In the final for men Red Star Belgrade had Russian team New Stream as strong opponent. It resulted in a top European Club final with excitement until the last 10 seconds. It was 37-year old veteran Alexandr Mikhailin who claimed the last and decisive victory of the tournament.
Red Star’s Strahinja Buncic had to fight Abdula Abdulzhalilov who won the Grand Prix of Qingdao in November. But the 20-year old Buncic was in the lead in the first half of the match. Buncic who took silver in the European Cup in Belgrade is back at this category U66 as he fought U73kg for some time. Fifty seconds for the end it was the Russian scoring wazari and took all the tine on the ground.
Saian Ondar, had some good experience this year in Belgrade taking the gold at the European Cup. Anthony Zingg of Germany is a value for Red Stars for some time, also he was important in the first historic medal at European Club Championships in 2014 in the Netherlands, this was the motivation to get the event to Belgrade. In this final U73kg 47 seconds for the end it was Zingg who surprisingly choked Sayan Ondar, an amazing win for Zingg who was one shido behind.
The final U81kg between Bojan Dosen and Stanislav Semenov was interesting as Semenov was one shido behind and gave Red Star virtually the lead, and one minute for the end another shido was added and 24-year old Bojan Dosen was about to give Nemanja Majdov the key for the victory. This was essential as in the last match the experienced triple world champion Alexandr Mikhailin was lined up. Dosen got confidence almost scored in the last ten seconds but it was enough for the victory. The knowledgeable crowd understood immediately what a golden chance this was.
Serbia’s biggest male talent Nemanja Majdov who switched from U81kg to U90kg this year had a huge chance against Khusen Khalmurzaev. The twin brother of the Olympic Champion is ice cold and won the Grand Prix of Samsun this year and took various international medals. Just like Nemanja Majdov, he was double European Junior Champion, three years earlier, but U90kg so much more experienced in this class. His brother Khasan took the Olympic title U81kg, but now it was up to Majdov to continue his way up, at home.
After two Georgian victories in the European Club Championships, now Russia wins the title and promotes, with Red Star to the Golden League. Khalmurzaev scored in the fourth minute wazari and Majdov was close to a score nine seconds for the end, but he didn’t get it afterall. The victory was for Khalmurzaev and the score was 2-2 and a thriller final between 37-year old Mikhailin and former Russian Dmitry Gerasimenko (29) knows his old teammate. The faster Dima Gerasimenko kept cool and it was Mikhailin who had two penalties. The crowd couldn’t breathe, it would be a tremendous sensation and the Serbian speaker couldn’t hold his enthusiasm in the match. Mikhailin understands pressure, he was Olympic finalist in 2012 against Riner where Gerasimenko competed U90kg. The tall Russian had one minute to score but had the guts to try a choke. Gerasimenko was prepared to go out for this gold, but Mikhailin progressed into oseikomi and captured the victory for New Stream. A gentleman as Mikhailin cared for his old teammate.
New Stream defeated Belgian team JC Grand-Hornu in the first round, followed by US Orleans Loiret.. In the semi final Serbian team JK Rakovica was the victim of the Russians where Red Star Belgrade JC Kinezis in an existing Serbian semi final. Both Serbian teams came short in the bronze battles. JC Kinezis was defeated by SGS Judo of France whilst the surprising strong team of JC Akademik bested JC Rakovica for bronze. AKamdemik lost to Kinezis in the quarter final but came back in the repechage. SGS Judo lost the first match of their tournament against Otechestvo but won all other four matches.