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Czech Pavel Petrikov wins European Open in Prague
27 Feb 2016 17:15
For the first time in his career Pavel Petrikov was able to take the gold medal at his ‘own’ tournament in Prague. With this victory young Petrikov, stepped into the footlight of his father, also Pavel, who won the tournament in the eighties. For Petrikov it is also the first time that he wins a European World Cup since 2009. In the final U60kg the Czech judoka was able to overcome French judoka Cedric Revol U60kg.
It was Revol who scored first for yuko until towards the last minute where Petrikov implemented a right sided ogoshi - ouchi gari combination which enabled him to equal up the final game. Throughout the contest, Revol picked up a single penalty which at the end became the decision making mark on the score board. “Even though I was down by a yuko I believed that I can throw Revol and I believed in myself", Petrikov explained after the final against the EJU reporters. “I haven’t had any specific preparation for this tournament in fact I was still really tired after the Paris Grand Slam training camp. I took a little time to recover of that and I began to focus on my weight immediately after. I felt really good today and I really enjoyed competing in my home town front of all spectators in Prague……In my head I knew that only being in the final will give me valuable points for the Olympic Games. However, I tried not to pressure myself and relax and enjoy it. I must say without the enormous support from my fiancé it would have been more difficult.”
For Revol it’s his second loss this year, but on the other hand his second World Cup in his career, captured in a very short time. Since the start of the World Cups in 1989, called A-tournaments Czech Republic had only a few winners at home: Roman Karger in 1992, Peter Jákl in 1997, Lukas Krpálek in 2012 and 2014 and since today Pavel Petrikov.
Slovenian Andraz Jereb won the final U66kg against Dovdon Altansukh of Mongolia. For Jereb it’s the first time ever that he won a World Cup. He won two bronze medals in 2013 and one in 2014, but never won such tournament, now called the European Open. Also brother Saso never won gold, so it’s a family party worth while. Altansukh was the winner of the European Open in Oberwart this year.
Greek judoka Georgios Azoidis won the final U73kg in Prague. He defeated Polish hope Damian Szwarnowiecki. Olympic Champion Mansur Isaev took the bronze medal after he lost the semi final against Azoidis. The Greek had to fight six matches before the gold medal was handed out. For Azoidis it was his first ever World Cup medal. The 22-year old Greek was European Junior champion in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
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Serafeim Tsimpikakis (GRE)