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Nemanja Majdov celebrates junior comeback with gold in Lignano
10 Apr 2016 17:40
Italy and Slovenia had the most successful juniors at the European Cup in Lignano this weekend. Both countries won three titles at the third European Cup of the season. On Saturday the host nations started well with victories in the men’s lightweight categories. Both talents Andrea Carlino (U55kg) and Manuel Lombardo (U60kg) won gold. On Sunday Nadia Simeoli added the third gold for Italy in the women U63kg division.
A total of 477 young athletes travelled to Italy from 26 nations, even from Argentina and Brazil. Gimena Laffeuillade (ARG) won silver for her country, coached by former World Champion Daniela Krukower, but the gold for women U57kg was for Kaja Kajzer of Slovenia, one of the three gold medals. Marusa Stangar convincingly won the final against Reka Pupp of Hongary. Both youngsters already smelled senior level, but can learn enough in this competitive junior division where Janina Tessmann (GER) and Romane Yvin (FRA) took bronze. The third Slovenian gold was achieved by Luka Harpf, men U73kg in the final against Brazilian David Lima.
Brazil was successful with 10 medals in total, but just one was gold. Heavyweight Leonardo Goncalves was the expected winner U100kg. Italian Davide Pozzi was his opponent in the final. Brazil lost two finals, but Hungary lost 4 finals this championships and forgot to take gold back home.
The Balkan nations were strong as well with gold for Peter Zadro (BIH) U66kg and two gold medals for Serbia. The men’s plus category was won by Zarko Culum in a balkan final against Harun Sadikovic. Serbia’s first gold medal was captured by Nemanja Majdov, back in the circuit after a long injury. With his gold medal he is back in business after being absent in this age category since his European Junior title in 2014, a good motivation for a successful comeback. In 2015 Majdov tried a few senior events but his body went into overdrive and had to fight back for a long time.
Polish Jakub Ozimek defeated Romanian Ionut Vasian in the final U90kg. Poland won a second gold for women U78kg by Paula Kulaga, a strong victory against Morgane Duchene of France. On Sunday France won gold U70kg by Marina Olarte and +78kg by Julia Tolofua.
In the category U44kg France lost the final against Spanish Mireia Lapuerta Comas. World cadet runner-up Tihea Tooplovec of Croatia won junior gold U52kg in Lignano against Jessica Lima of Brazil. Next week the Brazilian team will also be in St. Petersburg in the IJF World Tour. A strong tournament where also the Russian and Japanese teams are expected.
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Thomas Jaffart (FRA)
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