The first matches at the European Judo Championships in Judo delivered some good surprises in the men’s category U60kg. Amiran Papinashvili was one of the victims of the quarter final when he lost his match against Walide Khyar of France. Papinashvili will get a place in the repechage, but Khyar first opponents Carmine Di Loreto and Ashley McKenzie won’t get that chance and were sent home.
Elios Manzi was the other surprise. The 20-year old Italian defeated Vincent Limare of France and Hovhannes Davtyan and qualified for the semi final. He will meet Orkhan Safarov, the expected man from Azerbaijan.Bekir Ozlu (TUR) defeated his compatriot Ilgar Mushkiyev and Ozluy will meet Khyar in the semi U60kg.
U66kg Dzmitry Shershan (BLR) was excpected in the semi final against Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO) although Margvelashvili had to defeat Sinan Sandal and Arsen Galstyan before qualifying. Colin Oates (GBR) came out as winner of a pool with Fabio Basile (ITA) as opponent in the quarter. Oates will meet Adrian Gomboc for a place in the final. Gomboc befeit of a victory by Dzmitry Minkou (BLR) against Golan Pollack (ISR). Also Tal Flicker (ISR) lost too early against Elio Verde and so we have 8 different nationalities in the final block.
No surprises U48kg where Eva Csernovicki (HUN) and Dilara Lokmanhekim (TUR) were the strongest in their pools and are opposed in the semi final. Monica Ungureanu (ROU) and Charline Van Snick aren’t surprises as well. Only last year’s bronze medallist Maryna Cherniak failed to qualify as she lost to Turkish Nazlican Kilic.
Andreea Chitu and Priscilla Gneto were the big names expected in the semi final, although Gneto defeated Belarussian world number three Darya Skyprnik while Jaana Sundberg (FIN) defeated Mareen Kraeh (GER). Gneto bested Sundberg in the quarter. Majlinda Kelmendi also qualified for the semi, although it was a narrow escape against the authorities as biggest enemy of today. They didn’t want to let her start for Kosova and she didn’t want to fight under another flag. But in the morning the ministry of foreign affairs decided to tolerate the Kosovarian flag. Kelmendi will fight Annabelle Euranie (FRA) as expected opponent. The biggest victim was Odette Giuffrida (ITA) who lost to Evelyne Tschopp (SUI).
The big French match in the semi final U57kg will be Helene Receveaux versus Automne Pavia. Both met recently in Samsun where Receveaux won in the last second. She never won against Pavia this way and can expect a severe opposition in Kazan. Receveaux bested British Nekoda Davis in the quarter while Automne Pavia blasted away Miryam Roper in a match with lots of penalties but a smashing Harai Goshi in the end. The other semi final is between Ivelina Ilieva of Bulgaria who disqualified Corina Caprioriu, the big name and highest seed. Also Ivelina defeated Viola Waechter (GER) and have the Germans a bad day. Nora Gjakova is the winner of pool B where Timna Nelson Levy of Israel surprised Hedvig Karakas. Nelson Levy lost to Nora Gjakova (KOS) who defeated Sabrina Filzmoser.
Nations with most judoka in the final block