - European Games Baku (2015, AZE) - © Emir Incegul, Turkish Judo Federation
  • Telma Monteiro (POR), Hedvig Karakas (HUN), Nora Gjakova (KOS), Miryam Roper (PAN) - European Games Baku (2015, AZE) - © Emir Incegul, Turkish Judo Federation
  • Automne Pavia (FRA) - European Games Baku (2015, AZE) - © Emir Incegul, Turkish Judo Federation

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