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Italian judoka start with two EYOF titles in Georgia

28 Jul 2015 18:05

   Rui Telmo Romão / www.lightwalking.pt
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Italy has done some good business at the opening day of the European Youth Olympic Festival. In Tbilisi the Italian team won medals in each category including two titles. Moldova and Azerbaijan claimed the other two titles. In one day equal to the record of 1991.

In the category for young men U50kg it was Biagio D’Angelo who grabbed the EYOF title against Paul Ronchi. D’Angelo who claimed a bronze medal at the European Cadet Championships, now took the gold. In his first contest he stunned Yoann Lambert (FRA) for ippon with a breath-taking right sided morote seoi-nage. To follow that up he scored another Ippon with a side-tsurikomi-goshi, this time against David Vopat (CZE). The final was more of a rocky road for the Italian youngster as he spent seven minutes in a tight battle against Paul Ronchi (SUI) before he was able to bow off with a single penalty difference and claim the gold medal of the 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival. “I am really happy, this was a good competition because it started off a little bit difficult but then it all turned out very well for me”, D’Angelo expressed his feelings after the finals. “My target was to medal and I was sure I am capable of that but I didn’t think it will be the gold medal at the end… The hardest fight was definitely the final against my Swiss opponent as we went into golden score for quite a time”, added the 16 years old judoka. D’Angelo will be in action next at the Cadet World Championships in a few weeks’ time. He took the seventh gold for Italy in the history of the EYOF. The previous winner was Odette Giuffrida who reached world class nowadays.

Speaking about the Italian women, Sofia Petitto won the title U50kg. Petito came here as a reserved player due to an injury of her team mate, Michela Fiorini. The national coach of the Italian Cadet team, Nicola Moraci expressed his feelings after the medal ceremonies: “Today was a great day. Four athletes, four medals but what is more important that they have won fights against higher ranked player with better previous results. Not to mention that Petitto came here as a reserved player and she found out not long ago that she will be competing, so she did not only attend here but delivered a great results. I am really pleased with the performance of today and I hope there will be more to come.” All in all, it was Italy to claim the top of the medal table after the first day of the tournament. The Italian cadet champion missed the bronze in Sofia’s European Championships and finished fifth, but this time took the gold in Tbilisi. In the final she defeated Laura Martinez of Spain.

Shafaq Hamidova of Azerbaijan won the gold U40kg in a field of just 6 young women. Anastasiia Kuterina of Russia lost the final. Italy’s Arianna Galliani took the first medal of the day for Italy. Vasiliki Kourri repeated her performance of the European Championships, bronze for Cyprus. 

A gold medal for Ion Mihailov of Moldova was a surprise. He won the category for men U55kg. Mihailov was the winner in a poule with Kyrylo Samotug (UKR) who was more likely the favourite for the gold. Moldova is working in a new group of talents after their senior top athletes moved to the UAE. This is again a prove that the strategy is working. Karamat Huseynov ended with silver, he won the European Cup in Antalya. Luca Carlino who had won two European Cups this season lost the quarter final against Huseynov, but finished with bronze.

In 1991 Moira Giusti and Ylenia Scapin, the later double Olympic medallist took the titles for Italy, a record still standing, but about the be broken.

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