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European U23 Champion Iakiv Khammo shows his progress with new title

12 Nov 2016 17:25

   Oliver Sellner

Georgia became the glorious winner of the second day of the European Championships for judoka U23 for men. The first two gold medals were for Georgia which doubled the two gold medals they captured in 2005 and 2009. Also gold for Russia and Ukraine. Russia and Georgia both captured two gold medals in the men's division.

The European title for men U81kg was for Koba Mchedlishvili of Georgia. Mchedlishvili won the final against Antonio Esposito. Suddenly two gold medallists for Georgia where the Georgian only counted two champions in the history of this championship, Lasha Gujejiani in 2005 and Paata Merebashvili in 2009. Mchedlishvili won all his five matches but he used a lot of minutes in his previous two matches. In the final though he dominated against the champion of 2014 (U73kg). But this category is amazingly strong and the Georgian follows up Aslan Lappinagov (2015), Roman Moustopoulos (2014), Ivaylo Ivanov (2013) to name a few winners.

At least one Russian judoka of the two was expected in the final and it was Niiaz Bilalov who made it. In the final he defeated Mikita Sviryd of Belarus for the gold medal. A second loss for Belarus, but in fact another good performance of the country that is clearly gaining ground in judo. Bilalov didn’t care about the Belarussian history and wrote his own history and defeated Sviryd in just 72 seconds when he changed his grip and launched a left uchimata for a direct ippon.

One month ago he practiced well at the European Cup in Belgrade and took gold as a good sign of his shape in the final against Niyaz Ilyasov who lost the quarter final against Sviryd. Ilyasov won the bronze in the end.

Iakov Khammo destroyed Tamerlan Bashaev in the final for men +100kg. The Ukrainian took care of the second Ukrainian gold medal at these U23 European Championships. In the final Khammo didn’t need a minute to throw Bashaev for ippon. The slightly taller Khammo clearly improved so fast last two years and even the exciting Tamerlan Bashaev who was a logical finalist, couldn’t keep the strength of Khammo who pulled him over the tatami. An amazing tournament for Khammo who won his second European title, in 2014 he won the heavyweight category in the junior division.

Russia tops the medal table with two gold medals, same for Ukraine and Georgia, but Russia also captured three silver medals.

Read the full story on Beka Gviniashvili or the story for the women.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Mikita Sviryd (BLR), Niiaz Bilalov (RUS) - European Championships U23 Tel Aviv (2016, ISR) - © Sent by athlete
  • Beka Gviniashvili (GEO) - Grand Slam Paris (2017, FRA) - © Nils Klever
  • Koba Mchedlishvili (GEO) - Grand Prix Tbilisi (2017, GEO) - © Levan Akhalkatsi

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