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France back on top with European mixed team title

France back on top with European mixed team title

28 Apr 2024 23:05
EJU Media team and JudoInside
European Judo Union / EJU / Copyright:

France emerged victorious in the mixed team event at the European Championships in Zagreb, clinching the gold medal after defeating the defending champions, Georgia, in the final. This victory marked France's return to the top spot, reclaiming the title they last held in 2022. The French team showcased consistent strength across both the men's and women's categories, a testament to their longstanding prowess in judo.

The introduction of the Mixed Team event prompted a strategic shift for Georgian judo, particularly in their women's program, resulting in significant progress. Georgia's mixed team not only secured two European titles but also earned a world bronze at the senior level.

The opening bout saw Faiza Mokdar of France, a Paris Grand Slam winner, emerge victorious over Tbilisi champion Eteri Liparteliani due to shido accumulation. In the following contest, France's Joan-Benjamin Gaba, the -73kg Olympic selection, faced off against three-time Olympic medallist Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia. Gaba secured a quick victory in golden score, scoring with o uchi gari and extending France's lead to 2-0.

Mariam Tchanturia of Georgia faced immense pressure in the -70kg category as she battled former European Champion Margaux Pinot of France. Despite a closely contested match, Pinot's strategic acceleration forced a third shido on Tchanturia, securing a crucial win for France and strengthening their lead to 3-0.

The final challenge fell to Olympic Champion Lasha Bekauri of Georgia, tasked with salvaging the team's hopes in the -90kg category against Alexis Mathieu of France. Despite Bekauri's throwing attempts, an unfortunate disqualification for head diving sealed France's victory with a commanding 4-0 lead, securing the gold medal for the French team.

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