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Canadians test Olympic form in Celje

12 Jun 2016 16:00

   Roland Ferenci
20150828_day5_RF_Kelita Zupancic CAN (2)

Seven winning nations on the second day of the European Cup in Celje was a complete opposite of day 1. Canada was one of the winners but the three medals in total indicated that some work has to be done before some of them are sent off to Rio. Celje is always a useful stepping stone.

On Sunday Turkey was the first cheering nation after the gold for Ilker Gulduren U81kg. He defeated Hungarian Milan Koller in the final in a field of 35 men. The Turkish winner won five matches with serious opponents such as Etienne Briand (CAN), Stefan Majdov (SRB), Karol Kurzej (POL) and Abbas Azizov (RUS) until the final match. Canadian Olympian Arthur Margelidon fought U81kg and finished fifth, in Rio he will fight U73kg. Antoine Valois-Fortier also started out the day with a bye from the first round in his last competition before Rio V-F didn’t get past his first opponent of the day, Czech Ivan Petr and needs to find the key to get in shape when he needs.

The category U90kg was an all French final between Valentin Jourdan and Aurelien Diesse. Jourdan this time won the gold as he missed out gold in the European Cup final in Belgrade last year.  U100kg Austria won the gold as 21-year old Laurin Boehler won his first international senior gold medal. The Austrian talent defeated Dutchman Sjors Riddersma in the final, still for Riddersma his best ever performance at a European Cup. Worth while mentioning is the list of opponents of Boehler: Ramazan Malsuigenov, Dino Pfeiffer, later bronze medallist Simeon Catharina and Riddersma, not the least judoka.

Russian heavyweight Tamerlan Bashaev took the gold in the final against European Open bronze medallist of last week Cedric Medeuf of France. Dutch youngster Jur Spijkers took bronze as well as Russian Musa Tumenov.

In the women U70kg Canada took the only gold medal by Rio Olympian Kelita Zupancic. A good warm up for her and her team, as not everyone survived the shift. Zupancic won her first three matches by ippon but Jemima Yeats-Brown gave her a good match with two yuko difference. The two Russian Ekaterina Tokareva’s won bronze. Confusing stuff for the opponents, but they differ two years.

World Junior Championships silver medallist Klara Apotekar delivered Slovenia the first gold of the tournament. In the category U78kg she defeated Evelin Salanki of Hungary. German Barbi Bandel and Larissa Groenwold won bronze. Last week both were in the final block of the European Open in Madrid.

The final +78kg was an all Dutch final between Lena Buseman and Martine Demkes, both not the choice for the Olympics, but Buseman was Dutch champion 2014, Demkes current champion. A nice final decided in 90 seconds by Buseman.

Russia clearly dominated the medal table with 6 gold medals, France second with two gold and two silver, The Netherlands grabbed one gold but 8 medals in total. The Canadian team was expected a bit higher on the ranking, but in fact better here than any other important place. Some practice to do.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Lena Buseman (NED) - Dutch Championships Rotterdam (2014, NED) - © Menno Lesterhuis
  • Ilker Güldüren (TUR) - Grand Prix Samsun (2015, TUR) - © Emir Incegul, Turkish Judo Federation
  • Klara Apotekar (SLO) - World U21 Championships Abu Dhabi (2015, UAE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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