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Axel Clerget starts year well with victory in Lisbon
5 Feb 2017 17:50
Is was a good weekend for the Clerget Family. Axel is still in shape and won the European Open in Lisbon; Arthur Clerget won the Belgian Open in Vise. Axel was the man in Odivelas close, to Lisbon, winning the category U90kg.
Although Clerget, almost 30, did not have to fight in the final against Quedjau Nhabali (UKR), the technique and style he showed in his preliminary matches made him the weekend’s eyecatcher on the tatami. Last year he won the Grand Prix of Almaty. This year started well for Clerget and he is still in the running for the World Championships.
In the same U90kg category, Alexandre Iddir had his hands full with Batuhan Efemgil (TUR), but Iddir struck in golden score to secure the bronze. Both French fighters are an option for the World Championships, although Iddir doesn't have the best form yet. No sign yet if Noel van 't End will ever fight for France. So far, the request to fight under the French flag as a resident of Paris was denied by the Dutch Judo Association.
Brazil took gold by Victor Penalber (U81kg). The former world number one defeated Denis Kalanin of Russia. It was April 2015 when Penalber last won a gold medal, so he seems ready for Paris and a run at the podium like last year. Canadian Etienne Briand and Germany's Benjamin Muennich were awarded bronze in Lisbon.
Russia quickly took revenge against Brazil in the U100kg catagory when Niyaz Ilyasov secured first place. The bronze medalist of the European U23 championships dominated Rafael Buzacarini in the final and scored three wazari. Ilyasov also defeated number one seeded Luciano Correa. French fighters Nell Honore Ariano Rebouka and Clément Delvert grabbed bronze.
The heavyweight final was between Russia's Anton Brachev and Georgia's Onise Bughadze. It was the Russian who finished first after he scored ippon with a huge ko-uchi-gari in his second attempt, one minute into regular time. He defeated two Georgians and two French on the day. Austrian Stephan Hegyi and Russian Musa Tumenov won bronze. Although both +100kg Frenchmen, Bonvoisin and Thorel, lost in the bronze medal round, France still finished first in the medal count with nine medals, four more than Russia.
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