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Russian youngsters show perseverance at Celje's European Cup

11 Jun 2016 21:35

   Klaus Müller / Watch:
20151017_ParisGS_KM_Sakhavat Gadzhiev (RUS)

Russia became the big winner of the first day of the European Cup in Celje, Slovenia. At the annual European Cup the Russian light and middleweights took five of the seven gold medals. Croatia and France both took one title.

The first gold of the day was for Sabina Giliazova U48kg. Giliazova defeated Gulkader Senturk (TUR). She won bronze in Orenburg and nine medals in the European Cups for Juniors, but now grabbed her first European Cup for Seniors. In the women’s division Russia won 50% of the gold medals, in the men all three. Croatia’s Tena Sikic interrupted the Russian hunger for gold as she overcame Anna Pashina in the final. She defended her title in Celje with success. Despite Sikic’ 21 years, she won her 8th European Cup medal and took her third victory. Time for her to explore her chances in the European Open, which is considered a higher level, although Celje is a serious comparison of the level maybe better.

Daria Mezhetckaia competed at the European Championships this year in Kazan and proved she should be able to grow to that level again. She won the category U57kg in Celje after her victory against Jessica Klimkait of Canada. The final was a very close match. Mezhetckaia managed to get a penalty against Klimkait early in the match and was able to hold on to it until the end. Canadian Olympian Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard lost to the winner which is a healthy warning to work even harder until the Olympics. She won bronze after a victory against Dutch Margriet Bergstra.

Clementine Louchez was close to a European Cup victory in Sweden twice in 2012 and 2015 but lost those finals, in Celje she took her first career victory at this level. The French defeated Dutch teen Hilde Jager, also her performance is perfect.

The Russian men, and with all respect, the C-team, won all three gold medals. Sakhavat Gadzhiev showed his perseverence. Judo is in his heart and perhaps his only chance. He was one of the biggest talents in the world when he became European Champion and World Cadet Champion in 2009, and World Junior Champion in 2011. But the lightweight couldn’t make the transition to the seniors, but maintained his profession and today he won his first senior international gold medal. In the final Gadzhiev defeated Dutchman Matthijs van Harten, his second silver, but this one counts more than the one in Lund last year.

Egor Mgdsyan is another Russian former World Junior Champion. He won the title in 2014 and last year he won gold at the European Cup in Dubrovnik, now he took the gold in Celje in the final against home favourite Andraz Jereb.

Twenty year old Aslambek Gekhaev was seventh in Orenburg in May, now he won a surprising gold medal. In the category U73kg Gekhaev won all his six fights including his last against 20-year old Romanian Marcel Cercea. The youngsters won in Celje.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Tena Sikic (CRO) - European Championships U23 Bratislava (2015, SVK) - © Carlos Ferreira / EJU, Copyright:
  • Clementine Louchez (FRA) - European Cup Lund (2015, SWE) - © European Judo Union / EJU, Copyright:
  • Egor Mgdsyan (RUS) - World Championships Juniors Fort Lauderdale (2014, USA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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